Jam 1:21 "receive with meekness the word implanted" - our souls are the field -- we determine what kind of soil we are. . The mirror is the word of God (Jam 1:22-27, 2Co 3:16-19). In the word of God we see who we are as a new creature in Christ. We often walk away from that mirror and forget ("hearer only"). The law can only condemn us; the "perfect law of liberty" in Christ enables us to do what God commands (Gal 5:1, Jam 1:25). The blessing is in the doing (Joh 8:31, Joh 13:17); "religion" = "spirituality" in Jam 1:26-28; if we live a selfless life we'll keep unspotted by the world. Sacrificial service to others is the solution to self-centeredness. You can't be filled with the Spirit if you are filled with yourself (Luk 9:23 - deny self, pick up cross, follow Him). We need to be non-partial (Jam 2:1-3). Christ didn't die to make bad people good; He died to make dead people live. In Jam 2:5, to be is not in the original; God has chosen the poor (we are all poor - nothing to offer) but rich in faith (Mat 5:3-8, Eph 1:3, Eph 1:6). All children are heirs (Rom 8:14-16); but we are joint heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with Him -- the greater blessing (Rom 8:17) Believers led by the Spirit are mature children (Rom 8:14-17). We'll reign with Him if we endure; if we deny Him (our endurance), He'll deny us reward (2Ti 2:11-13, Rev 2:26). We are to treat everyone the same in Christ - rich or poor (Jam 2:1-7). Contrast in Royal Law (of the Kingdom, Jam 2:8) "love our neighbor as ourself" (Lev 19:18, Luk 18:18-23) to law of liberty (Jam 2:12). The law of liberty is the Spirit enablement (2Co 3:17, 2Co 5:14, Gal 5:1) -- we'll be judged by this. We must learn mercy from our past failures (Mat 5:3-12, Jam 2:13).
Conference notes for this series can be found [HERE]
Given a the Washington DC Conference in November 2007 this 8-part study in James examines our faith. We are to be 'doers' and not 'hearers' only. By this we are 'justified' before men (not God). In this way James complements (and precedes) Paul writings.