James: Practical Christianity
Disciple Lessons from the Letter of James

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
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Dr. Ralph F. Wilson I hope you'll join me in this Bible study. I've been a pastor for the last 30 years, and since 1996 I've been conducting Internet Bible studies. Today I find great joy in teaching people all over the world from every denomination and faith tradition -- even those with no faith background at all. You're welcome to learn more about me and what I believe, if you like. -- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, Director

James was a practical man. He had seen hypocrisy -- in himself, in the Pharisees, in everyday Christians -- and he would have none of it. His letter to the early Christian churches is practical and convicting. He talks about heart Christianity worked out in actions. He discusses love and then insists that Christian love can just say compassionate words to the hungry -- love must feed them.

James was Jesus' brother, a son of Joseph and Mary. During Jesus ministry he was a skeptic, but eventually he became the lead pastor of the Church at Jerusalem and help set the tone for the entire emerging Christian movement.

Luther called James' Letter "a right strawy epistle" since it didn't present the gospel as clearly as Paul's letters that he favored. But I've found it a right convicting epistle, which God has used to help me cut through my self-deception and take seriously the matter of being a disciple of Christ.

I invite you to study the Letter of James with me over the next 8 weeks.

Letter of James: Discipleship Lessons on Practical Christianity, by Ralph F. Wilson
Available in paperback and e-book

Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and maybe Thursday, you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use it to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly for over these 8 weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • On Fridays I'll e-mail you the link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.

Here's the outline:

  1. Experiencing Joy in Trials (1:1-18)
  2. Hearing and Practicing the Word (1:18-27)
  3. Forsaking Favoritism for Love (2:1-13)
  4. Energizing Your Faith by Works (2:14-26)
  5. Attaining Tongue-Taming Wisdom (3:1-18)
  6. Submitting Yourself to God (4:1-12)
  7. Learning Patience in an Instant Age (4:13-5:12)
  8. Praying the Prayer of Faith (5:13-20)
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Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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