From Handbook to Scripture, Day 337
READING: JAMES 2
Turning to the problem of the preferential treatment of the wealthy, James instructs his readers to love the poor and the rich alike (2:1–13). He contrasts profession of faith with possession of faith and argues that a genuine faith is expressed in deeds (2:14–26). While faith alone justifies us before God (Romans 4), it is only by the works of faith that we are justified before others (2:24).
James is addressed to “the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad” (1:1), and this refers to the Hebrew Christians who resided outside of Palestine. These Jewish believers in Jesus the Messiah were encountering many trials, and they needed to be encouraged and exhorted to persevere in their faith. This epistle makes no mention of Gentile believers, and appears to have been written around AD 46–49 before the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. According to Josephus, James was martyred in AD 62.
Prayer: Lord, may I not hold my faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. May my faith in Him become evident to others through my works.
Meditation passage: verses 1, 12, 26