General Outlines of the Epistle of James
Works of Faith
1. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials (1:2, 9-10);
2. Let patience have its perfect work (1:3-4);
3. Pray to God firmly for lack (1:5-6);
4. Receive with meekness the implanted word and do it (1:19-25);
5. Bridle one’s tongue (1:26; 3:1-12);
6. Love your neighbor as yourselves (2:1-13);
7. Show one’s faith by his works (2:14-26);
8. Have the fruit of righteousness borne by the wisdom above (3:13-18);
9. Draw near to God and have friendship with God and submit to God and humble oneself in the sight of the Lord (4:1-10);
10. Do not speak evil of or judge or grumble against one another (4:11-12; 5:9);
11. Do not act for one’s own but live and walk by the Lord (4:13-17);
12. Deal with the riches properly and do not own others in money (5:1-6);
13. Suffer and be patient until the coming of the Lord (5:7:11);
14. Speak honestly and not swear (5:12);
15. Pray and sing psalms and confess trespasses and pray for one another (5:13-18);
16. Make the one who wanders from the truth turn back (5:19-20);
Time for Joy and Time for Sorrow
1. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials (1:2);
2. Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation but the rich in his humiliation (1:9-10);
3. In pleasure and luxury (4:3; 5:5); lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and joy to gloom (4:9);
4. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms (5:13);
Way of Patience
1. The testing of your faith produces patience (1:3);
2. Let patience have its perfect work (1:4);
3. Be patient and establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand (5:7-8);
4. Take those who were suffering and patient as an example of suffering and patience (5:10-11);
1. True faith shall be tried (1:3);
2. True faith can ask for faith (1:5-6);
3. True faith must have works (2:18);
4. True faith is working together with works (2:22);
5. True faith shall be perfected by works (2:22);
6. True faith shall heal the sick (5:15);
Perfection in the Epistle of James
1. “Be perfected” by patience (1:4);
2. Every “perfect” gift of God (1:17);
3. The “perfect” law of liberty (1:25);
4. Faith is “perfected” by works (2:22);
5. Be a “perfect” man who does not stumble in word (3:2);
How to Pray?
a. Let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (1:5);
b. You do not have because you do not ask (4:2);
2. Ask by faith:
a. Ask in faith with no doubting (1:6);
b. Let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (1:7);
c. The prayer of faith will save the sick (5:15);
3. Do not ask amiss ---- you ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (4:3);
4. He who suffers shall pray and he who is cheerful shall sing psalms (5:13);
5. Pray in the name of the Lord (5:14);
6. Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another (5:16);
7. Have pure and undefiled religion (1:27) ---- The effective and fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much;
8. Pray earnestly (5:17-18);
1. The origin of the true wisdom ----God who gives to all liberally and without reproach (1:5);
2. The gaining of the true wisdom ---- ask in faith with no doubting (1:6);
3. The manifestation of the true wisdom ---- show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom (3:13);
4. The opposite side of the true wisdom ----earthly and sensual and demonic wisdom (3:14-16);
5. The effect of the true wisdom ---- bear more fruit of goodness and righteousness (3:17-18);
Know God Whom We Trust in
1. He is the God who gives to all liberally and without reproach (1:5);
2. He promises the crown of life to those who love Him (1:12);
3. He cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone (1:13);
4. He gives every good gift and every perfect gift (1:
5. He is the Father of lights(1:17b);
6. There is no variation or shadow of turning (1:
7. He brought us forth of His own will by the word of truth (1:18);
8. He is God the Father (1:27);
9. He has chosen the poor of the world to be rich in faith (2:
10. He has promised to those who love Him to be heirs of the kingdom (2:5b);
11. He is the only true God (2:19);
12. He justifies the one who believes Him and becomes his friend (2:23);
13. He is our God and Father and has made men in the similitude of Him (3:9);
14. The friendship of God is enmity with God (4:4);
15. The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously (4:5);
16. God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble (4:6);
17. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (4:8);
18. He is the lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy (4:12);
19. He makes us live to do this or do that (4:15);
20. He is the Lord of Sabaoth who hears the cries of those who are defrauded (5:4);
21. He is the Judge (5:9, 12);
22. He is the Lord who hears prayers of men (5:15);
Contrasts in the Epistle of James
1. Be double-minded ---- half belief and faith with no doubting (1:6-8);
2. The lowly brother in exaltation and the rich in humiliation (1:9-10);
3. Temptations and trials ---- the former brings forth death and the latter leads to the crown of life (1:12-15);
4. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, and be hearers as well as doers of the word (1:22-24);
