James 2:1-26 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Rich in Faith
Comments for Study 1

James 2:1-26
Memory Verse: 5

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I. Favoritism Forbidden (3:1-13)

>1. Who is addressed in verse 1?

* James 2:1 "My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."

* "as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ"

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>Why does he call them his brothers and what does this tell us about the point that follow?

* "My brothers"

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>What is the point he is making?

* "don't show favoritism"

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>2. What kind of meeting is he referring to?

* James 2:2 "Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in."

* "Suppose a man comes into your meeting"

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>What two types of men are portrayed?

* "wearing a gold ring and fine clothes"

* "a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in"

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>What do you think and feel like when you see people you don't recognize and/or are different than you in your meeting place?

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>3. How and why is verse 3 a typical reaction from fallen mankind?

* James 2:3 "If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet,"

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>Why is this way of thinking wrong? (4; John 7:24)

* James 2:4 "have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?"

* John 7:24 "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."

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>What evil thought might spring forth from seeing a rich man walk into a meeting?

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>4. What is true about many who have come to be true believers in Jesus? (5)

* James 2:5 "Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"

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>Who is it who chooses people to be rich in faith?

* "Has not God chosen"

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>Why are the facts in verses 6 and 7 true even to this day?

* James 2:6-7 "But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?"

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>5. What is the royal law?

* James 2:8 "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right."

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>What truth about the law is found in verses 9 and 10?

* James 2:9-10 "But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

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>What impact should this truth have? (11)

* James 2:11 "For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker."

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>6. What kind of judgement will true believers in Jesus be subjected to? (12-13; Romans 14:11-12; and 1 Cor. 3:11-15; and 2 Cor. 5:9-10)

* James 2:12-13 "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!"

* Romans 14:11-12 "It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

* 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

* 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 "So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

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II. Faith and Deeds (3:14-26)

>7. What truth does verse 17 state?

* James 2:14 "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?"

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>What illustration is given to prove it? (15-17)

* James 2:15-17 "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

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>8. What truth does verse 18 state?

* James 2:18 "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."

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>What illustration is given to prove it? (19)

* James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder."

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>9. When did the event in verses 20-22 take place in Abraham's life? (Gen. 22:1-2)

* James 2:20-22 "You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

* Genesis 22:1-2 "Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied. Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.'"

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>Was Abraham considered righteous before or after this event? (Gen. 15:6)

* James 2:23 "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called God's friend."

* Genesis 15:6 "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness."

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>What then does James prove here about true faith? (24)

* James 2:24 "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

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>10. What did Rahab do because she believed in the Lord? (25; Heb. 11:31)

* James 2:25 "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?"

* Hebrews 11:31 "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient."

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>What did she believe, when did she believe it, and what opportunity did she take because she believed? (Jos. 2:8-13)

* Joshua 2:8-13 "Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death."

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>What can we learn about faith from her? (26)

* James 2:26 "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

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