by Jerry Vines

James 1:2-4, 12
Jerry Vines

We learn from the first verse of James that this is a letter written by James, the
brother of our Lord, to Jewish Christians who are scattered abroad in various areas of the
world. The theme of the book of James is Behave Yourself. He is talking about
practical, down-to-earth matters in the Christian life.
Keep in mind that James was a preacher before he was a writer. I’ve had the
opportunity to write some books along the way. In fact, I’ve just completed one on the
Charismatic Movement and God willing it will be ready for publication May 1. But I
was 37 yeas old when I wrote my first book and I had been preaching for 21 years. I
started off as a preacher before I was a writer and many of my writings reflect the
preaching style and the way a preacher would go about it.
That is exactly what you find when you read the book of James. As you read
what he put down in writing you can see the preacher coming out over and over again.
James is really kind of like one of the Old Testament prophets. As you read you will see
that he uses vivid and graphic word pictures. He draws pictures for us. You can see what
James is talking about as he illustrates the various truths that he discusses.
You will also find that like a preacher or prophet, he is very direct. In fact,
sometimes he is blunt in his statements. Notice also that he speaks directly from his
heart. Everything he has to say he says it with a heart that is filled with love for the
brothers and the sisters in the Lord. He calls them in verse 2, my brethren. We would
say today “My brothers and sisters.” On another occasion he says, my beloved brethren.
So, he is a preacher who deals with very important and crucial matters. He does it
in a direct way, but he does it from a heart that is filled with love for those to whom he
writes and with the great desire that they become everything that ...

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