One of the major complaints against the church today is hypocrisy. Do the church, the church leaders, and Christians themselves say one thing but then practice something else? Jesus himself had much to say about religious hypocrisy. In fact, many of his hardest words were aimed at those whose external practices were not informed by a true transformation of their hearts. James also firmly addressed Christians whose lives were being shaped by the world rather than their faith in Jesus Christ.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, exhorted his readers to not only profess the truth of the Gospel but to live it daily — in the home, the workplace, and the world. Out of the 102 verses in the book of James, over 50 of those verses contain commands and/or exhortations. For James, the Christian faith is less about what one professes and more to do with the way one lives: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
The letter of James was written to a persecuted church that desperately needed to be reminded of who they were as followers of Jesus Christ, what it meant to follow him wholeheartedly, and how to shape their lives on the truth of the Gospel. James has been called the most practical letter in our canon of Scripture. In this five-week study of the book of James, we will consider what authentic Christian faith looks like and how to grow in Christian maturity.
This is a static study that you and your group can complete on your own time; there is no live element in the Ignite community. Under each week’s heading, there is a recording of previously-completed live teaching that will aid you in your study.