Morning Bible Study
Financial Report – Steve Silagi
Our annual Baptism is coming up on September 22, after 2nd
service. If you’ve never been baptized
since you’ve come to faith in Jesus, we encourage you to join us and get wet!
Baptism is simply a step of obedience we take in following Jesus. It doesn’t save you, it doesn’t change you,
it simply makes a statement to your family and friends that you have chosen to
follow Jesus, and that you are learning to know what it means to live as
someone who is dead to sin and alive to God.
Our baptisms are celebrations – so we will have a big old fashioned church
potluck, a giant waterslide for the kids, and best of all – watching those who
are choosing to follow Jesus.
The book of James is possibly one of the earliest things written in the New
It’s thought to have been written around AD 40-50
It was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus.
James’ father was Joseph, while Jesus’ father was God.
Though James didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah until after the
resurrection, James would eventually be recognized as the leader of the church
James was known in the early church as “James the Just” because of his
great devotion to God and purity of life.
Ancient historian Eusebius describes James’ prayer life, that he…
was frequently found upon his knees begging
forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like those of a
camel, in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God, and
asking forgiveness for the people
While the apostle Paul wrote mainly to Gentiles, James is writing to the
His teachings are going to be very practical (hence our “tools” pic) and
will draw much from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as well as the book of
Our next section is unique because it’s specifically addressed to “the
brethren” – over and over again.
5:7-12 To The Brethren
:7 Therefore be patient,
brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the
precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the
early and latter rain.
:7 Therefore …
He’s drawing a conclusion from the previous paragraph about the abuse of
the rich toward the poor
What do you do when people are taking advantage of you?
We need to learn what it means to “be patient”, and the example James gives
of patience is the farmer who waits patiently for …
be patient – μακροθυμέω
makrothumeo (“long” + “temper”) – to be of a long
spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring
misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of
others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be longsuffering, slow to anger,
slow to punish.
aorist active imperative
the coming – παρουσία parousia – presence; the coming, arrival
, advent; the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the
dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of
24:3 NKJV) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the
disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be?
And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the
farmer – georgos – a
husbandman, tiller of the soil, a vine dresser
waits for – ekdechomai –
to receive, accept; to look for, expect, wait for, await
present middle indicative
precious – timios – as of
great price, precious; held in honour, esteemed, especially dear
waiting patiently – makrothumeo
– to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and
bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the
offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be
longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish
it receives – lambano – to
aorist active subjunctive
rain – huetos – rain
early – proimos – early;
of the early rain which fell from October on
latter – opsimos – late,
later; of the time of subsidence of the waters of the Nile
There are three Hebrew words used to denote the rains of different seasons,
1. Yoreh #Ho 6:3 or moreh #Joe 2:23 denoting the former or the early rain.
2. Melqosh, the "latter rain" #Pr
3. Geshem, the winter rain, "the rains." The heavy winter
rain is mentioned in #Ezr 10:9 So 2:11
The "early" or "former" rains commence in autumn in the
latter part of October or beginning of November #De
11:14 Joe 2:23 comp. #Jer 3:3 and
continue to fall heavily for two months. Then the heavy "winter
rains" fall from the middle of December to March. There is no prolonged
fair weather in Palestine between October and March. The "latter" or spring rains fall
in March and April, and serve to swell the grain then coming to maturity #De 11:14 Ho 6:3 After this there is ordinarily no
rain, the sky being bright and cloudless till October or November. Rain is
referred to symbolically in #De 32:2 Ps 72:6 #Isa 44:3,4 Ho 10:12
:7 the early and latter rain
Ancient Israel did not have the aid of modern irrigation for its
crops. The farmer was dependent upon the
In Israel, rain falls from October through April of each year, and
generally during three different periods. The Old Testament uses three
different words to describe the rains.
1. Early Rains (Heb. Yoreh) fell in October and November.
These rains soften the ground and make it ready for planting.
2. Winter Rains (Heb. Geshem) fell from December through February.
These are the heavier rains, helping the crops to grow.
3. Latter Rains (Heb. Melqosh) fell in March and April.
These were the rains that ripened the fruit. They were the last rains before the drought
The farmer doesn’t plant his seeds and reap the harvest in a couple of
days, he has to wait for the entire growing season that begins with the early
rains and ends with the latter rains.
