April 2, 2017 James 1: 1 God SENDS US TO SERVE
Key Verse in Multiple Translations:
James .1:1 1James, a Servanta of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion”
NIV — James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
NLT— This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”–Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!
ESV — James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
BSB — James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
NAS — James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
KJV — James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Message map: James .1:1 god SENDS US TO SERVE
- who is the James who authored James
- “Crushing the Controversy” by showing the Unity of relationship between a) James & Christ and b) Paul & Christ and c) James & Paul
- James Gives Direction To The “Dispersion”
- we too are god’s dispersion of deliberately sent saints submitted to serve
There are 3 James in the New Testament:
- James “the elder,” the son of Zebedee, and brother of John; (Mark 1:19 – an early disciple of Christ, and AKA one of “The Sons of thunder” in Mark 3:17. He was slain by Herod in Acts 12:1-2 1About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2He killed James the brother of John with the sword,)
- James “the less, (younger)“ son of Alphaeus or Cleophas; (Matt 10: 3, Mk 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13)
- James the “Lord’s brother,(half-brother)“ with whom, in Galatians 1:19, Paul says he consulted in Jerusalem when he returned from Arabia, where he spent approximately 3 years incubating as a disciple preparing to exercise his apostleship.
James, Jesus’ half-brother, is an apostle with whom Paul consulted, along with Peter regarding His Apostleship.
Galatians 1: 15 – 19 says Jesus half-brother, James, is an APOSTLE.
Paul speaks in Galatians 1: 15 – 19 15But when he who had set me apart before I was born,d and who called me by his grace, 16was pleased to reveal his Son toe me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;f 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
An apostle is one who physically saw Jesus and knew Him personally. Christ revealed Himself to Paul after the resurrection, and apparently Paul went to see James, the Lord’s half-brother, because he too became an Apostle after Christ revealed Himself to him after the resurrection.
Specially applied to the twelve disciples whom Christ selected, out of the multitude of his adherents, to be his constant companions and the heralds to proclaim to men the kingdom of God: Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:26; Revelation 21:14, and often, but nowhere in the Gospel and Epistles of John; (“the word ἀπόστολος occurs 79 times in the N. T., and of these 68 instances are in St. Luke and St. Paul.” Lightfoot).
With these apostles Paul claimed equality, because through a heavenly intervention he had been appointed by the ascended Christ himself to preach the gospel among the Gentiles, and owed his knowledge of the way of salvation not to man’s instruction but to direct revelation from Christ himself, and moreover had evinced his apostolic qualifications by many signal proofs:
Crushing The Controversy
Errant scholars say James goal was a refutation of Paul’s ministry of Salvation by Grace. We know this is False because
- Paul’s first book was 1 Thessalonians, written AD 52-56. James is the first New Testament book, written in AD 45-50 (James was written 2-7 years before Paul’s 1st Epistle of 1 Thes.)
- The theme of James is “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2: 18-20).
- 1 Thess. begins with 2We give thanks to God … 3remembering … your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Thess. 1: 2-3)
- Both James and 1 Thess. explain faith produces Godly activity called works/labor.
- All the above.
This James is Jesus’ half-brother, who was a Post Resurrection Believer & Leader of the Religious Movement that bears his older brother’s name: Christianity
Because the Gospels in Matthew 13: 51-58, Matthew 12: 47, Mark 3:32 and Luke 8:20, show that James was not a follower of Christ. We ascertain, therefore, that James became a believer after the Resurrection when Christ appeared from the dead.
In Acts 15, James presides over the Council at Jerusalem and appears to be the chief pastor or bishop of the Christian Church which determined that Gentile converts do not have to adhere to any of the Old Covenant system of activities that tutored us to understand that we need to be saved by faith in the work of the Cross by virtue of God’s grace. (Gal 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.)
James’ Jurisdiction In Acts 15
- Acts 15: 1-5 – Controversy over Circumcision
- Acts 15: 6-11 – Peter: “The Gentiles are saved by grace.