5. Vain religion and pure and undefiled religion (1:26-27);
6. Partiality and loving your neighbors as yourselves (2:1-8);
7. Faith without works and faith working together with works (2:14-26).
8. Be teachers to teach others, and be unable to turn or control (teach) oneself (3:1-8);
9. One tongue with two tongues, and the only fountain and fruit tree (3:9-12);
10. The earthly wisdom and the heavenly wisdom from above (3:13-18);
11. Envy as well as self-seeking and peace (3:16, 18);
12. Not ask and ask amiss (4:2-3);
13. Having friendship with the world and drawing near to God (4:4, 8);
14. Be enmity with God and be submit to God (4:4, 7);
15. Proud and humble (4:6, 10);
16. Be double-minded and purify one’s heart (4:8);
17. Joy and sorrow as well as mourning (4:9);
18. Act on one’s own and walk according to the will of the Lord (4:13-16);
19. Know to do good and do not do it ---- knowledge conflicts with works (4:17);
20. The rich let the riches corrode, and the rich keep back the wages of the labors by fraud (5:1-6);
21. Be able to suffer and endure, and grumble against one another (5:7-11);
22. Swearing and speaking honestly (5:12);
23. He who suffers shall pray and he who is cheerful shall sing psalms (5:13);
24. Prayers of faith in the name of the Lord, and prayers of the righteous man that lead to confession of trespasses to one another and prayers for one another (5:14-18);
25. Wander from the truth and be turned back from the error of the way (5:19-20);
1. Do not be double-minded (1:8; 4:8);
2. Be with meekness (1:21);
3. Do not deceive one’s heart (1:26);
4. Do not be with partiality (2:4);
5. Do not have bitter envy and self-seeking (3:14);
6. Purify your hearts (4:8);
7. Do not fatten your hearts (5:5);
8. Be patient and establish your hearts (5:8);
The Disadvantages of Riches
1. The rich shall become humble and will fade away in his pursuits (1:10-11);
2. Physical riches is inferior to the richness of faith (2:3, 5);
3. The rich often bully others in arrogance so they will fall into judgment without mercy (2:6-7, 13);
4. The rich boast in arrogance and know to do good and do not do it ---- this is their sin (4:16-17);
5. Miseries will come upon the rich who know about treasuring up the riches only (5:1-3);
6. Treasures and gold will be corroded and devalued and will corrupt the souls of the owners (5:2-3);
7. The rich who keep back the wages of the laborers by fraud and fatten their own hearts will fall into the judgment of God (5:4-6);
Man’s Nature Decides His Way
1. The rich man will fade away in his pursuits (1:11);
2. The doers of the word shall be blessed in what he does (1:25);
3. He who is judged by the law of liberty shall speak and do according to the law (2:12);
4. He who has faith shall have the works of faith (2:14, 17-18);
5. He who is wise and understanding shall show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom (3:13);
6. To him who knows do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (4:17);
1. God has promised to those who love Him the crown of life (1:12);
2. God has promised to those who love Him His kingdom (2:5);
Pleasures and Believers
1. Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed (1:14).
2. When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (1:15);
3. Bitter envy and self-seeking and boasting and lying against the truth ---- all of them are out of the lusts (3:14-15);
4. Wars and fights in the church come from the desires from pleasure that war in your members (4:1);
5. Pleasures have fattened your hearts in pleasure and luxury (5:5; see 4:3);
1. Sin is begotten by desire, and death is brought forth from sin (1:15).
2. If one shows partiality, he has committed sin and is convicted by the law as transgressors (2:9).
3. The tongue is a world of iniquity that defiles the whole body (3:6).
4. To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (4:17).
5. If the illness is caused by sin, believers shall confess trespasses to one another and pray for one another that believers will be healed (5:15-16).
