A Synopsis Of The Book Of James
by Rev. Chakiris M. Moss, Ph.D.
Presented by Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies

The Book of James gives instruction on how we should govern ourselves in the areas of trials and temptations, listening, doing, speaking, wisdom, boasting, patience, and faith. As we briefly examine these areas, God reveals His infinite wisdom. The book of James is a powerful tool of edification, correction, and justification.

James talks about trials that we face everyday. As Christians we should consider it a joy when we are going through trials and tribulations. The trials are simply a testing of our faith that God wants to perfect in us. James 1:3 NIV states "because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance". Perseverance or endurance is what successfully brings us through the trials and tribulations. We often times give up just before our break through, or our blessing. We begin to doubt that God will truly deliver us or bring us through the trial. Then we fall short. When we doubt we are like the sea, unsteady in all of our ways. We cannot accomplish our goals if we are not consistent and willing to persevere. When we are going through trials, temptations may come as a detour.

We must realize that God tests us, but he doesn't tempt us. James 1:13 NIV states "When tempted, no one should say 'God is tempting me'. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone". When we give in to temptation, we give into our fleshly nature. We give in to our selfish desires. It is important to know without a doubt that God can and will deliver us and bless us if we are stong in faith and persevere.

James says that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Not many of us conform to this. Speaking first then listening second is the worldly thing to do. Many of us believe that what we say carries so much weight. Unfortunately, people equate their importance by what they say, and often times fail to listen to their spouse, family, children, etc. James prompts us to listen to the Word of God and not only listen but also heed to His word. This is, to do His word. Our actions speak louder than our words. People will hear what you say, but evaluate you on what you do. We must do His word. Faith without works is dead. You must put action behind the faith in order to bring forth the manifestation of the blessing you asked God for. And God gives us the wisdom to accompany our faith.

James 3:13-16 NIV gives us a look at two types of wisdom. We ask God for wisdom to make right decisions. It is important to know what wisdom comes from God. Wisdom that is accomplished by envy and selfish ambition is not from God. In other words, if you gain knowledge of how to make money, but use it for your own wealth, pleasure, and gain; that wisdom is not from God. James 3:17 NIV states "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere".

James concludes the book with direction on prayer. Prayer is our direct connection to God. We can take our confessions, supplications, and requests directly to God, and He is just to honor them. We should pray in faith without wavering. James 5:16 NIV "... The prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective". James points out that Elijah was a man just like us and his prayers were answered because of his faith that God would honor his prayers. We have the same prayer ability. God wants to answer our prayers if we are faithful and obedient to His word.

copyright 2000 Rev. Chakiris M. Moss, Ph.D.
Used by permission.