- Acts 15: 12 – Barnabas & Paul relate the signs and wonders God had done through them confirming His validation of ministry to the Gentiles.
- Acts 15: 13-21 – James’ judges that no burden will be laid upon the Gentiles except they be saved by grace and they are to keep the 10 Commandments.
- Acts 15: 22-29 – The Council writes a letter under James’ direction.
- Acts 15: 30-35 – Judas & Silas spread this letter as well as & Paul and Barnabas who continue teaching the churches.
James’ Redeemed relationship with Christ
1James calls himself a “servant” of God and of the lord Jesus Christ, because
- he is claiming rights as Christ’s brother
- every child of Mary was specially anointed by God
- he no longer knew Christ as his flesh and blood human brother
- he knew the Apostle Paul
2 Cor. 5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
On Sundays, we are the Church gathered. On Mondays - Saturdays, we are the Church scattered. Click To Tweet
James too is not regarding Christ as his flesh half-brother, but as his own personal Lord and Savior.
In John 19: 25-27 we don’t see James at the Cross, with his mother. We instead see the Mary is sent home with the Apostle John:
Jude also is a half-brother to Jesus Christ, presumably converted after Christ’s death. Jude 1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.
James submits to serve 1James, a servanta of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
A slave / bond servant is one who is so submitted and committed to God, they willingly live under Christ’s authority as His devoted followers.
Do you know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? This requires knowing the Resurrected Christ as The Risen Lord, – not just the Christ
In Luke 6:46 Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord, and do not do what i say?”
Jesus knows His disciples will face persecution, and He calls us to move forward in the blessings of obedience. Check out Stephen’s Glorious Last Stand in Acts 6: 8And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” …15And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
As Stephen was dying, Acts 7:55 records – 55But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
James gives direction to the dispersion
The letter is “To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion The Hebrew believers were probably from every tribe and in Acts 8:1 began being persecuted following the stoning of Stephen, and had been dispersed and scattered, and had relocated throughout the ancient Roman Empire, and were spreading the Gospel of Christ wherever they went.
Mk 4:17 tells us “tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word.”
Acts 8:1 And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
The book of James is called a “General Epistle as it was meant to be copied and distributed to all the Christian-churches at a time when probably more than 90% of the church consisted of Hebrew people.
Though dispersed, God reached out to them by inspiring The Bible to be written and sent to them. In John 14:8 Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Matt 28:20 And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The threefold theme of James:
- That salvation is of faith in Christ
- Saving faith produces works of faith
- Faith without appropriate behaviors called “works” is dead!
James 1:22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.
James 2:20 faith without works is dead/useless.
James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
James 2:22 …faith was completed by his (Abraham’s) works; (This means where there is no faith there is no works – no expectation of God doing a resurrection miracle – as Abe expected God to resurrect Isaac!
Matt 9: 29 “According to your faith be it done to you.” See also Matt 15:28 “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
So today what area of our lives do we know we are falling short, and need to ask God, “Fan My Faith in this particular area? Breath life into this dry and useless area of my life – less the death and decrepit – worn out and ruined phenomenon creep into other areas of our lives.
So we ask God to transform us through the power of His Holy Spirit, so our works / behaviors in all matters become demonstrations of the faith that is in our hearts.
We too are god’s dispersion of scattered saints submitted to serve
On Sundays, we are the Church gathered. On Mondays – Saturdays, we are the Church scattered.
Regardless of our circumstances, God challenges His church with the threefold message of James.
- Hold on to your Salvation of faith in Christ
- Saving Faith empowers us per James 1:22 to “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving” (The deceived are powerless Christians whom aren’t even living under the convicting unction of the Holy Spirit, and they don’t even know it. Thus in Luke 18: 11-14 the self-justified Pharisee who thanked God he wasn’t like other sinners, was not justified in God’s sight.)
- James 1:12 Faith that produces appropriate behaviors called “works” is life! 12Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
When we are submitted, though challenged and scattered, we still commendably serve God by living faith that produces works.
To view the recorded message, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vBdgkdPvZs