The Book Of James

In Outline Study Format

James: an Introduction

I. The book Is one of the most ignomatic for believers.

A. James 2:14-26 – This passage on cursory examination (vv. 23 & 24) clearly teaches works for righteousness.
B. James
2:20- This verse is often used by many to promote the philosophy that believers can lose their salvation.

II. James is without question a Hebrew book.

  • A. The author is Hebrew and maintains a Hebrew orientation throughout this epistle.
    He was one of the James boys. There are two men identified by this name in the new testament.  

    i. James the son of Zebedee and brother to John.
    a. Mt. 10:2 – Noted as among the Twelve.
    b. Mt. 17:1; Mk. 5:35-37;
    14:32-34 – In the inner circle.
    c. Acts 12:’1-2 – He was killed by Herod in great persecution against the Church @
    d. Not the author of the epistle James.

ii. James the son of Alpheaus and brother Joses.
a. Mt. 10:3 – Notes also as among the Twelve.
b. Mk.
15:40- Related to the Lord Jesus Christ (probably a cousin) but definitely the son of Alpheaus and                        Mary (Mary’s sister). This can be confusing. The wife of Alphaeus (also called Cleophas) and sister to                        Mary. (contrast Jn. 19:25 & Mt. 27:56 with Mk. 15:40 to ascertain the relationships). Also referred to                        as “the other Mary; Mt. 27:61; 28:1 (other than her sister the virgin).
c. Acts 12:17; 15:13 & 19 – In prominence in the Jerusalem church.

  • B. The epistle is addressed to the Jews of the dispersion (James 1:1)
    1. Acts 8:1 – A great persecution was launched against the Hebrew church at Jerusalem (about the time that         James, the brother of John, killed; cf. Acts 12:1).
    2. Acts 11:19 – These believers scattered maintained their Hebrew orientation and kingdom hope.
  • C. The book maintains the context of law keeping in the practical walk of the believer.
    1. James 2:7-10; 4:11 – By way of example.
    2. Acts 21:18-24 – This was the mind set of James.
    3. Gal. 2:1-19 – The bone of contention that clearly denotes the differences in the kingdom and grace         dispensations; and the differences between the Twelve and Paul.

James: Lesson 1

I. The context of James is that of the tribulation – James 1:2-3, 12.

II. All nine Hebrew epistles are written in the same context.

A. Remember the persecution that began in Jerusalem – Acts 8:1; 11:19; 12:1.
B. Caused the Hebrew believers to be scattered leaving enclave churches throughout the region – Acts 11:19.
C. Many were being killed in the tribulation (like James, son of Zebedee, Acts 12:1).

1. Acts 161:6 – Forbidden of the Holy Spirit to go to Asia.
2. Rev. 1:1-3 – Revelation written in the context of imminent tribulation.
3. Dan. 9:24-27 – Remember the prophetic timetable.
4. Dan. 12:4 – Daniel told to seal the book until the time of the end.
5. Rev. 22:10 – John told not to seal the book.
6. Both Daniel and Revelation speak to the same events.

i. Rev. 2:8-11 – Look at what was going on in Asia.
ii. Rev. 2:18-27 – Same context.
iii. Rev. 3:1-6 – In the context of the 2nd Coming.
iv. Tribulation is promised/endurance needed – Mt. 24:13, 21.
v. Mt. 24:22; Rev. 3:11 – Except the days be shortened (Rev.12:6, 14).
vi. Heb. 10:26-39 – The hard reality of the tribulation.
vii. Heb. 12:15-17 – Don’t do like Esau.
viii. James 5:7-11 – Same context.

D. Must be put in dispensational perspective.

1. Acts 2:15-21 – Peter’s proclamation of the impending tribulation.
2. Joel 2:28-32 – Joel’s prophecy.
3. Acts 3:19-23 – Repent or be destroyed.
4. 2 Pet. 3:1-18 – What Peter understood from Paul.
5. Rom. 11:7-32 – Paul’s commentary on the subject.

James: Lesson Two

I. Temptation is to be a joyful experience.

A. Two types of temptation.

1. Solicitation to evil (not something to produce joy but rather flee).

i. 1 Cor 6:18 – flee fornication.
ii. 1 Cor 10:14 – flee idolatry.
iii. 1 Tm 6:10-11 – Flee these things.
iv. 2 Tm 2:22 – flee youthful lusts (ex. Joseph; Gen 39:12).

