New teaching series "James"
This summer, beginning on May 30th, we will be teaching through the book of James at Westside Church. I've spent the past month studying for this series and the more I learn about this book and it’s author James, the brother of Jesus, the more excited I’ve become about what God is going to teach us through the writings of Jesus little brother James.
Like most of the books in the New Testament, the book of James was originally written as a letter. Along with 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 Peter, and Jude, James is categorized as a general epistle. A general epistle is defined as a letter addressed to the church at large rather than a single congregation. Both tradition and strong evidence point to James, the brother of Jesus, as the author of this letter.
The letter is addressed to “the twelve tribes in the dispersion.” This would seem to indicate that James is writing to a fundamentally Jewish audience and the content of the letter backs this up. While there is no clear overarching theme, it becomes clear that the goal of the letter is to edify and encourage Jewish Christians who are struggling in their faith as they suffer persecution and face the many temptations and pressures of the world around them. Ironically, the letter is as relevant to this niche group of early Christians as it is to you and me today. It is a gold mine of sagely wisdom every bit as profound as the book of Proverbs. It is both practical and foundational helping to develop within its readers a mature faith that works! Here's a look at what we will be covering over the next 13 weeks in the book of James.
~ Pastor Jeremiah