Give God time
A farmer knows that it takes time for his crop to be planted, grow, ripen,
Here’s a wheat field in Montana… over nine months…
In our context, James is talking about dealing with difficult people, and
sometimes that takes time.
I know it’s hard when a relationship is struggling. You want to say the magic words and make all
the pain and difficulty go away.
But some things take time.
I’m not saying that you don’t have things you can be doing, changes you can
make, counseling you can seek…
Make sure you give God time to work.
You don’t know what God is wanting to do.
It’s possible that the person you’re struggling with is someone in whom God
is also at work, trying to influence and change.
Sometimes the patience we show to others can be the healing influence that
can move the other person to seek the One who loves them so very, very much.
Keller was 19 months old when she became blind and deaf because of an
For the next four years of her life she lived in a black fog, not having
any idea of language or communication.
Her parents brought in a teacher named Annie Sullivan, who started by spelling
words into her hands beginning with the word “d-o-l-l”. Helen didn’t have a clue what Annie was
The big breakthrough came after a month, when Annie was running cool water
over Helen’s hands and spelling out “water”.
“Writing in her autobiography, The Story of My Life, Keller recalled
the moment. “I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her
fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten — a
thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed
to me. I knew then that w-a-t-e-r meant the wonderful cool something that was
flowing over my hand. The living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope,
set it free!” ”
Sometimes it takes patience for that breakthrough to happen.
We like to measure things in nano-seconds, but God works on a different
Remember the farmer.
:8 You also be patient.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
:8 You also be patient
be patient – μακροθυμέω makrothumeo (“long” + “temper”) – to be patient in bearing
the offenses and injuries of others; slow to anger, slow to punish
aorist active imperative
This word and its various forms are woven through our text today – it’s the
key word in the passage.
In vs. 7 it’s “be patient” and “waiting patiently”
In vs. 8 it’s “be patient”
In vs. 10 it’s “patience”
This word seems to be uniquely connected to people and relationships.
This is not so much as being patient in difficult circumstances, it’s being
patient with difficult people.
Patience isn’t optional
Sometimes we seem to think that impatience with people is just a character flaw
or a harmless little personality defect we have.
God thinks patience is a necessity.
James commands it.
God is “patient”
(2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His
promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not
willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Love is “patient”
Corinthians 13:4 NASB95) Love is patient, love is kind …
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit
5:22 ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience…
We are to be patient with one another
4:2 NLT) Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Remember Helen Keller? Here’s clip
from a movie about her life:
Remember it wouldn’t be for another whole month before the
real breakthrough (“water”) would occur.
“Patience” sounds easier in church than it is in real
But with God’s help, we can cultivate it in our life.
:8 Establish your hearts
Establish – στηρίζω sterizo (“steroids”) – to make stable; to strengthen, make
aorist active imperative
“Establishing” or “strengthening” is something the apostles constantly
worked at with the churches.
Several times in the book of Acts we read about Paul’s ministry (Acts
14:21-22; 15:32; 15:41; 18:23)
14:21–22 NKJV) —21 And when they had preached the
gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium,
and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls
of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying,
“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
15:32 NKJV) Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened
the brethren with many words.
(Acts 15:41 NKJV) And he went through Syria and
Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
(Acts 18:23 NKJV) After he had spent some time there,
he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening
all the disciples.
We need to learn to “pump up” our hearts in the faith.
We “pump up” our faith through the practice
of the spiritual disciplines of prayer, daily Bible reading, and healthy
connections with other believers.
Peter talks about how we are to be “established” (2Pet. 1:12) when he tells
his readers …
1:12 NKJV) For this reason I will not be negligent to
remind you always of these things, though you know and are established
in the present truth.
(2 Peter 1:5–8 NLT)
—5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s
promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence,
and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and
knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient
endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly
affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you
will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are the kinds of things that will “pump up” your
:8 the coming of the Lord is at hand
coming – parousia –
presence; the coming, arrival, advent; the future visible return from heaven of
Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and
gloriously the kingdom of God
is at hand – eggizo – to
bring near, to join one thing to another; to draw or come near to, to approach
The farmer is able to be patient with his fields and wait all the way until
the latter rains come in March and April because he is looking forward to
seeing the precious fruit of his crops.
It’s a little easier to be patient with difficult people if we keep our
eyes on Jesus coming back rather than how much trouble those idiots are causing
:9 Do not grumble against
one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at
:9 Do not grumble against one another
grumble – στενάζω stenazo – a sigh, to groan
present active imperative
The word is usually translated “groan”.
