James may well have been the first written as early as AD 48. It is of a very strong Jewish flavor. Even here, it contains all 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message. From chapter 1, he opens with #9, New Life instruction with verse 2 to the end. He acknowledges how that all is ours on the basis of #7, faith with verses 3 and 6. And, the end, is in #10, the Kingdom with reward, as God has promised in verse 12. Our problem is always #2, sin as with verses 13 thru 15, 20 and 21, 26 and 27. Sin always results in #3, judgment as seen in verse 15 with death. Our need is ever the same, for #1, righteousness found in verses 16, 20 and 27. God’s solution to our need and problem is #5, the Gospel as we find it in verses 18, 21, and 25. If we will truly believe and embrace it, the result is our #8, New Birth just as verses 18 and 21 proclaim. The concept of #6, repentance is clear with verse 21.
Chapter 2 proceeds with much #9, New Life teaching throughout, from verse 1 thru 26. He’s addressing those who have #7, believed upon #4, the Savior says verses 1, 5, and all thru verses 14 thru 26. Even here, we find our issue with #2, sin in verses 3 and 4, 6 and 7, and 9 thru 11. Where sin is found, #3, judgment is always close by as verses 12 mentions. The matter of practical #1, righteousness as it is lived out in our lives is what verses 8 and 20 thru 26 is all about. And, again, the all-important #10, Kingdom looms into view in verse 5. We have already found all 10 Essential Elements in just the first 2 chapters!
Chapter 3 is also very much #9, New Life instruction, particularly about our tongue and true wisdom. He marks continual contrast between #1, righteousness right from verse 2 to the end with verse 18, and its opposite, that being #2, sin also from verse 2 and its last mention in verse 16. And, even the concern about #3, judgment finds expression with the very first verse, and in verse 3. Chapter 4 is, again, all #9, New Life instruction to believers. It touches on much #2, sin we are not to do, from verse 1 to the end. We see our need of #1, righteousness from verse 8 to the end. Sin will always beget #3, judgment; and we find our #4, Savior there, as well, Who gives the #8, New Birth of salvation from judgment all in verse 12! The command to #6, repent is found in the word ‘change’ in verse 9.
Closing with chapter 5, and much #9, New Life teaching; it’s about #1, righteousness says verse 16. But there is much #2, sin from verse 4 thru 6, 9, 15 and 16, and 19 and 20. What is certain is #3, judgment in verses 1 thru 6, 9, 12 and 20. It is necessary to #6, repent of sin as verses 19 and 20 state plainly. As our #8, New Birth of salvation in verse 20 has to do with our adhering to #5, the Gospel seen as ‘the truth’ in verse 19; and considerable mention of #10, the Kingdom with Christ’s Return in verses 7 thru 9. As with all the others, James teaches 10 Essential Elements to The Real New Testament Message. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell