In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus Christ -Yeshua] was in the beginning with God.


The book of James is the second of the eight general epistles. James is the half-brother of Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary after the birth of Jesus. James wrote his letter from Jerusalem in about AD 48 during the early time of Messianic Judaism before the apostle Paul established Gentile churches in Greece, the Roman province of Macedonia (part of present day Greece) and Asia Minor (present day Turkey).

The central theme of James is that genuine faith produces good works. Without good works, faith is dead. It is evident from James’s opening statement that the faith of early Jewish believers was being tested by various trials. Temptations were alluring believers back into sin causing their faith to become unfruitful. James made it clear that God does not tempt anyone. Temptations are produced by our own desires of the flesh. When acted upon, temptations lead to sin. If sin is allowed to fully mature, it brings forth death. Head belief alone is not saving faith. Even the demons believe but they cannot be saved. Genuine faith produces good works. Good works are a product of our salvation through Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Faith manifests itself in obedience to God’s word, which produces good works.

There is needless confusion among some believers regarding the relationship of faith and good works to salvation. There might seem to be a contradiction between the teachings of Paul and James. However, no contradiction exists because Paul and James present two sides of the same coin. Paul carefully explains (see his Romans epistle) that we are justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ; the just shall live by faith in a life of righteousness free from the slavery of sin. James reaffirms this by stating that good (righteous) works must be a product of genuine faith in Christ who is our Savior.

James 1: The testing of faith; the source of temptations

James 2-4: Examples of genuine faith; life without faith

James 5: Enduring faith waits for Christ’s return; fervent prayer of the righteous; confronting error