6. If one turns a man wandering from the truth from the error, he has saved a soul from death and covered a multitude of sins (5:19-20).
God’s Word and Us
1. The word of God is the implanted word:
a. God has brought us forth by the word of truth (1:18).
b. We shall be swift to hear (1:19).
c. The word of God is the word that can save our soul (1:21).
d. We have to do the word (1:22).
e. The word of God is the mirror that reflects our nature (1:23-24).
2. The word of God is the perfect law of liberty:
a. We shall look into it and continue in it (1:25);
b. We shall keep the whole royal law (2:9-11);
c. Since we will be judged by the law of liberty, we shall speak and do according to the law (2:12-13);
d. We shall not speak evil of or judge one another, lest speaking evil of the law and judging the law should become violation of the law (4:11-12).
3. The word of God is truth:
a. We shall not lie against the truth (3:14).
b. We shall turn back those who wander from the truth (5:19-20).
Believers and Words
1. Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (1:19).
2. The religion of the one who does not bridle his tongue is useless (1:26).
3. Let us speak and work according to the law of liberty (2:12).
4. Faith is not spoken by mouth, but done by works (2:14-18).
5. If one does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man (3:2).
6. The tongue of a man can influence the whole body (3:2-6).
7. One should not be one mouth with two tongues (3:7-12).
8. Do not boast or lie against the truth (3:14).
9. Do not speak evil of or judge one another (4:11-12).
10. Do not boast in your arrogance (4:16).
11. Do not grumble against one another (5:9).
12. Do not swear ---- let your “Yes” be “Yes”, and your “No”, “No” (5:12).
13. Pray, sing psalms, confess trespasses and pray for one another (5:13, 16);
Man Who is Meek
1. Who receives the with meekness the implanted word (1:21);
2. Who shows by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom (3:13);
3. Who is gentle and willing to yield by the wisdom from above (3:17);
Believers and the World
1. Believers shall keep themselves unspotted from the world (1:27);
2. The tongue is a world of iniquity in our members (3:6);
3. He who has friendship with the with the world is enmity against God (4:4);
Ways of Believers’ Dealing with Others
1. Visit orphans and widows in their troubles (1:27);
2. Do not show partiality (2:1, 4, 9);
3. Do not humiliate the poor (2:6);
4. Love your neighbor as yourself (2:8);
5. Do not curse those who have been made in the similitude of God with your tongue (3:9);
6. Do not be envious and self-seeking (3:14, 16);
7. Without partiality and without hypocrisy (3:17);
8. Make peace (3:18);
9. Do not war or fight (4:1);
10. Do not speak evil of one another (4:11);
11. Do not keep back the wages of the laborers (5:4);
12. Do not grumble against one another (5:9);
13. Confess trespasses to one another and pray for one another (5:16);
14. Turn the one wandering from the truth back (5:19-20);
1. Be judged by the law of liberty (2:12).
2. Judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (2:13).
3. Let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment (3:1).
4. He who speaks evil of or judges brothers has violated the authority of God’s judgment (4:11-12).
5. He who does not deal with riches properly or keeps back the wages of the laborers shall be slaughtered by God (5:1-6).
6. Do not grumble against one another, lest you fall into judgment (5:9).
7. Do not swear or lie, lest you fall into judgment of God (5:12).
Three Kinds of Union
1. The union between faith and works (chap.2) ---- faith without works is dead (2:17, 20, 26);
2. The union between words and works (chap.3) ---- if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body (3:2).
3. The union between knowledge and works (chap.4) ---- to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (4:17);
Man’s Day and the Day of the Lord
1. Man’s day ---- whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow (4:14) ---- uncertain;
2. The day of the Lord ---- the coming of the Lord is at hand …behold, the Judge is standing at the door (5:8-9) ---- will be judged.
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou