Chapter 1 of the Book of James
As you read the first chapter of James keep the following questions in mind. You may even wish to write the questions down on a separate piece of paper before you begin. Allow yourself several lines between each question. When you have finished reading the chapter devote several minutes to your answers. Click on a question to get our interpretation.
1. Why does James tell us that we should "count it a joy" to be tempted?
2. Why is faith important?
3. From where does temptation come?
4. James cautions us to be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath". Why are these good qualities in a Christian?
5. "Be doers of the word, not hearers only," says James. Are good acts important for Christians? Or are we justified by "our faith alone"?
James Chapter 1
1:1James, a servant of God and of the
Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion:
Greetings. 1:2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, 1:3knowing that the testing of your
faith produces endurance. 1:4Let endurance have its perfect
work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 1:5But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and
it will be given to him. 1:6But let him ask in faith, without
any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the
wind and tossed. 1:7For let that man not think that he
will receive anything from the Lord. 1:8He is a
double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
1:9But let the brother in humble
circumstances glory in his high position; 1:10and the
rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he
will pass away. 1:11For the sun arises with the
scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the
beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in
1:12Blessed is the man who endures
temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of
life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. 1:13Let no man
say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God can't be
tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 1:14But each
one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 1:15Then the lust, when it has
conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth
death. 1:16Don't be deceived, my beloved
brothers. 1:17Every good gift and every perfect
gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can
be no variation, nor turning shadow. 1:18Of his own
will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of
first fruits of his creatures.
1:19So, then, my beloved brothers,
let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; 1:20for the anger of man doesn't
produce the righteousness of God. 1:21Therefore,
putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with
humility the implanted word, which is able to save your
souls. 1:22But be doers of the word, and not
only hearers, deluding your own selves. 1:23For if
anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding
his natural face in a mirror; 1:24for he sees himself, and goes
away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 1:25But he who looks into the perfect
law, the law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets but
a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.
1:26If anyone among you thinks
himself to be religious while he doesn't bridle his tongue, but deceives
his heart, this man's religion is worthless. 1:27Pure
religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the
fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained
by the world.