Rev. Bill Lane –
James 2:1-10, 14-17
Here, as elsewhere in the letter, we find that James’ ethical exhortation is decidedly God-centered. To be sure, James is short on Christology (explicit reflection on Jesus Christ), but it is rich in theology (reflection upon God). James points to God, for example, as the very ground of Christian existence (1:18, 21; 3:17; 4:5) and maintains that God is a gracious presence in our lives (1:5, 17; 4:8). Indeed, every aspect of Christian life of which James speaks is related to God (2:5-6; see also 3:9; 4:13-17).
James assists us in discerning how we might order and maintain every aspect of our lives in the context of God’s sovereignty – how we as Christians are to live in light of the rule of God, or kingdom, which is now present among us in the earthly and risen Jesus. It is important to recognize the decidedly God-centered nature of James’s ethical exhortation, because the Christian life that James describes is demanding and could not be pursued on our own strength. This is the good news: it is God’s own gracious presence and power and wisdom that makes it possible for Christians to live as James describes.
This piece excerpted from:
Frances Taylor Gench. Hebrews and James. Westminster Bible Companion. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996.