LISTEN: Theology of James, Part 1 (The Study of God #51 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #51.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is Isaiah 45:5-7 which reads: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things..”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Henri Nouwen. He said: “Theological formation is the gradual and often painful discovery of God’s incomprehensibility. You can be competent in many things, but you cannot be competent in God.”

Our topic for today is titled  “Theology of James (Part 1)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns. 

Dr. Paul Enns writes.

— Introduction to Theology of James

Author

James, the half brother of the Lord, is the best suggestion for the authorship because: (1) There is a similarity of language in the epistle and James’s speech in Acts 15. (2) There is a similarity between the epistle and the teaching of Jesus.

Date and Place of Writing

Recognition of James, the Lord’s half brother, as the author points to Jerusalem as the locality for the writing. Mention of the “‘early and latter rain’, the effect of the hot winds on vegetation, the existence of salt and bitter springs, the cultivation of figs and olives, and the familiar imagery of the sea as nearby all are reminiscent of conditions in Palestine.” The date of the epistle must be prior to A.D. 63 because, according to Josephus, James was martyred at that time.

Destination

The epistle is addressed to “the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad”, suggesting Jewish believers. The phrase “who are dispersed abroad” is the Greek word diaspora, normally used to denote the Jews scattered among the nations. Additionally, they were meeting in a synagogue, were monotheistic, and were familiar with the Jewish formulae of oaths. 

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people. 

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” 

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” 

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. 

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.