Rev. Dr. Curtis Giese, Professor of Religion and Interim Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Concordia University, Texas, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study James 1:1-4.
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His half-brother James and changed him completely. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, James thought Jesus was crazy. Yet the mercy and grace of God pursued James to convert him to the true faith. This resurrection reality is evident throughout the epistle of James, written very early in the history of the Church. St. James writes to the New Testament people of God who share the faith of Abraham. They are dispersed throughout the world awaiting the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As they eagerly expect that Day, their trials bring them joy because these trials refine their faith. Those things which would distract them from trusting Jesus are burned away so that they, like Abraham, see more clearly the work of God in His Son. In this, they are complete in Christ already, even as they await the perfect freedom from sin that will be theirs soon when Jesus returns in glory.
“Wisdom from Above” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Epistle of St. James. Contrary to what some might claim, this short epistle does not contradict St. Paul. Instead, St. James makes different, yet complementary, points concerning the Christian life. Written in a style similar to the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, this insightful epistle comforts, confronts, and strengthens Christians to live a life of good works that flow from God’s gift of faith, even in the midst of trials.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 James, a servant[a] of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Testing of Your Faith
2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- James 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
- James 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.