The Faith That Saves
Commentary on the book James.
The epistle of James may be considered the most practical book of the New Testament. It also contains very important doctrine: faith that saves us will always be demonstrated by our works. Mr. Yuille explains the meaning of every verse, using illustrations from all Scripture, and drives home the implication for us as believers. You will read this book with pleasure and understand better the nature of God and your own nature.
1. Concerning Trials – Be Joyful
2. Concerning Temptations – Be Informed
3. Concerning the Scriptures – Be Obedient
4. Concerning Others – Be Impartial
5. Concerning Works – Be Genuine
6. Concerning Words – Be Wise
7. Concerning Desires – Be Humble
8. Concerning Attitudes – Be Unpresumptuous
9. Concerning Injustices – Be Patient
10. Concerning Needs – Be Prayerful
The writer describes himself in the opening verse of the letter as “James, the servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This de- scription is not sufficient for us to identify him since there are sev- eral individuals in the New Testament with the name “James.” For example, Luke 6.12-14 mentions no fewer than three men who were so called: James, the son of Zebedee (v.12); James, the son of Alphaeus (v.13); and James the father of Judas (v.14). To this list we may add James the less, the son of Mary, Mk. 15.40, although it is possible that he is to be identified with one of the three already mentioned. Finally, there is James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, Mt. 13.55 and, while there is nothing in the book to indicate that he was its author, the traditional view of the Church has been that this letter was written by him.
It would appear that James and his brothers did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ during His public ministry, Jn. 7.5, but the Lord made a per- sonal appearance to him after His resurrection, 1 Cor. 15.7, and it may have been as a result of that experience that James became a believer. Subse- quently, he was one of the leaders of the Jewish Church in Jerusalem, play- ing a prominent part in the conference there relating to Gentile believers, Acts 15.6-29. He was described by Paul as an “apostle”, Gal. 1.19, and one who with Peter and John seemed to be “pillars” in the early church, Gal. 2.9. A man in such a position was well qualified to write to Christians of Jewish background such as those addressed in this letter.
If this James was indeed the author of the book, it is interesting that he does not draw attention to his earthly relationship to the Lord but chooses rather to speak of himself as “a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” ( Jas. 1.1) He evidently did not consider it strange to refer to God and the Lord Jesus Christ together in this way, a sure indication of his belief that the Lord Jesus was Himself eternal God. In view of this it would have been unimportant and irrelevant for James to mention that he was the half brother of the Lord but it was, on the other hand, most appropriate that he acknowledge himself to be His bondservant.
William Yuille was born in Hamilton, Scotland, and educated at the University of Glasgow, graduating, with honors, with a Bachelor of Science degree. Now living in Markham, Ontario, with his wife, Naomi, Mr. Yuille served with the Ontario Hydro Commission in an administrative capacity. He is also a church elder, Bible teacher and conference speaker. As president of MSC Canada Inc., he served missionaries in fifty countries.