James 1

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The word servant in the first verse is doulos [1] many a bondservant, from the word deo[2] meaning to "to bind tie, fasten".
James is very clear that our faith is tempted and tried and we must endure. We only fail when our self love and personal lust exceeds our love of God. We are blessed if we endureth temptation.
James states that the engrafted[3] revelation of God comes from above he says we must also be doers.
Questions
What is the Perfect law of liberty?
What does it mean to "look"[4] into that law?
What creature[5] is he talking about and who were the first fruits?
What is Religion?
What is Pure Religion?
  • Salutation (1:1)

[1] James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

  • Faith and Wisdom (1:2–8)

[2] My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [3] Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. [5] If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. [6] But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. [7] For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. [8] A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

  • Poverty and Riches (1:9-11)

[9] Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: [10] But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. [11] For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

  • Trial and Temptation (1:12–18)

[12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

[13] Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: [14] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. [15] Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. [16] Do not err, my beloved brethren. [17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. [18] Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.[6]

  • Hearing and Doing the Word (1:19–27)

[19] Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: [20] For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. [21] Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness[7], and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. [22] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. [25] But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. [26] If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. [27] Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted[8] from the world.

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Footnotes

  1. 1401 ~δοῦλος~ doulos \@doo’-los\@ from 1210; n AV-servant 120, bond 6, bondman 1; 127
    1) a slave, bondman, man of servile condition
    1a) a slave
    1b) metaph., one who gives himself up to another’s will, those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
    1c) devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests
    2) a servant, attendant
  2. 1210 ~δέω~ deo \@deh’-o\@ a root; v AV-bind 37, tie 4, knit 1, be in bonds 1, wind 1; 44
    1) to bind tie, fasten
    1a) to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains
    1b) metaph.
    1b1) Satan is said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, as his messenger, taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright
    1b2) to bind, put under obligation, of the law, duty etc.
    1b2a) to be bound to one, a wife, a husband
    1b3) to forbid, prohibit, declare to be illicit
  3. 1721 ~ἔμφυτος~ emphutos \@em’-foo-tos\@ from 1722 and a derivative of 5453; ; adj AV-engrafted 1; 1 1) inborn, implanted by nature, implanted by others instruction
  4. 3879 ~παρακύπτω~ parakupto \@par-ak-oop’-to\@ from 3844 and 2955; v AV-stoop down 3, look 2; 5
    1) to stoop to a thing in order to look at it
    2) to look at with head bowed forward
    3) to look into with the body bent
    4) to stoop and look into
    5) metaph. to look carefully into, inspect curiously
    5a) of one who would become acquainted with something
  5. 2938 ~κτίσμα~ ktisma \@ktis’-mah\@ from 2936; n n AV-creature 4; 4
    1) thing founded
    2) created thing
  6. 2938 ~κτίσμα~ ktisma \@ktis’-mah\@ from 2936;n n AV-creature 4; 4 1) thing founded 2) created thing
  7. 2549 ~κακία~ kakia \@kak-ee’-ah\@ from κακός kakos evil ; n f AV-malice 6, maliciousness 2, evil 1, wickedness 1, naughtiness 1; 11
    1) malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure
    2) wickedness, depravity
    2a) wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws
    3) evil, trouble
  8. 784 ~ἄσπιλος~ aspilos \@as’-pee-los\@ from 1 (as a negative particle) and σπιλόω spiloo and spilos "to defile, spot" "moral blemish"; adj AV-without spot 3, unspotted 1; 4
    1) spotless
    2) metaph.
    2a) free from censure, irreproachable
    2b) free from vice, unsullied