<< James 1 >>
People's New Testament

1:1 On Temptations
Rejoicing in Trial. Seeking Wisdom. Stability Urged. The Source of Temptation. The Fountain of All Blessings. Pure and Undefiled Religion.
James. See Introduction concerning the writer. He is called by Paul (Ga 1:19) and by Josephus the brother of Jesus.
A servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. It seems probable from the title assumed that James was not an apostle. With only a few exceptions the Epistles begin with a reference to the apostleship of the writer.
To the twelve tribes. The Jews are often so designated. See Ex 24:4 28:21:00 39:14:00 Eze 47:13 Mt 19:28 Lu 22:30 Ac 26:7 Re 21:12.
Which are scattered abroad. Rather of the Dispersion, a term applied to Jews outside of Judea.
1:2 Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Instead of murmuring over trials and temptations, rejoice in them.
1:3 The trying of your faith by means of persecution and temptation
worketh patience, rather, enduring fortitude. We are strengthened by trials overcome.
1:4 Let patience. Let endurance not be merely passive, but
have [her] perfect work; work out its complete results, that nothing may be wanting in your lives.
1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. This may be one of the wants. If so, go to God for it.
That giveth to all [men] liberally. His people will hear, and in answer to their requests he giveth liberally,
and upbraideth not. Never upbraideth on account of their requests as men so often do.
1:6 Let him ask in faith. This is an essential condition to prevailing prayer. See Mt 21:21 Mr 11:23.
He that wavereth. Is undecided, of two minds.
Is like a wave of the sea. Driven hither and thither.
1:8 A double minded man. A man of no fixed, decided purpose.
1:9 Let the brother of low degree. In the humble walks of life.
Rejoice in that he is exalted. To be a child of God, a brother of Jesus Christ.
1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low. The one should rejoice in exaltation; the other in humiliation. He is taught that his riches have no power to save, and that his life is as uncertain as that of the grass of the field.
1:11 For the sun... withereth the grass. When the fierce sun of summer arises the grass in Palestine dies. Thus shall the glory of the rich man fade.
1:12 Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation. He that endures and continues faithful shall have the crown.
1:13 Let no man say... I am tempted by God. Some men when they fall try to throw the blame on God, as if God had tempted them. It is impossible that God be tempted of sin, nor does he ever tempt men to sin.
1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. When he suffers his own lusts to lead and entice him. There can be no temptation unless something within us causes a sinful desire.
1:15 When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. The course of sin is described as that of a birth. The sinful desire is the conception; the sinful deed, the birth; moral and eternal death, the final result.
1:16 Do not err. Either about the source of sin or of all good gifts.
1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. All gifts that truly bless us are God's gifts.
And cometh down from the Father of lights. God, the Creator of every light of the material world, and the source of all moral light.
With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. God is unchangeable, always the same, nor does he cast a shadow of turning like the sun. The allusion is to the constantly changing shadows of objects in the sunlight caused by the movement, not of the sun, but of the earth.
1:18 Of his own will begat he us. Not in caprice, but our birth as children of God was due to his eternal will.
That we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. The early converts are often called first fruits of the gospel.
1:19 Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Let each saint hear and learn, but be careful not to speak rashly, and especially in anger.
1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. An angry man will show forth something very different from God's righteousness.
1:21 Lay apart all filthiness. Every impurity of life.
And superfluity of naughtiness. Overflowing of wickedness (Revised Version). Wrath would cause such an overflow.
Receive with meekness the engrafted word. The word of God planted in your hearts.
1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. He who is only a hearer deceiveth himself. See Mt 7:21-23.
1:23,24 He is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. The point of the comparison is this: Like a man who looks in the glass and soon forgets the impression, so the impression of the word on such a man is soon forgotten. The word must be impressed by the doing of it.
1:23,24 He is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. The point of the comparison is this: Like a man who looks in the glass and soon forgets the impression, so the impression of the word on such a man is soon forgotten. The word must be impressed by the doing of it.
1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty. The gospel, which sets men free. He who looks into it, is impressed by it, and obeys it shall be blessed in the doing.
1:26 If any... seemeth to be religious. He who professes religion and yet
bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, does not control his tongue is deceived. Unless he has grace enough to rule the unruly member, he has not enough for salvation.
1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God. Combining pure hearts and pure outward lives. This genuine religion has two elements:
To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. First, kind and loving deeds, exemplified especially in helping the helpless, such as widows and orphans, and
[And] to keep himself unspotted from the world. Living pure, unsullied lives, unstained by the sins prevalent in this sinful world.

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