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Dave Burnette's Commentary

James Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: James
Date Penned: (49 AD)
Overview: James' Concern for the Persecuted Christians (c 1-5)
Theme: General Religion (c 1)
Message: Enduring Trials and Temptations (v 1-27)

James 1 Commentary

(1:1) Greetings from James - How often do we open a letter without checking to see who sent it? Ancient letter writers signed their names right at the beginning, so readers immediately knew the source. Modern readers of the New Testament, however, frequently skip over the address. It strikes us as unimportant. Our oversight is a mistake. The first verses of New Testament books often tell us the writer’s identity and how the writers perceived their roles. In James’s case, these helpful insights prepare us for the entire letter. We treat letters with more respect when we understand who sent them and why.

(1:2-18) Enduring Trials and Temptations -  James wrote to believers facing difficult times. Their troubles ranged from personal trials to disabling doubts; from persecution for following Christ to the lure of respectability in their community and the dangers of spiritual pride. James wrote to encourage his brothers and sisters in their faith.James’s approach illustrates the variety of forms that encouragement can take. At times, James confronts. In other places, he gently encourages. He uses hyperbole (extreme illustration) in a way that reminds us of his half brother, Jesus. Sparks and forest fires, rudders and large ships create mental pictures like Jesus created with his needles and camels. James begins his letter looking directly at trials and daring to spur his fellow believers with a challenge: “Meet the very worst that life presents you with joy.”

(1:19-27) Listening and Doing - James has spoken of the new birth; he now explains that this new birth should reveal itself in the way we act. He has also connected the new birth with its source, God’s word. The ongoing importance of that word will be the subject of the next paragraph. The word that brings us life also guides us in living the life it has brought to us. From the grand scope of God’s eternal plan and the unique place of believers in creation, James turns to the painful and practical essentials of living as God’s “own children.”

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of James with Chapter 1 and in our text we see James giving us practical instruction on Genuine Religion as he explains how we should endure trials and temptations as we not only listen but do what the Bible Instructs with a goal of wisdom. In making application we see that a relationship with the Lord is the key to a successful Christian Life. How about you? Do you see how you need a relationship with the Lord? Let us learn from our text today and the Words of James who gives us great instruction for us to seek a relationship with the Lord as we can ask the Lord for wisdom as he giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.


James 1

James 1

 1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

 2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 9Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

 10But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

 11For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

 12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

 13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

 16Do not err, my beloved brethren.

 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

 19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

 20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.