The Book of James: Chapter 1
Alright, so before we get started, I want to give you some background on the book of James so that we have some context. The book of James is believed to have been written somewhere between AD 62 – AD 69, which makes it one of, if not the earliest book written in the New Testament. The author is traditionally believed to be James, the brother of Jesus. The book is a letter which was originally intended for Jewish Christians who were located in the general vicinity of Palestine. James wrote this letter to show those Jewish Christians the real-life applicable ways that Christians could live their faith and to encourage them to mature in their faith rather than staying in their infancy. So, let’s get onto the Scripture!
The part of this chapter that I really want us to focus on is verses 19-27. The reason that I want us to focus on this is because it genuinely speaks into what is known as Church Culture in America. In the past 50-75 years in America being a Christian has been socially acceptable. This isn’t a bad thing. But there are bad things that come with it. For example, people would come to church because it is “what you are supposed to do” rather than to worship or be discipled. Because of that there has been a watering down of our faith. We can see the effects of that “watering down” today! It can be seen in the hypocrisy of many people who claim to be Christians but have no actual faith!
This passage speaks directly into that mindset. James goes so far as to insinuate that this mindset is madness and their “religion” is worthless. The truth is that the Christian faith is an all-in sort of deal. We don’t get to pick and choose what we are comfortable with. The relationship with Jesus flows outward from our soul and directly affects our actions and who we are. So, here is what I want you to ask yourself. Have you bought into the watering down of our faith? Have we allowed ourselves to be comfortable, take it easy, and ultimately allowed ourselves to be deceived that this faith is something that it isn’t? Be honest with yourselves, and if you find yourself in that category it is time for us to wake up and jump all in rather than dipping our toes. The book of James is full of hard-hitting thoughts like this one, we need to be prepared over the next few weeks to evaluate ourselves and let God bring some things to light. As always, we are praying for you and we love you.
Pastor Alex Gebert Crossroads Wesleyan Church