Men's Bible Study: James
Studying the Book of James
Suber Road Baptist Church needs men who are like Jesus. That means we need men of the Word. Men of the Word are those who seek to know what it says, submit to its claims on their lives, and then live it out in the church, their homes, and the surrounding community.
Why Study the Bible?
Session 1: James Overview
If you received an important letter from someone you did not know from a land you had never visited, wouldn’t you do a Google search in an attempt to learn more about him? Who was James? Why would the early church take his letter seriously? Who exactly was he writing to anyway? And what did all this mean to what he was writing?
In this session, we turn to the letter of James, other portions of the Bible, as well as historical references to find out more about this man, his letter, and his brothers to whom he wrote. This first session is the key to properly interpreting the book and understanding God’s message for us today.
Session 2: James 1:1-11
You and your friends are sitting waiting excitedly to receive the latest dispatch from the church in Jerusalem. This letter is from the Apostle James. Your mind goes back to the time you spent listening to James the Just sharing insights about Jesus from his unique perspective. Now, because of the persecution you faced as a new Christian in your homeland, you are hundreds of miles away living in a different culture. The seal is broken, and the elder begins to read…
Put yourself in the place of that Jewish Christian so many years ago, and read the epistle of James again — for the first time. More importantly, let’s do it together!
Session 3: James 1:12-18
Highlighters, notebooks, translations, dictionaries, commentaries, and more are the tools of the one who wants to get the most out of God’s Word. Still all this means nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit working to illuminate our minds to understand what we mark, note, or read. In Session 3 we will continue the hard work of finding what the text says to the original recipients, and then down through the ages to us.
Are you ready to get down to work? What a wonderful “work-mate” as we approach God’s Word to have the Holy Spirit working with us as we study together!
Session 4: James 1:19-36
In Session 4, James gives us some low hanging fruit. The application is right there for us to grab! However, how do we know we are correctly applying truth? Is it possible that we end up making applications from our own perceptions?
This is why it is important to understand the terms being used, correctly interpret metaphors, and understand what caused James to write what he did. This begins to help us see ourselves in the mirror with the same intent James was writing. The image becomes sharper! Pray as you study this session that you will walk away remembering and applying what you learn.
Session 5: James 2:1-13
Let’s take a fresh look at the next section of James’ letter. We’re still asking some of the same basic questions, but in a slightly different way. Be sure to take the diagram with you as you delve into other passages.
The seventh question is an important one. “So what?” What is all this work worth if it doesn’t change us? If you are truly reading GOD’S TRUTH, what are its implications to your family, work, and ministry?
Session 6: James 2:14-26
Tiime for something different — but the same. In Session 6 you will need to go back to kindergarten and grab your crayons. Well, more like your favorite highlighters and color pens or pencils.
We have been learning how to ask important questions of the text. Often this is called “interrogating the text.” There are multiple ways to do this. For us visual learners, it can be helpful to use color codes to mark up the text. This can help patterns jump off the page to us. Often, that is a giant step towards finding the theme of a passage. Plus… coloring is fun!
Session 7: James 3:1-18
We have been exposed to a number of tools for getting into the text. Now we are more than halfway through our study. Keep doing the work and you’ll receive the reward.
During this session we will take the process we have been using to question the text, and answer some specific questions that allow us to see “what the text is saying.” These questions will lead us to ask ourselves, “So what does this mean to me?” Knowing what the text says is only effective if it leads us to evaluate our relationship with the One who is communicating with us through it.
Session 8: James 4:1-12
Let’s continue to utilize the methods and tools that we have learned over the last seven sessions. Bible study is not always about learning new methods, but when we use the tools we have been given to seek God in His Word… We are rewarded with truth.
James 4 contains a verse that makes this session a puzzle. It can be frustrating and also intriguing. The important thing to remember in these cases is not to get so caught up in the work of putting the puzzle pieces together that you forget to step back and see the whole picture. Sometimes stepping back allows you to see the puzzle in a new light, and the surrounding pieces help bring it all together.
Session 9: James 4:13-5:6
In this session, we focus on finding themes using the tools we have learned to use. What is the main point behind each passage? This “fly over” view can often help us find our way when we dive down into the ups and downs of a passage.
These verses speak toward our current American culture and into our own hearts. Do you see yourself in these verses? How should we change our attitudes toward then things around us as we consider these words from James? This really isn’t so much about finding out “what the passage is saying” as much as it is “what is the passage saying about God and his claims on me?”
Session 10: James 5:7-12
We are drawing near the conclusion of our study of the epistle from James. Has it not been exciting to see how this book has begun to open up for us? The great thing about God’s Word is that we can turn around and start over. He still has more to give us!
This week we begin to hand the keys to the car over to you. Rather than providing you questions, we are asking you to find your own. Rather than drawing the application from the text, it is your time to share how these truths apply to our lives.
Session 11: James 5:13-20
We now turn our attention to the final passage of our study. As we complete the study, do not let it be the end of your experience with James. Why not commit to reading the book in one sitting at least once a month? This will help keep its truths coming to mind at such times that the Spirit wants to direct you to them.
In these final verses, you may find that there is some disagreement about the exact application of the verses. However the specific application may be made, there is a common overarching theme and application that applies to us all. Can you find it? How will you let it change you as you live your life in our church community?