ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 402
James may have drawn his material from messages he had delivered
in a synagogue. He frequently uses public speaking techniques common at the time, such as sparring with an imaginary opponent: “Someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But
I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds?’”
Since it is a combination of wisdom sayings and brief teachings, this
letter from James does not develop sequentially (as Paul’s letters do).
Rather, it flows freely from topic to topic, urging careful attention to
various concerns followed by a call to live out his instructions in practical ways.
James wants his fellow Jewish believers to live out the highest ideals
of their own spiritual heritage, just as Jesus revealed it to them. He calls
them back to a scriptural principle that the “glorious Lord Jesus Christ”
had confirmed as foundational: “It is good when you obey the royal law
as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”