2. Testing by trial (evident by the context; James 1:3, 12).

II. James follows the prophetical theme of patience in tribulation.

A. Rev. 1:9; 2:2-3; 3:10 – patience in the context of the Tribulation.
B. Rev. 14:9-13 – patience as it relates to the mark of the beast (cf. Heb 10:30-39).
C. James 5:7-9 – written in the same context.

1. James 5:10 – the historical type of the prophets (cf. Acts 7:51-52; Jer. 20:7-18)

2. James 5:11 – the historical type of Job (cf. Job 1:13-22; 42:7-12)

III. The promise of reward – James 1:12 (cf. 1Pt 4:12-5:4)

James: Lesson Three


We will continue to develop the Tribulation theme of this book in the prophetical context.

I. Patience and wisdom in the light of the tribulation. All that are unsaved shall worship the beast. All that refuse the mark will be killed.

A. Rev. 14:9-13 – enduring under the beast.

B. Rev. 13:4-10 – 3 112 years.

C. Dan. 7:20-28 – the beast will “wear out the saints.” (3 1/2 years)

D. Dan. 9:26-27 – the time table.

II. Only the remnant preserved by God in the wilderness will escape the wrath of the beast and death by his hand.

A. Mt. 24:22 – “except the days be shortened.”

B. Rev. 12:12-17 – nourished for 3 112 years.

C. Rev. 13:11-18 – all killed who do not worship the beast.

III. The wisdom of God – James 1:5

A. 1 Jn. 2:18-28 – the unction of the Holy Spirit.

James: Lesson Four

We have established the prophetic context of James’ letter; now it is time to begin to look at application.

I. Tribulation is more than the wrath of God on unbelievers: it is the refining fire of God’s elect. – James 1:2-4

A. 1 Pet. 1:3-8 – the refined believer brings glory to God.

II. Special enablement through the Spirit of God for those in tribulation – James 1:5

A. 1Pt. 4:12-14 – The Spirit of God resting upon faithful saints.

B. 1Jn. 2:18-28 – The unction – {Strongs} 5545. chrisma, khris’-mah; from G5548; an unguent or smearing, i.e. (fig.) the spec. endowment {“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit:–anointing, unction.

1. The example of the Lord Jesus Christ.
i. Luke 4:18 – anointed by the Spirit for the purpose of service.
ii. Acts 10:38 – anointed with the Spirit and power.

III. The Importance of faith in tribulation – James 1:6

A. Heb. 3:7 – 4:11 – Faith promotes endurance until the time of rest.
B. Heb. 10:22 – 25 – The importance of faith in the light of judgment.

IV. The result of unbelief – James 1:7


A. Heb. 10:26-27 – The promise of judgment.
B. Heb. 10:28-36 – The loss of reward.
C. Heb. 10:38 – Perdition. 1. Heb. 12: 15-17; 6:4-11

V. The reward of faithfulness – James 1:12

A. Heb. 11:32-40 – being made perfect.

James: Lesson Five

We are no proceeding through the epistle examining each verse in the context of the Tribulation. While there may be some practical application to be extrapolated, the primary sense must be weighed in the prophetic (kingdom) context in which the letter is written.

  • I. There is no class advantage! – James 1:9-10 A. Mt 6:19-24 – trust in riches is self-defeating.
    B. Mt. 19:23-24 – riches are a hindrance to spirituality.
    C. Rev 13:16-17 – equality under the beast.
  • II. Don’t blame God for your lack of will – James 1: 13-16 A. Mt 15:10-20 – man is defiled by nature.
    B. Jn 6:27-29 – man’s ultimate responsibility before God.
    C. Ro 10:16-21 – God’s provision for man’s faith.
    D. Heb 12:15-17 – the result of rejecting God’s provision.
  • III. Acknowledge the power of the Word of God – James 1:17-25 A. 1Pt 1 – the Word the means to the end.
    B. Mark 7:1-13 – making the word of none effect through tradition.
    C. Luke 4:4 – not recognizing the well of life.
    D. Luke 8:11-15 – the parable of the seed.E. Luke 11:24-28 – blessed are those that keep the word.F. Heb 4:1-16 – quick and powerful.

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