James highlights in a unique manner that when we follow Christ we are all in or all out. This is reflected in our attitude, prayers, pride, listening, faith, wealth, speech, wisdom, friendship, etc.
Timeline of the New Testament
- Theme Verse
- The Binary Perspective
The author James could be :
- James the father of Judas – not very significant
- James the son of Alphaeus – unlikely as he is an obscure apostle.
- James the son of Zebedee and brother of John -important figure, but died early around spring of 44 AD
- James, the brother of Jesus, rose to prominence after Pentecost and traditionally held author
Summary of the book
James directs this book to Jews scattered across the world – possibly in anticipation of the sufferings Jews will face in the coming years and centuries. His teaching on practical living is sandwiched between the word of God and prayer with perseverence
The teachings of James are very similar to the teachings of Jesus – vivid, colourful, illustrative and most importantly covering the Kingdom values similar to the sermon on the mount
The Binary Perspective
James differentiates people clearly into two categories (James 1:22):
At the end he deals with the in-between category of the drifters who will eventually fall into one of the above categories.
Two Kinds of Prayers
Two Kinds of pride
Two Kinds of Listening
Two Kinds of Religion
Two Kinds of Wealth
Two Kinds of Belief
Two kinds of Speech
Two kinds of Speech
Two Kinds of Speech
Two Kinds of Wisdom
Two kinds of Friendship
Two kinds of Attitude
Two Kinds of Attitude (Cont’d)
For those in between… The Drifters
They are precious lives to be rescued
- Don’t write them off
- Go after them
- Get them back
- Prevent an epidemic of drifters… James 5:19, 20 Message
- Look at the binary perspective slide above. Which aspects do Christians today compromise and not clearly fall into the category?
- What do you find most challenging?
- How can we achieve a clear “1”, in all aspects of “doers”? What steps do you personally need to take? Share.