In our current study, we return to the New Testament to study the Book of James, which was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus and was probably one of the first books ever written in the New Testament, sometime around 45 to 62AD.
From the first to the last verse of the Book of James, God gives us one of the most practical pictures of the Christian faith in all the Bible. Written to a people who were scattered and suffering, James envisions communities of faith caring, providing, and praying for one another as they show what the life of Christ looks like in action. Possibly more than any other New Testament book, this letter from James lifts our lives far above the superficial religious formalities we are so prone to settle for and sets our sights on active, authentic faith that makes a radical difference in the needs of the world around us. True faith produces fruit. A faith without action and without life change is ultimately a dead faith. The book of James speaks to the realities of a living faith in Jesus - the kind of roll-up-your-sleeves and get-your-hands-dirty discipleship that is borne out of an authentic relationship with the risen Lord. James writes to believers who know suffering, who've faced trials, and who ultimately desire a deep relationship with God.
The theme we will see throughout this book is, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” as stated in James 2:17