Challenge James October-November 2017
Faith That Works
Introduction: What is special about the letter of James?
It’s controversial! Martin Luther called it “an epistle of straw” and gave it a secondary status within the New Testament. This goes to show that even great men can make great mistakes. Luther’s problem with James was that it seemed to undermine the great doctrine of justification by faith alone: James declares “Faith without works is dead” (2:26).

However, James like Paul, is also a friend of the gospel of the free grace of God. His special concern though is with a faith that works. Paul starts with justification, whilst James starts with regeneration (1:18). James majors on the necessity of solid, visible evidence of our status as children of God. He would back Peter’s call for us to “be the more zealous to confirm your call and election” (1 Peter 1:10). A genuine faith is a tested faith that works. Paul also shows his concern for this in Philippians 2:12, when he urges the believers to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”.

As usual I have stood on the shoulders of others in writing these notes, whilst engaging with James myself. I’ve especially been helped by a little book on James by Alec Motyer, a regular speaker at the Keswick Convention and now home with Jesus. I hope you are blessed as we read James together.

Please find each days reading below:

Week 1 (2nd-6th October) Address and Greeting James 1:1 - DOWNLOAD
Week 2 (9th-13th October) The Pursuit of Spiritual Wholeness: The Opportunity from Trials James 1:2-18 - DOWNLOAD
Week 3 (16th-20th October) The evidence of Spiritual Wholeness: Obedience to the Word James 1:19-2:26 - DOWNLOAD
Week 4 (23rd-27th October) The Community Dimension of Spiritual Wholeness (1) Pure Speech James 3:1-12 - DOWNLOAD
Week 5 (30th October-3rd November) The Community Dimension of Spiritual Wholeness: (2) Peace (James 3:13-18) - DOWNLOAD
Week 6 (6th-10th November) James 1:27 “Uncorrupted Religion” - DOWNLOAD
Week 7 (13th-17th November) James 4:1-12 The Battle for Humility - DOWNLOAD
Week 8 (20th-24th November) Understanding Time and Eternity James 4:13-5:6 - DOWNLOAD
Week 9 (27th November-1st December) Until the Lord Comes James 5:7-20 - DOWNLOAD

© 2017 St John the Evangelist, Carlisle
steve@st-johns-carlisle.co.uk