My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials… So begins the book of James, and this week Ryan opens our new A Faith that Works series with a message on why James opens his epistle with what appears to a major bummer.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. Thanks much, James, but that’s a lot easier said than done. This week, Pastor Ryan unpacks this passage with some practical advice on how to live out this command, and explores the growing chasm between hearing and doing in the Christian life.
My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. From James 2, some challenging words about favoritism and prejudice, and the Royal Law that shows us how to rise above them.
Today, Ryan teaches on one of the most hotly debated passages in the New Testament, James 2:14: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? Surely James cannot be saying that we are not saved by faith alone … so what is James saying? And what does it have to do with a certain cormorant on the Galapagos Islands?
And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence… okay, James, but how do you really feel? Today, from chapter 3 of James’ epistle, the story of how much trouble our tongues can get us into, and why.
Who is wise and understanding among you? James’ rhetorical question in Chapter 3 opens a set of verses that help us distinguish true wisdom from counterfeit.
Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? – James 4. In the book of John, Jesus asks John: What do you want? This question is remarkably insightful – because we are what we want. Not what we think or believe or do – what we want. Pastor Ryan explains.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? - James 4. Today, Scott walks us through James’ harsh words for wealthy oppressors, and shows us what it means to honor God with our wealth and our plans.
Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. Ryan closes our series on James with a message drawn from the last verses of Chapter 5, wherein James shows us how to have patience in suffering through prayer.