Passages: James 1-5
Big Idea: Faith without works is dead faith.
Seven lessons exploring the book of James.
The letter of James was most likely written by James, Jesus’ younger brother. In Acts 15 and 21 we learn that James is the leader of the Jerusalem church.
James opens his letter by looking at the purpose of suffering in the life of every believer. Trials test the genuineness of our faith - our dependence on God. Trials are never wasted on the Christian, instead they mature our faith, as we learn to persevere through them, deepening our dependence on God. We are therefore to receive trials with the attitude of joy because of what trials produce in us, if only we let them do their work.
In chapter one James instructs us to let God’s Word do it’s work - changing us to be who we really are. ‘Listening’ in James is hearing but we are not changed by it. James command is to not merely listen to the Word, do what it says.
James explores matters of the heart. Our natural desire to be with those who are like us or who can improve life for us. Favouritism has no place amongst the people of God. Also, from our hearts come our words. Words that can be used for the building up of others and the praise of God, or the crushing of others and the blaspheming of God’s name.
James is uncompromising when he says that faith without works is dead. We have been saved to do good works, prepared for us by God. Faith and works are like two sides of a coin. They are inseparable. Our works do not save us, our faith does. But faith that is living faith always produces good works.
Because what Jesus has done saves us, our boasting is in him and him alone. Nothing else is sure or certain. No other success is lasting. Finally, James implores his readers to humble themselves and live life patiently till the day Jesus returns.
The unit comes complete with stories, pictures, suggested songs/memory verses, games, drama activities, crafts, large and small group activities. A resource pack of crafts and worksheets is also included.