May 16 – James – James 1-2
James was the earthly brother of Jesus. There was no mention of James during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33, and James becomes a leader in the Jerusalem church in A.D. 44. It might have taken Jesus’ resurrection from the dead to convince James that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Once James committed to Christ, he held nothing back. James was eventually stoned to death as a martyr for the cause of Christ.
James focused this epistle on the importance of a Christian’s works. Many times he ties the word faith to the term works (“faith without works is dead”). James was not teaching a works salvation; rather, he was teaching works as a by-product or result of true faith. If we believed that there would be a dangerous intruder trying to enter our home at a certain time on a certain day, we would definitely make preparations for him. Whether we would have authorities waiting in our home to greet him, or making it impossible for him to enter; we would be ready! When you are a Christian and truly believe in God our Creator, Jesus as the Son of God, Heaven as a prepared place for children of God, and Hell as a place of torment; this belief, this faith causes us to act differently. We automatically prepare ourselves and those around us. Jesus Himself said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. Sadly, many people that profess to be a Christian will never enter Heaven.