The theme of James really lies in this: Genuine faith will produce good deeds. The audience is for Jewish Christians, but it also is for all Christians in all times of history. There are at least three different James’ who could be the author…although…the concensus would be James the half-brother of Jesus. It was Martin Luther who upheld the book of James during trying times with the Roman Catholic Church. Once again, there was a situation of hypcritical teachings. In a way…the book of James could be like the “Dummies guide to Christian Living” James deals more with practical Christian living…much like Proverbs or the Sermon on the Mount.
Vs. 2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” One of the best tests for Christian maturity is trials! When we go through trials it is then that we discover what type of faith we actually possess. None of our experiences are happen chance…they are either willed by God or allowed by God. Question: What is God’s purpose in trials? To grow our faith & character as His children. God would put young Joseph (Son of Jacob) through 13 years of trials so he would be able to be in the position he was. When we don’t understand, it is easy to stray from God, but that is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. The next time we struggle and do not understand, run to God in prayer!!! God is a God of good things and of gifts (Vs. 17). His Word is tried & true (Vs. 25).
Regarding application…Pollution. Vs. 27, “…and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Here is the definition of pollution: undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities. Pollution comes into our lives by the activities we choose. By the things we do, by the places we go, by the poeple we hang out with… We are seeing so many hybrid cars being made now. Why? Because of pollution. Living here in So. Cal definitely reminds me of pollution. If the world sees how important it is to protect the human environemnt, how much more should we protect our spiritual environment? Here is a story how the pollution from the world can keep us from our Heavenly Father.
Illustration: There was a little boy whose mother had died. His father was a poor man, but he worked and tried to raise the little fellow. There was a wealthy couple, relatives, who became interested in the boy. They said to the father, “You are not able to give the boy everything in life. We are wealthy; we can give him everything.” So the father went to the little boy to talk to him about going to live with these folks. He said to the little fellow, “They’ll give you a bicycle, give you toys, and give you wonderful gifts at Christmas. And they will take you on trips. They will do things for you that I can’t do for you.” The little boy said, “I don’t want to go.” And the father said, “Why?” The boy said, “They can’t give me you.”