“Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it” (James 4:11, NIV). How does judging others amount to sitting in judgment of the law?
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The initial phrase in James 4:11 that is literally translated “speak against” could include several sins of speech, including slander, bearing false […]
Read for This Week’s Study: James 4:11-17; Acts 17:11; Heb. 4:15-16; Luke 12:13-21; Eccl. 2:15-19; Titus 2:14.
Memory Text: There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:12).
Our attitude toward law, whether God’s law or human’s, affects how we relate to others and even to how we relate to God Himself. Have you noticed that sometimes the rich and famous act as if they are above the law? […]
Vitaliano hated having a house church next door. He decided that when the songs of the saints floated up to his window, he would turn his radio full volume to rock music. That will teach them, he thought. If I disturb their meetings, they’ll find another place to meet, and I won’t have to deal with them in my neighborhood! He played loud music for several months, but the group continued meeting. No one complained. In fact, the […]
Further Study: There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care because they seek to reach the world’s standard. They have chosen its service, accepted its perplexities, adopted its customs. Thus their character is marred, and their life made a weariness. In order to gratify ambition and worldly desires, they wound the conscience, and bring upon themselves an additional burden of remorse. The continual worry is wearing out the life forces. Our Lord desires them to […]
You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.
After getting this far into the book of James, chances are you might be a bit confused. After all, James seems to contradict nearly everything Paul says in the book of Romans. He consistently talks about “works” whereas Paul was the “champion of grace.” However, how can the Bible contradict itself on such a major theological topic? For example, Paul writes in Romans 3:28 that “a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” However, James […]
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7, NRSV). Notice the order of the commands here. If we try to resist the devil in our own strength, what chance of success do we have? When seven Jewish exorcists tried to get a demon out of a possessed man by using the names of Jesus and Paul as a kind of magic formula, the demon-possessed man so overpowered the exorcists that they ran […]
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10 NASB)
Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com
[thought questions for The Humility of Heavenly Wisdom November 11, 2014]
1. “He will exalt you.” Some struggling Christian might read these words by James and say, “Okay. Small price to pay. I’ll humble myself before the Lord, and he’ll make me important in the church—and elsewhere.” Is that the apostle’s intent when he wrote these words—to provide a lesson on how […]
Read James 4:2-4. Why does James call his readers adulterers and adulteresses? See Jer. 3:6-10, Jer. 3:20; Isa. 54:5; Jer. 2:2; Luke 16:13.
Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com
Alluding to the biblical concept of Israel as God’s bride, James likens believers’ going along with worldly customs and being influenced by worldly attitudes as spiritual adultery. In reality, they are choosing a different master and lord.
The next verse, James 4:5, is not easy to understand. Some have called it the most […]
A Bible student excitedly told me about a movie he saw where someone died and went to heaven where he saw his dead loved ones. When I reminded him about the state of the dead, he told me, “Well maybe they did not actually die. Maybe it was a dream.” He was quite emotional about the movie and told me it had strengthened his faith in God.
What could be wrong with that?
Well, it raises the issue of whether we regard movies as […]
Key Thought : It is the love of self that brings unrest. We need the same mind of Jesus that humbled Himself that we might be saved.
[Lesson Plan for The Humility of Heavenly Wisdom October 17. 2014]
1. Have a volunteer read James 3:13-16.
a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What is the Bible definition of worldly wisdom here? How is Godly wisdom different?
c. Personal Application: How can we […]
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (James 4:1, NKJV; compare Gal. 5:17.) What basic conflict do both of these passages describe?
Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com
The opening verses of James 4 describe believers torn asunder by internal, bitter strife. There is an inward cause of the outward quarrels in the church: the cravings for pleasure (the word in Greek gives us our […]