From fixing a car to wallpapering a bedroom, "how-to" books explain how things are done, with helpful pointers and colorful pictures. The Epistle of James is the "how-to" book of the Christian life. It is one of the most practical books in the New Testament because it offers instruction and exhortation to Christians who are experiencing problems as all of us do.
As if the trials themselves were not bad enough, James points out the dangers that come with them. Besides the obvious pitfall of failing to place our trust in Christ and thus not being able to endure, James speaks of prejudice, improper speech, judging one another, leaving God out of our plans and even bitterness. Like the author of a "how-to" book, James explains in a few words the responsibilities of a Christian, while at the same time applying apt illustrations from real life categories such as shipping and horseback riding.
The Epistle of James is more practical than doctrinal. Nevertheless, James contains theological statements. God is "the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation" (1:17), meaning that He is the Creator and is unchangeable. Jesus is "the Lord of Glory" (2:1), a reference to Jesus' deity. James asserts that Jesus is coming again (5:7-8), and when He does, He will judge all of humanity (5:9). However, the major theological issue of James is faith and works (2:14-16). Many contend that James is talking about true faith (saving faith) vs. false faith, however, it seems apparent that James is not questioning whether the recipients were genuine believers; he repeatedly calls them "bretheren" "my brethern" or my beloved bretheren" (2:1-14). Clearly, these people were exercising saving faith.
What James is discussing is faith that is alone, meaning without works. He calls faith without works "dead," indicating that it was faith that was once alive (2:17, 26). For James, works is a natural result of faith. When a person truly believes in something, he or she will act on that belief. With this letter, James was sounding a wake-up call to all Christians "Get your life in line with what you believe"
Inductive Bible study is an approach to God's Word focusing on three basic steps that move from a general overview to specifics. Through these three steps, we apply inductive reasoning, which is defined as the attempt to use information about a specific situation to draw a conclusion. The steps are: observation (what does it say?), interpretation (what does it mean?), application (what does it mean for my life?).
Inductive Bible study is a valuable tool in understanding and applying the principles of God's Word. Inductive Bible study can be done on many different levels. The shorter version is good for a brief devotional. However, for a deeper study into God's Word I have developed a Bible study method that builds on the first three essential steps of observation, interpretation, and application adding five additional essential questions. To dig even deeper I have added an additional twelve other questions that are unique to each passage(s) that will help you to further apply the precepts of each passage(s) to draw out all that God has for you in His Word. This more extensive study is wonderful for digging deeper into the mind and heart of God.
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About the Author
Ken does not and will not teach prosperity, name-it and claim-it, self-help or "works Salvation" of any kind. Ken will not, under any circumstances, water down the Word of God so that it will be easier for some to swallow. He will not leave out the parts that hold us responsible for our own actions before an Almighty God. He will not teach, that because God is a God of love you can live in willful sin and apart from God and that He still loves you anyway, and that He will make an exception in your case and still let you into heaven. Kens' teachings are arranged to make a person see their need for God not God's need for them. Kens' teachings will force one to look at themselves and realize that we are not God, a god, or ever will be God. Kens' teachings only consist of teachings of righteousness not selfishness. Ken teaches such things as:
• The Bible and how to "properly divide it"
• True repentance,
• Hell is a real place,
• Following Jesus,
• Loving and serving God and others before self
• Kingdom living and principles as opposed to worldly living and principles
• Counterfeit Christianity
When Ken is not busy writing books and Bible studies, he is speaking at seminars, conferences and churches on subjects such as; effective soul winning techniques, effective inductive Bible study techniques, discipleship, and effective prayer.