Valley Bible Church's Sermon Notes on The Epistle of James


The Epistle of James (1998 - 2000)


I. Introduction to James (1:1)

A. The Author

a. Possible authors

b. James, the brother of Jesus

B. The Setting


II. The Tests of a Living Faith (1:2-5:18)

A. The Response to Trials Test (1:2-12)

1. Perseverence (1:2-12)

2. A Joyous Attitude (1:2)

3. An Understanding Mind (1:3-4)

a. The fruit of endurance

b. The fruit of adversity

4. A Strategic and Sincere Prayer Life (1:5-8)

5. A Heart Set on Things Above (1:9-12)

B. The Response to Trials Test (1:13-18)

1. The nature of evil and man (1:13-14)

2. The nature of lust (1:15-16)

3. The nature of God (1:17)

4. The nature of regeneration (1:18)

a. The cause of regeneration

b. The means and purpose of regeneration

C. The Respone to the Word of God Test (1:19-27)

1. A Proper Reception (1:19-21)

a. A submissive heart (1:19-20)

1) Quick to hear

2) Slow to speak

3) Slow to anger

b. A pure heart (1:21)

2. An Active Obedience (1:22)

a. The demand for active obedience (1:22-25)

1) The hearer and the doer

2) Speech that needs to be abandoned

a) Blasphemous, filthy, lying speech

b) Complaining, boastful speech

c) Angry, careless speech

3) Speech that needs to be adopted

a) Adoration, appreciation speech

b) Confessing speech

c) Conciliatory speech

d) Thankful Speech

(1) Direct thankful speech

(2) Indirect thankful speech

e) Supplication speech

f) Saving speech

b. The illustrations of active obedience (1:26-27)

1) Genuine concern for the welfare of others

2) Separation from the world

D. The Partiality Test (2:1-13)

1. The Principle of Partiality (2:1)

2. The Example of Partiality (2:2-4)

3. The Inconsistentcy of Partiality (2:5-7)

a. The inconsistency with God’s choice of the poor

b. The inconsistency with the conduct of the rich

4. The Violation in Partiality (2:8-11)

5. The Appeal Against Partiality (2:12-13)

E. The Works Test (2:14-26)

1. Descriptions of deaf faith (2:14-20)

a. Empty confession

b. False compassion

c. Shallow conviction

2. Illustrations of living faith (2:21-26)

F. The Tongue Test (3:1-18)

1. The potential to bring judgment (3:1)

2. The potential to affect our entire life (3:2-4)

3. The potential to bring destruction (3:5-6)

a. What an evil report is

b. How to avoid passing an evil report

1) Things to consider before we speak

a) Things to consider about ourselves

b) Things to consider about what we say

2) Things to consider when we speak

4. The potential to become unruly (3:7-8)

5. The potential to be inconsistent (3:9-11)

G. The Wisdom Test (3:13-18)

1. The challenge to wisdom (3:13)

2. False wisdom

a. The motivation of false wisdom (3:14)

b. The characteristics of false wisdom (3:15-16)

3. The wisdom from above (3:17-18)

a. The motivation of the wisdom from above

b. The characteristics of the wisdom from above

1) Peaceable and gentile

2) Reasonable

3) Full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy, the results of the wisdom from above

H. The Friendship With The World Test (4:1-12)

1. Selfish Strife (4:1-12)

a. Turmoil in our relationship with others (4:1a)

b. Turmoil in our relationship with ourselves (4:1b-3)

1) The cause of turmoil with ourselves

a) Uncontrolled desire

b) Unfulfilled desire

c) Selfish desire

2) The solution to turmoil in our relationship with ourselves

a) Faith in God

b) Abiding in Christ

c) Praying in Christ’s name

c. Turmoil in our relationship with the Lord (4:4-6)

1) The cause of turmoil in our relationship with the Lord

a) Hostility toward God

b) Disregard for the Scripture

c) A proud spirit

2) The solution to turmoil in our relationship with the Lord

a) Humility (4:7-10)

b) Drawing near to God(4:8)

c) Avoiding destructive words (4:11-12)

2. Presumptious planning (4:13-17)

3. Impatient spirit (5:1-11)

a. The actions of the ungodly rich (5:1-6)

1) Indictment for hoarding

2) Indictment for fraud, self-indulgence and murder

b. The encouragement for the godly (5:7-11)

1) Be patient and positive (5:7-9)

2) Persevere (5:10-11)

4. Lying speech (5:12)

I. The Prayer Test (5:13-18)

1. Prayer for ourselves (5:13)

a. Comfort

b. Spiritual life and growth

2. Prayer for others (5:14-18)

a. The prayer of the elders (5:14-15)

1) The problem

2) Expectations

3) Miracles

b. The prayer of the congregation (5:16-18)

1) What we are to do

2) What we can count on


III. The Conclusion of James (5:19-20)

A. The role of caring Christians

B. The restoration of professing believers

C. Applying the test of faith properly

D. Once saved, always saved