Epistle of James: Godly Living in an Ungodly World
On Sunday, we concluded our 5-month study of the Epistle of James. What a challenging message! We explored various themes for Godly Living in an Ungodly World. Here, I am providing the title to each sermon, and the basic outline that accompanied each sermon. I hope you are able to use this in your personal Bible study in James and perhaps as you have opportunities to lead others in the study of this book of the Bible.
Epistle of James: Sermon Series Titles and Outline
Introduction: Explore Godly Living in an Ungodly World (1:1)
- The Author: James, the brother of Jesus Christ
- The Date & Place of Writing: Mid-forties A.D. from Palestine
- The Setting in Life: The difficulties, persecution, economic oppression, and community disharmony of Palestinian and scattered Jewish Christians in the 1st century Roman world.
- The Form & Content of the Letter: The letter appears to be an edition of James’ own sermons covering such themes as suffering, wisdom, regeneration, a primitive Christology and eschatology echoing the teachings and sayings of Jesus himself, poverty & wealth, the tongue, and the relationship of law, grace, faith, and works of charity. James’ use of “my brothers” or “brothers” is a notable feature and guide throughout the letter.
The Godly Person Endures Tests Joyfully for Maturity (1:2–4).
- Don’t Divert, but Direct Your Thinking During Tests (1:2–3).
- Don’t Divert, But Develop Your Endurance During Tests (1:4).
The Godly Person Stays on Track to Maturity by Praying for Wisdom in Testing (1:5–8).
- Two Problems May Derail Maturing Faith in Testing (1:5a, 6b–8).
- Two Solutions Will Keep You on Track to Maturing Faith in Testing (1:5b–6a).
The Godly Person Calculates Life by Eternal, Not Temporal, Wealth (1:9–11).
- The Poor Christian Must Look for Godly Glory Because of Eternal Renewal (1:9, 11).
- The Rich Person Must Look for Godly Dependance Because of the Eternal Reversal (1:10–11).
The Godly Person Perseveres to Eternal Life through Testing by the New Birth (1:12–18).
- Persevere to Eternal Life (1:12).
- Persevere Through Internal Temptation (1:13–15).
- Persevere by the Internal Transformation of the New Birth (1:16–18).
The Godly Person Heeds Wisdom’s Warning about Anger by Hospitably Hosting the Gospel (1:19–21).
- Heed Wisdom’s Warning about Anger (1:19).
- Hunger for God’s Justice Instead of Anger (1:20).
- Hospitably Host the Regenerating Word for Transformation (1:21).
The Godly Person Perseveres Beyond Hearing to Doing the Word (1:22–25).
- Beware Deception about the Regenerating Word (1:22).
- Blessing Belongs to Those Who Persevere Beyond Hearing to Doing (1:23–25).
The Godly Person Awakes to Regenerate Religion (1:26–27).
- Wake Up from Dead Religion (1:26).
- Wake Up to Living Religion (1:27).
The Godly Person Pulverizes Partiality Out of His/Her Faith – Part 1 (2:1–7).
- Heal Community Poverty (2:1–7).
- Let Jesus Level You (2:1).
- Obey Your Calling As a Good Judge (2:2–4).
- Share God’s Burden for the Poor (2:5).
- Evaluate Whose Side You’re On (2:6–7).
The Godly Person Pulverizes Partiality Out of His/Her Faith – Part 2 (2:8–13).
- Heal Spiritual Poverty (2:8–13).
- Live Under the Royal Law of Liberty (2:8–12).
- Love Mercy More Than Strict Justice (2:13).
The Godly Person Has a Regenerate Faith That Extends Life (2:14–17).
- Into Eternity (2:14).
- To Others (2:15–16).
- By Works (2:17).
The Godly Person Proves His/Her Faith Profession by Corresponding Works (2:18–26).
- Close the Gap between Faith and Works (2:18).
- Complete Your Faith (2:19–25).
- Capture the Correlation (2:26).
The Godly Person Steers the Tongue to Arrive at Maturity by Limiting and Harnessing It (3:1–5a).
- Limit Tongues That Teach (3:1–2).
- Harness the Tongue’s Teaching Influence (3:3–5a).
The Godly Person Sparks a Revival of Words (3:5b–12).
- Trade Hell’s Spark for Heaven’s Spark (3:5b–6).
- Trade Hell’s Tongue for Heaven’s Tongue (3:7–12).
- Trade Hell’s Heart for Heaven’s Heart (cf. 1:18, 21; Mt. 15:7–20).
The Godly Person Harvests Harmony with Heaven’s Wisdom (3:13–18).
- Evidence Your Leadership (3:13).
- Evict the Party Spirit (3:14–16).
- Exchange for Heaven’s Wisdom (3:17).
The Godly Person Weeps over His Words Today for a Better Harvest Tomorrow (4:1–10).
- Weep over Your Desires for War in the Congregation (4:1–3).
- Weep Like an Adulterer Discovered by a Jealous Spouse (4:4–5).
- Weep to Find Grace for a Better Harvest (4:6–10).
The Godly Person Places His Words Under God’s Authority (4:11–17).
- Place Your Social Words Under God’s Authority (4:11–12).
- Place Your Vocational Words Under God’s Authority (4:13–17).
The Godly Person B.A.N.K.S. on God’s Justice for the Oppressed (5:1–6).
- Beware the Miseries of Wealth Gained by Exploitation (5:1–3).
- Attend to the Cries of the Oppressed (5:4).
- Neglect Luxury, Not Justice (5:5).
- Keep the Lord Jesus in View (5:6).
The Godly Person Energizes Endurance in the Church by Elevating Faith in Christ’s Return (5:7–12).
- Christ’s Return Energizes Perseverance of the Saints (5:7–8).
- Christ’s Return Energizes Community Harmony (5:9).
- Christ’s Return Energizes Ancient Hope (5:10–11).
- Christ’s Return Energizes Daily Truthfulness (5:12)
The Godly Person Cares for the Condition of the Congregation (5:13–20 & Conclusion).
- Cry Out with the Sufferer (5:13a).
- Cheer with the Cheerful (5:13b).
- Confess with the Sick (5:13c–16b).
- Consider the Powerful Prophet (5:16c–18).
- Call the Wanderer Home (5:19–20).