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James

James

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As the gospel begins to truly transform us, our prejudices and biases that we have toward others is challenged so that we might be more sanctified as we follow the way of Jesus. We must be reminded that everyone we come into contact with is an image bearer of God who deserves dignity and respect, and to make distinctions among ourselves is the antitheses of God’s rule and reign.

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True and pure religion is this: to engage and love the afflicted and broken around us while remaining unaffected by the false idols of this age. We are challenged by James to look at our actions and spend some time in evaluation of our hearts, checking to see if we have truly been transformed by the gospel. The actions we are called to in this letter cannot be done apart from a truly changed heart, but when we grasp the power of the gospel, we are unable to remain the same. Though hard, we are encouraged to receive with humility the implanted true and living Word, Jesus Christ, who alone is able to transform us into His image.

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In this section of the letter, James reminds us of the gravity and danger of becoming complacent with allowing sin to remain in our hearts and lives. We do not have others to blame for our sins, rather our circumstances reveal the sin that is already deep in our hearts. We need to constantly be reminded of the gospel, that we have been born of an incorruptible seed, and that we have access to a greater power than our sin, Jesus Christ Himself. May we see Him as more beautiful than any temptation this age has to offer.

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James, one who was intimately familiar with suffering, calls followers of Jesus to count it joy when they face various times of trial and suffering in their lives. Only by a deep abiding and trust in God and His promises can we live this out from day to day. He if faithful to give us what we need to follow Him. As we journey through this text, we must ask ourselves, “Do we trust that God is at work even when we cannot see?”

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