Book of James Summary
Friendship with Jesus (and the family of God)
Faithful following of Jesus
Fruitfulness in the mission for Jesus
Fulfilling and flourishing life through Jesus
Finishing well to the glory of God.
ONE: Friendship with God
• Disciples are first learners and servants.
• Jesus says they are even more – we are his family – John 20:17.
• “Brothers and sisters” – 14 times in James.
• There is intimacy AND strong words at any point where friendship and family is breaking down….
James wants them to do “life together”.
• James is focused on actual and real church community, not an idealized version.
TWO: Faithful followers of Jesus
• Really leaning into the teaching of Jesus on the WAY of Jesus.
• The entire NT has a strong ethical, moral framework of how we live in God’s world and of the
spirituality that is need for the shaping of our inner life.
• And whenever there are problems in the family, they are problems with our faithful following.
James has great commandment living as his priority for the churches. “Love one another.” James
will always seek to motivate us with the call to LOVE… but when love is lacking, James will use
warning and accountability to the will of Jesus as motives.
• Language of Faith Works – Faith works (is active) and Faith works (produces results).
• Context of trials and tribulations of various kinds when our inner world is formed.
• And our inner world is always revealed in words, actions, relational patterns.
THREE: Fruitful missional work for Jesus.
• Jesus says – bear much fruit that lasts.
Jesus is always sending the disciples (and us) into the world.
• James wants the churches to be these counter-cultural communities that reflect the life of Jesus…
live very well with one another as a witness and an invitation to the world.
FOUR: Fulfilling and Flourishing
• We all want a fulfilling life… it is vitally important that we define what it is to be fulfilled.
• The language of blessed (1:12; 1:25; 5:11). Makarios = blessed or flourishing.
• We are blessed when our inner character becomes Christ-like.
• We are blessed when our outer world is aligned with our inner character – integrity.
• We are blessed when our relationships are working well.
• We are blessed when we “trust and obey” and put into practice the will of Jesus.
FIVE: Finishing Well
• James wants us to focus on the will of God and not personal successful finances.
• James wants us to receive the crown of life (1:12).
• James wants us to reap a harvest of righteousness by the way we live (3:18).
• And some of the last words are about turning back a wayward Christian (5:19-20)
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