by Dave Gustavsen

This content is part of a series.

Defiant Joy (1 of 6)
Series: The Book of James - Faith Does
Dave Gustavsen
James 1:1-18

We are beginning a brand new series today, and as we normally do at the Chapel, we're going to be working through a book of the Bible. You know, sometimes people refer to the Bible as a ''book,'' but in reality, the Bible is a collection of 66 ''mini-books.'' So the first part is the Hebrew, or Jewish Scriptures, which we call the Old Testament, written between about 1400BC and 400BC…and that has 39 books. The second part is the Christian Scriptures, which we call the New Testament; it starts with the birth of Jesus, around the year 0, right? And the New Testament has 27 books.

And everyone knows that the Bible has been abused and misinterpreted in all kinds of ways, but when it's understood in its original historical context, it's a message that is timeless. It's as powerful today as when it was first written. So because we believe that, we think the best way to teach it is the same way it was given to us-not just rummaging around the Bible and finding random verses to support my agenda, but actually letting the Bible form our agenda. So at the Chapel, our bread and butter is to work through books of the Bible, verse by verse. And it's called ''Expository Preaching'' because you're exposing the original meaning. And we feel like that gives the message integrity and really gives it power. Does that make sense?

So…today we're beginning a series in a very unique book of the New Testament, the book of James. Actually it's a letter that James wrote to a group of Christians in the early 40s AD. And it's unique because it was actually written by the brother of Jesus. So this is not James, one of the twelve disciples. This is James the little brother of Jesus. Can you imagine trying to live up to that big brother? Why can't you be more like your brother? Mom, cause I'm not the Son of God. Must have been rough.

But actually, as you read the Gospels, you find out that ...

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