James 1:1-4

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Text: James 1:1-4


I. James greets his readers - 1:1

James 1:1 - 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

1. James identifies himself as the writer of this epistle.

2. James describes himself as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Servant = slave. He had voluntarily enslaved himself to God the Father as well as to Jesus Christ, thereby recognizing that he existed for the sole purpose of their bidding.

God is likely a reference to God the Father.

The fact that James mentions both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ indicates Their equality. Jesus is equal to God the Father in every respect.

God is possibly a reference to Christ. If so, and must be understood in the sense of even or in the more emphatic sense of indeed, in fact, yea, verily, or certainly.

3. James sends greetings to his readers, the twelve tribes of the Dispersion.

They are Jews professing salvation who had been scattered throughout the Roman Empire.

II. A proper reaction to trials - 1:2-4

1. James urges his readers to count (i.e. think, consider, or regard) trials as all joy (or gladness) - 1:2

All joy suggests all the joy there is, completely joyful, or thoroughly joyful.

James 1:2 - 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

2. James' does this because his readers know that the trying (or testing) of their faith works (or produces) patience (i.e. endurance or steadfastness) - 1:3

James 1:3 - 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Patience = endurance, steadfastness, fortitude, or perseverance

3. James urges those experiencing trials to let the trials run their course - 1:4

James 1:4 - 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

This is a commandment and not a mere suggestion. It means that patience must have her perfect work.

Perfect = complete or fully developed

Work = deed or accomplishment

4. James does this in order that they might be mature and blameless lacking nothing - 1:4

James 1:4 - 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Perfect = fully developed in a moral sense, mature

Entire = whole, complete, undamaged, intact, or blameless

Wanting nothing, i.e. falling short in nothing, lacking in nothing, or being in need of nothing

Although the believer may not always comprehend what God is doing in his life, he is assured that God knows what He is doing and that it is not necessary for him to understand all that God is doing. However, it is necessary for him to submit to God's working in his life through the trial he is experiencing. He must remember that God is at work, seeking to make him more and more Christlike and to fit him more perfectly for his service to the Lord. He must bear in mind that God's grace is sufficient for him as Paul wrote regarding his own experience in II Corinthians 12:7-10 ,

(7) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

(8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

(9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

So, rather than begging God to deliver him from the trial, the believer should be praying, Lord, pour it on. I can take it. Make me more like the Lord Jesus so that I might serve Him better. Accomplish Your purpose in my life through this trial.