Get to Work
19 You must understand this, my beloved:[g] let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves[h] in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.
26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:19-27).
The Epistle (Bible word for letter) of James is a short letter written to the To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion (James 1:1). We do not know who this James is, though some suggest he was the half-brother of Jesus. The book may have also been the first New Testament book written.
The book of James is a hotly debated biblical book. There are those who do not like it for its emphasis on “works.” The argument is that James promotes works to achieve salvation as opposed to faith in Christ.
Martin Luther (the founder of the Protestant movement) called the book of James, “an epistle of straw” as it was his least favorite biblical book and contrary to the Protestant belief: salvation by faith alone.
Does James argue works are more important than faith? Is the letter a bunch of fluff? Read for yourself and decide.
Weekly Reading: The Book of James, Matthew 25, Psalm 111, Exodus 20
More about the book of James http://www.insight.org/resources/bible/james.html