Thursday: James and Jesus
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

James had the opportunity to observe Jesus when Jesus was a child, a youth, and an adult. Then, at some point James not only believed in Jesus as the Messiah but became a leader of the Christians in Jerusalem. And yet, James calls himself not a brother but a bondservant (James 1:1, NKJV) of Jesus. Clearly, James learned humility and true wisdom. Not surprisingly, these are also important themes of this letter (see James 1:9-11, James 1:21; James 3:13-18; James [...]

01: James, the Lord’s Brother – Hit the Mark
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Image © David Sorensen from GoodSalt.com

I have thought a lot about James over the last week. The discussions about his identity have been interesting. The evidence seems to support the view that James was actually a brother of Jesus, although no one can say with 100% certainty that he was.

As a leader of the early church, James distinguished himself as a man of wisdom. There’s ample proof that he was highly thought of.

Now Peter continued knocking; and when they [...]

Wednesday: To the Twelve Tribes Scattered Abroad
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Read James 1:1; Acts 11:19-21; and 1 Peter 2:9-10. Who are these twelve tribes, and how did they become so widely scattered?

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As we have seen, James wrote to believers. At first, the gospel work was focused in Jerusalem (Luke 24:47); but, as a result of persecution, which intensified after the stoning of Stephen, these believers were scattered, and the seed of the gospel was planted throughout the cities and surrounding regions of the [...]

01: James The Lord’s Brother – Lesson Plan
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gless01-2014d

Key Thought: James, the Lord’s brother, gives us an excellent example of moving from unbelief to faith and action. He was a well-respected leader in the early Christian church.

[Lesson Plan for James the Lord's Brother September 29, 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read John 7:2-5 and Mark 3:21.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What did Jesus’ own family and friends think about Him at this time?
c. Personal Application: [...]

Tuesday: James and the Gospel
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Unfortunately, perhaps because of Luther’s influence, many Christians have been unable to see the important message James’s epistle contains. Without diminishing the contribution Luther made for the church of his day, we must remember that the Reformation did not . . . end with Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history, because grave errors were perpetuated by the Reformers and many important truths were still to be revealed.-Ellen G. White, The Story of Redemption, [...]

Monday: James, the Believer
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read 1 Corinthians 15:5-7 and Acts 1:14. What do they tell us about the changes that happened to James?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Jesus appeared to many after His resurrection, including Peter and the Twelve (minus Judas Iscariot). Then he appeared to over five hundred people at one time. James, apparently, wasn’t at this meeting with the five hundred; Jesus appeared to him separately, and that appearance must have been special, because it is specifically noted. Whatever happened [...]

Sunday: James, the Brother of Jesus
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The author of this letter must have been well known in the church because there is no more specific information in this letter as to who he is other than what we find in James 1:1: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Thus, we can narrow down the options of his identity pretty quickly. Four people in the New Testament are [...]

Sabbath: James, the Lord’s Brother
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Read for This Week’s Study: John 7:2-5; 1 Cor. 15:5-7; James 1:3, James 2:5; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Matt. 7:24-27.

Memory Text: You are My friends if you do whatever I command you (John 15:14, NKJV).

We, today, are a long way from the early days of the Christian church, both time wise and culturally. Thus, we have little idea of what it was like to belong to the fledgling Christian movement at a time when many congregations met [...]

Introduction to the fourth quarter lessons: The Book of James
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“An Epistle of Straw”?

The epistle of James has been one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. In the Leipzig Debate of 1519, Roman Catholic scholar Johann Eck used it to challenge Martin Luther’s view of justification by faith alone, insisting that works needed to be added to the equation.

Luther, in response, eventually denied the epistle’s inspired authorship, mainly on the mistaken claim that it taught justification by works. In the introduction to his 1522 German translation of the [...]

Inside Story: Show Us Your Church
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Ivan and Raveta
Courtesy of GC Office of Adventist Mission

Ivan and Raveta grew up in the traditional church in Macedonia. After their marriage, Raveta continued attending church occasionally, though Ivan didn’t.

Ivan and RavetaCourtesy of GC Office of Adventist Mission

When the Bible became available in the Macedonian language, Raveta bought a copy. But she didn’t read it; she put it on a shelf and forgot it.

Years later Ivan, a lawyer, had a heart attack. While recovering, he asked Raveta for the Bible. I know the laws of our country, [...]