1. We began with 5 characteristics of the book of James. Here are those characteristics: 1) Highly Practical, Biblical wisdom for living a holy life, 2) Vivid imagery that captures the imagination, 3) Extremely blunt & straightforward, 4) Uses rhetorical questions, 5) Deeply concerned about his entire audience.
Q: Practical books of the Bible can be perceived as less rigorous or “deep” than other books of the Bible, how do we fight that perception & find meaning/depth in these books?
Q: We heard that the challenge of James isn’t understanding the book, but living out the implications of the book. Why is it so easy to understand something, yet not apply that understanding?
Q: Many books within the New Testament, including James, have the author showing great love & concern for the audience. We see this in James by his use of “brothers” “beloved”. How do James & other New Testament writers demonstrate both love & truth through their writings?
2. We then talked about James the author.
Q: Based off John’s gospel, we know that James did not immediately embrace Jesus as Lord & Savior. However, we find out that through Jesus’ resurrection that everything changed. (1 Corinthians 15:7) How does James’ conversion & the radical change in his life help validate the historical truth of the resurrection?
Q: By calling himself, “a servant of God & the Lord Jesus Christ”; James chooses to highlight not WHO he is, but WHOSE he is. We see that James values his identity in Christ, how do we demonstrate where our identity/values lie today?
Q: We also spoke about Jesus as Savior & Lord. Many want a savior without having a lord. How does the idea of Jesus being Savior without Him being Lord contradict the Christian faith?
Q: What is a moment in your life where Jesus being the Lord of your life changed the way you handled/approached a situation or certain circumstances?
3. We ended by looking at the audience & overall themes/goals of James.
Q: It was said that James was written to a Jewish Christian audience that has experienced persecution. How does that fact impact the way you plan to read & understand the book of James?
Q: We heard that the overall theme/goal of the book was to impart Biblical wisdom to the people of God that they become more like the Son of God that they may then get to share with others the hope we have found in God. So take time tonight to PRAY that God would use this book towards these ends: 1) we grow in holiness by the grace of God, 2) we have opportunities to boldly, clearly share the hope of God (the gospel) with others.
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