We’re over halfway through This Is the New Testament, our thematic overview of the New Testament. Each day we’ll read a thematic selection from a different book of the Bible, along with supplemental passages that show how the theme of that day’s main reading is found throughout Scripture. We’ll also read a brief summary of each book and a reflection on how the book fits into the larger story of Scripture. This week, we’ll finish our look at the Pauline Epistles and begin the General Epistles.
What Is James? Written by James, the brother of Jesus, this book instructs and admonishes readers to seek godly wisdom. It also counsels them to avoid internal conflicts within the Church and to express their faith through good works. James encourages believers to persevere in this calling in spite of trials, as God is faithful to mature His people in the midst of suffering.
How James Fits Into the Story: James continually calls for obedience to the law of God, showing believers that their obedience to God’s instruction is an indication of a living faith. Some choose to oversimplify the distinctions between the Old Testament and the New Testament by saying that the Old Testament is grounded in works and the New Testament is grounded in faith. James brings both testaments together to show that faith and works are integrally related in both the old and new covenants.
1. Why does James say to be joyful during trials? Practically, how can you express joy in the middle of your current challenges?
2. How does today’s reading shape your understanding of the story of redemption?
Take time to reflect on your responses and share what you are learning with others in the community in the comments.