James is an interesting epistle. Some church leaders have practically rejected it's teachings, most notably is Martin Luther. However, James is a letter that basically says if you say you are a follow of Christ, then your life should show it.
There are only a few men named James mentioned in the Bible. The early Church fathers have affirmed that the human author of this letter is James, the half-brother of Christ. It is interesting to note early in Christ's ministry that His family basically rejected what He was doing. Some time later, however, they were converted to His followers, probably after His death or resurrection.
The first study looked at chapter 1 verses 1-18.
These portions of scripture deal with perseverance, trials, and temptations and the Christians reaction to them. We discussed the fact that even the world can often notice the difference between genuine Christians and those who simply claim to be a christian.
God is not responsible for our temptations. Nor is God responsible for people giving in to sin. The true christian perseveres through trials and temptations. In fact, they are drawn closer to God.
What do you do when faced with a trial or temptation? Are you drawn closer to God or do you give in to the temptation?
Next week will be Chapter 2 in the study guide which covers Chapter 1:19-27 of James.