Wednesday, February 19, 2014

James 2

James continued...
In response, James makes it clear who the true Patron of every believer is, "Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (1:16-17). It is difficult to rely on God, who is unseen, when someone is seen right in front of you.

This idea, that God is the one on whom we should rely, arguably stands in the background of the whole book of James. It is there in James 2, when James tells Christians not to show favoritism to the rich and warns them that faith without deeds is about as useful as the faith of demons. In James 3, James tells Christians to rely on the wisdom from above, which will keep them from using their tongue to curse others. In James 4, he warns them about friendship with the world and scolds those who think they can rely on their own plans or earthly riches. He ends his word with encouragement to wait on the Lord, to have faith in prayer, and to help those who have strayed to return.

James thus draws a sharp distinction between the world and reliance on the world and reliance on God. Wealth, greed, selfish ambition, living for pleasure, envy--these are worldly attitudes that lead to fighting and division. By contrast, Christians should be "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (Jas. 1:19). They should submit to God as the one who is the only true Judge and Lawgiver (4:12).
This is feeling very dry and boring to me. Feels like a bad start... may need to start over.

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