Again, in our relationships with difficult people, are there people in your
life that are so dumb they cause you to “groan” or let out a big “sigh”, or
maybe make you “facepalm”?
We “groan” as we wait for our new resurrected bodies (Rom. 8:23; 2Cor.
(Romans 8:23 NKJV) Not only that, but we also
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within
ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
(2 Corinthians 5:2 NKJV) For in this we groan, earnestly
desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
(2 Corinthians 5:4 NKJV) For we who are in this tent
groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further
clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
We need to be careful how we treat spiritual leaders (Heb. 13:17).
(Hebrews 13:17 NKJV) Obey those who rule over you, and be
submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.
Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for
We want to make sure that we aren’t the cause of them
“groaning” to God for our lack of respect.
condemned – katakrino – to
give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment; to condemn
aorist passive subjunctive
You’re going to have people that “stupid” in your life. So why shouldn’t we “grumble”?
:9 the Judge is standing at the door
the Judge – krites – one
who passes or arrogates to himself, judgment on anything
at – pro – before
door – thura – a door; the
vestibule; used of any opening like a door, an entrance, way or passage into
is standing – histemi – to
cause or make to stand, to place, put, set; to stand; to stand by or near
perfect active indicative
There’s an interesting connection with this phrase and James’ death.
One of the earliest accounts of James’ death comes through Hegesippus, who lived
right after the times of the apostles.
One of the earliest of church historians was Eusebius, who lived in the 4th
century (314 AD) recorded how James died.
His main historical source was the account of a man named Hegesippus,
who lived right after the time of the apostles.
James was apparently a Nazirite, never cut his hair, never used anointing
oil, and never took a bath (or perhaps, a mikveh)
He was known for spending such long times of prayer in the Temple that his
knees grew as callused as a camel.
He had a great impact on the Jews in Jerusalem and had led many to faith in
Among other things, James had been telling people about the “gate of Jesus”
– apparently a reference to the way into heaven. Jesus Himself had said,
(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me.
When asked about this “gate of Jesus”, James responded by saying that Jesus
was the Savior.
Many came to faith when James said this.
The Jewish leaders were so concerned about his impact on the Jews, that
they begged him to go to the pinnacle of the Temple, clarify what he meant by
“the gate of Jesus”, and tell people to stop following Jesus.
And he answered with a loud voice, ‘Why do ye ask me concerning Jesus,
the Son of Man? He himself sitteth in heaven at the right hand of the great
Power, and is about to come upon the clouds of heaven.
The Jewish leaders realized they had made a big mistake in letting James
speak, and they pushed him off the pinnacle of the Temple. James didn’t die from the fall so they stoned
him and beat him to death with a club.
This all took place very close to the time when the Romans laid siege to
Jerusalem and destroyed it. Many at that
time claimed that Jerusalem was destroyed because of their treatment of “James
Yet our passage is talking about more than just Jesus being the Messiah.
The verb “standing” if a perfect tense, something done in the past and
continues on into the present.
Jesus has been standing at the door.
And He’s still there.
When Stephen was on trial for following Jesus:
(Acts 7:56 NKJV) and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing
at the right hand of God!”
When Stephen said this, the Jews rushed upon him and
stoned him to death.
The picture here in James is not just Jesus being the door to heaven, but
that He is standing there waiting and watching.
He’s got His eye on you.
You don’t need to be grumbling about other people as if nobody cares for
Jesus cares for you and He knows all that’s going on in your life. He’s right at the door. And He’s coming through the door soon.
:10 My brethren, take the
prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and
take – lambano – take;
aorist active imperative
an example – hupodeigma (“under”
+ “expose”) – a sign suggestive of anything, delineation of a thing,
representation, figure, copy; an example: for imitation; of the thing to be
suffering – kakopatheia –
the suffering of evil, i.e. trouble, distress, afflicted
patience – makrothumia –
patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; patience,
forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs
spoke – laleo – to speak
aorist active indicative
:10 an example of suffering and patience
The word “suffering” (kakopatheia) means literally “suffer evil”
The word for “patience” is the noun form of the word we’ve been working
If you want a good example to follow of what “patience with difficult
people” looks like, then think about the Old Testament prophets like…
Elijah had to put up with Ahab and Jezebel who wanted him dead.
Isaiah was put to death by his own grandson Manasseh.
