The epistle of James, the Lord’s brother. We are going to do an exposition of the first chapter.
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
The Greek word for servant is doulos. Servant is not a good definition of that particular word. It means “a slave”. A servant does his duty, but if he decides he wants to go somewhere else, he can. But a slave cannot; the master owns him. That is what James is saying here – he is a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
James is writing this to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. This is not the twelve tribes of Israel, because several things are said throughout his epistle that it is obvious he is writing to the church. Spiritually speaking, the Body of Christ can be divided into twelve tribes.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations...
Not divers temptations, but divers trials.
James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience (endurance, steadfastness).
Patience is not a good definition when it comes to the Scriptures. Patience means you can sit back and wait for something, but endurance and steadfastness have something to do with an intense spirit which is far better.
James 1:4 But let endurance have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
I don’t think patience would have a perfect work, but endurance and steadfastness, there is an intensity that must be in our spirit because we will be faced with divers trials, and tests. We have to be steadfast in our dedication in order to handle that.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom… Anybody lack wisdom? ...let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him.
What does that word “upbraid” means? It means God will not fuss at you or put you down. He won’t put you down because you happen to lack wisdom. All of us lack wisdom when it comes to His wisdom. So, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and He doesn’t make you feel like a jerk for asking.
And it shall be given him. I like that. If you lack wisdom, ask God and He gives all men liberally. All men – you don’t have to reach a certain place of goodness, but to all men God gives wisdom liberally if they ask, and it shall be given to him.
However, look at verse 6.
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
That is important. You can have faith, but then if doubt comes in, the doubt can erase your faith. “Let him ask in faith, without wavering.”
James 1:6-7 …For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the
wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Now let’s go to Hebrews 11.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
When you cannot see it, your faith is the substance of it. Now verse 6.
Hebrew 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him…
That’s the reason James says don’t waver in your faith because you won’t receive anything.
Hebrew 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is… Not that He has been, not that He will be, but that He is. …and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
What a promise! Now back to James.
James 1:6-8 …For he that wavers…let not that man think that he shall receive
any thing of the Lord.
8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Double-minded – sometimes you have faith, sometimes you doubt. You are double-minded. I’m sure none of us have had that problem. Well, God help us to pull out of that and always be firm in our faith.
James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted…
Because they are the ones that God will exalt and lift up.
James 1:10-11 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of
the grass he shall pass away,
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes; so also shall the rich man fade way in his ways.
It’s talking about rich in the things of the world.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation (trials): for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him.
You will be tried, but you shall receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to them that love Him. If we love Him, then we have to endure the trials.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man.
He will put you through the ringer, so to speak, with trials and tests, but He doesn’t tempt anyone with evil.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
It’s our flesh nature that tempts us, the thing that is within us.
James 1:15-16 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin,
when it is finished, brings forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Stand fast. Do not let your faith wane.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
The Father of lights – what does that mean? And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. Acts 20:8. Jesus told His disciples, You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14.
Comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. God doesn’t waver and He wants us to be just like Him. We don’t waver and we are steadfast in our dedication and our faith.
Copyright © 2015 by Henry DuBose