Jame 1 Main Point: God has brought us forth by the word of truth to be His first fruits giving His Holy Spirit; therefore we can 1) count everything joy despite difficult circumstances, and 2) walk in pure religion loving neighbors and remaining holy in deed and speech free from anger. Ground: 1. God intends us to attain to perfection in His Son through the Holy Spirit (verses 16-18). Inference 1: Count all circumstances along the way to that perfection as joy! (verses 2-15) Actions: -- We participate in His perfecting work by dependently acknowledging that we need help and wisdom. We can ask because God is generous and unswerving in His love. --We also boast in weaknesses, not trusting in riches or circumstances because the riches will fade in time. Further Explanation of the Purpose of Steadfastness: --We can rightly know that steadfastness in trials results in perfection, namely the crown of life, vs. death which results when there is not steadfastness, but compromise in sin. Inference 2: Pure religion is obedience in action serving neighbors and personal holiness. Sub-Ground: Anger does not produce righteousness; therefore, be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Sub-Inference 1 -- replace sin which produces anger / bitterness with the Word of God Sub-Inference 2-- Allow the Word to transform your behavior and your heart (only transformed actions are evidence of true religion)
Main point summary
God has brought us forth by the word of truth to be His first fruits giving His Holy Spirit; therefore we can 1) count everything joy despite difficult circumstances, and 2) walk in pure religion loving neighbors and remaining holy in deed and speech free from anger.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
James, a servant of Jesus to the twelve tribes dispersed :
e Count it all joy , my brothers, 1 when you meet trials f of various kinds, for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be i perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
In all trials, count it all joy, because we know the outcome which is perfection .
j If any of you lacks wisdom , k let him ask God, l who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But m let him ask in faith , n with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like o a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; p he is a double-minded man, q unstable in all his ways.
If you lack wisdom, ask God in faith for help without doubting God's generous nature.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and r the rich in his humiliation , because s like a flower of the grass 1 he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and t withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Boast not in riches/ momentary honor , because money and position are temporary and fade away in time.
u Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial , for when he has stood the test he will receive v the crown of life, w which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire . Then desire x when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and y sin when it is fully grown brings forth death .
Understand that man is blessed with eternal life when he is steadfast through trials , not prone to blame God for temptation and resulting sin.
Do not be deceived , my beloved brothers. z Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from a the Father of lights b with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 1 c Of his own will he d brought us forth by the word of truth, e that we should be a kind of f firstfruits of his creatures.
Do not be deceived! We were brought forth by God to be God's image-bearers through the good and perfect gift of Christ's sacrifice and gift of the Holy Spirit .
g Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, i slow to speak, j slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Be convinced that anger does not achieve righteousness ; therefore, be silent and slow to speak, and
Therefore k put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with l meekness the implanted word , m which is able to save your souls.
therefore , uproot sin and replace with the Word.
But be n doers of the word , and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, and perseveres , being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, p he will be blessed in his doing.
Persevere as a doers of the word, because only obedience will bring blessing ; there is only deception in hearing the word without a heart change.
If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
Pure religion [obedience in action] is serving your neighbors and pursuing personal practical holiness , rather than worthless, externally religious deeds with unhinged speech.
I am linking 9-11 to 5-8 as a progression because I see that that asking for wisdom can be considered in the more Old Testament biblical sense of practical wisdom (i.e. Solomon) which is connected with external well-being and livelihoods.