Jeremiah was imprisoned in a deep muddy cistern.
:11 Indeed we count them
blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended
by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
:11 we count them blessed who endure
We don’t think that a prophet is anything special because he “quit”, but
only that he kept going, even to the end.
count them blessed – makarizo –
to pronounce blessed
present active indicative
endure – hupomeno – to
remain; to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee; to preserve: under
misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ; to endure, bear
bravely and calmly: ill treatments
aorist active participle
:11 You have heard of the perseverance of Job
In vs. 11, the word “endure” and “perseverance” are forms of the same Greek
perseverance – ὑπομονή hupomone (“under” + “remain”) – endurance
This word is sometimes translated “patience”, but this is patience in
difficult time, not specifically with difficult people.
This is the quality of the person who does not walk away from his faith in
even the greatest difficulties but keeps going.
They “remain under” the difficulty.
heard – akouo – to hear
aorist active indicative
We might think of the “perseverance of Job” as how he endured losing all
his possessions, his family, and his health.
But in the context of our passage, the emphasis has been on relationships,
patience with difficult people.
Job was surrounded by difficult friends.
They say you shouldn’t kick a man when he’s down, but that’s exactly what
Job’s friends did.
They spent their time arguing that he must have done something horrible to
deserve all the trouble he had.
God said they were wrong.
(Job 16:2 The Message) “I’ve had all I can take of
your talk. What a bunch
of miserable comforters!
:11 seen the end intended by the Lord
Though some see this as a new thought, and see James pointing to how Jesus
saw His “end” (death and resurrection), it’s more likely that James is talking
about the end of Job’s difficulty.
end – telos – end;
termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some
act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)
Lord – kurios – he to whom
a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord
James is talking about Jesus, how He went to the cross. That was the “end of the Lord”.
seen – oida – to see; to
aorist active indicative
When you read the book of Job, be sure to read it to the end.
At the end of Job’s troubles, he has not only had his fortunes, health, and
family restored, but he’s grown closer to God.
(Job 42:5 NKJV) “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my
eye sees You.
Job has learned that God indeed is very compassionate and merciful.
You may not understand the difficulty you are going through, but beloved in
the end, when we get to heaven, we will be able to look back and see that God
was indeed compassionate and merciful.
:11 the Lord is very compassionate and merciful
very compassionate – polusplagchnos
(“much” + “bowels”, “compassion”) – full of pity, very kind
merciful – oiktirmon –
merciful; from oikteiro – to pity,
have compassion on
The words here remind me of how God described Himself to Moses:
NKJV) —6 And the Lord passed
before him and proclaimed, “The Lord,
the Lord God, merciful and
gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression
:12 But above all, my
brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath.
But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into
swear – omnuo – to swear;
to affirm, promise, threaten, with an oath; in swearing to call a person or
thing as witness, to invoke, swear by
present active imperative
oath – horkos – that which
has been pledged or promised with an oath
let – eimi – to be
present active imperative
yes – nai – yea, verily,
truly, assuredly, even so
no – ou – no, not; in
direct questions expecting an affirmative answer
judgment – hupokrisis –
an answering; an answer; the acting of a stage player; dissimulation, hypocrisy
judgment – krisis – a
separating, sundering, separation; judgment
:12 let your “Yes” be “Yes”
The issue is this:
The practice of swearing an oath is used as a way of convincing people that
you are telling the truth.
Some people say, “May lightning strike me if I don’t keep
my promise to you…”
For most of us it’s an empty oath, though not for Roy
But why does a person swear an oath?
Because for some reason the other person doesn’t trust
As we’ve seen time and time again, James is quoting his older brother Jesus
from the Sermon on the Mount:
(Matthew 5:37 NKJV)
let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these
is from the evil one.
Be a person who has a reputation for keeping his/her word.
How do you do that?
By telling the truth and keeping your word.
Don’t be quick to promise things just because that’s what
you think the other person wants to hear.
Don’t promise your kids things that you have no intention
of following through on.
In the universe of Star Trek, there’s always one person you can always
count upon to tell you the truth, the Vulcan named Spock.
So now you know Spock can lie, does it make you want to trust or believe him? Maybe not…
How does it affect your relationships when you don’t tell the truth?
Others have a hard time believing anything from them.
God wants His people known for telling the truth.
When we share the gospel with people, it’s imperative that people see that
we’re telling them the truth.