How to be saved: only believe Christ paid for your sins. Done. Salvation cannot be lost, even if you stop believing.

James 1 - Overview

Blueprint for Understanding James

There's some key items to consider before reading James that will become more apparent as it progresses:

Monadic vs. Anarthrous

It's important to know is the difference between a Greek word when it's anarthrous or monadic (especially in James since this technique produces the context). In essence:
Monadic = contains the article / emphasizes the uniqueness of something
Anarthrous = does NOT contain the article (when it should) / stresses the DIVINE quality of something (or in few cases super 'evil')

To the Brethren in the Twelve Tribes

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

James 1:1 Ἰάκωβος θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοῦλος ταῖς δώδεκα φυλαῖς ταῖς ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ χαίρειν.

First thing: this is being addressed to the Jewish believers of the time, so it's important to take some of the customs into consideration to understand what James is aiming at. This becomes more apparent in book 2 (especially when James starts to quote O.T. passages).

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials

James 1:2 Πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε, ἀδελφοί μου, ὅταν πειρασμοῖς περιπέσητε ποικίλοις

James opens the book to 'brethen', which equates to believers. Therefore, all context is post-salvation.

The type of 'joy' (or really happiness in today's English) is unalloyed happiness. James uses 'alloy' analogies throughout. We'll also see James linking this up with the 'trying' of your faith (as in a fire that separates various metals).

Trying of *The* Faith

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your The Faith (Bible in you) works patience endurance.

James 1:3 γινώσκοντες ὅτι τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως κατεργάζεται ὑπομονήν.

PISTEOS is passive in this case and also monadic with the definitive article (to clarify with 'The' Faith). Trying (testing) the Word that you already BELIEVE in, not your belief itself... because THE BIBLE produces endurance, not you. It's what you have BELIEVED in and not your belief. This is also why pisteou is in the passive form because Bible Doctrine acting on you is passive, you're not doing it, God is.

Just having a generic "faith" has no substance to it, unless there's INFORMATION (Bible Doctrine specifically) behind it, and it must be believed. This is why the 'trying' (diagnostics!) is important, because if it's not occurring, the cycle isn't happening, therefore you're not believing and instead memorizing and reciting.

James will be going back to 'The Faith' (monadic) by referencing logos in the anarthrous form. Therefore James 1:3 acts as the catalyst for the verses to come.

James 1:4 But let patience endurance have its perfect mature work, that you may be perfect mature and entire, wanting lacking nothing.

James 1:4 ἡ δὲ ὑπομονὴ ἔργον τέλειον ἐχέτω, ἵνα ἦτε τέλειοι καὶ ὁλόκληροι ἐν μηδενὶ λειπόμενοι.

Let the BIBLE have its COMPLETING 'mature' work ON YOU. The translation of 'perfect' is only correct in its archaic form, therefore mature is more appropriate. The reason why this is pertinent as we'll soon find out, the believers were NOT letting the Bible work on them, instead they wanted to 'work the Bible' by doing physical works.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives to all men liberally and does not rebuke; and it will be given him.

James 1:5 Εἰ δέ τις ὑμῶν λείπεται σοφίας, αἰτείτω παρὰ τοῦ διδόντος θεοῦ πᾶσιν ἁπλῶς καὶ μὴ (οὐκ?) ὀνειδίζοντος καὶ δοθήσεται αὐτῷ.

If there's a particular Bible Doctrine (B.D.) someone doesn't understand, they simply ask God to get an answer-- assuming it's being done through 1 John 1:9 and believed, because:

James 1:6 But let him ask in faith belief, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

James 1:6 αἰτείτω δὲ ἐν πίστει μηδὲν διακρινόμενος. ὁ γὰρ διακρινόμενος ἔοικεν κλύδωνι θαλάσσης ἀνεμιζομένῳ καὶ ῥιπιζομένῳ.

If you DON'T believe God is going to respond to your questions about the Bible Doctrine you're stuck on, then you will obviously not get a response, and that's precisely what is wrapped up in verse 7 below:

James 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

James 1:7 μὴ (Μὴ) γὰρ οἰέσθω ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος ὅτι λήμψεταί τι παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου,

If you're not believing what is asked, then nothing will happen as a result. But it's still possible for someone not to believe and still assume something will happen. The 'believing' is explicitly pointing to epignosis.

James 1:8 A double dual minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 1:8 ἀνὴρ δίψυχος, ἀκατάστατος ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτοῦ.

The dual mind (dipsuchos) comes from the fact you're trichotomous (Body + Soul + Holy Spirit) but not operating on Bible Doctrine through epignosis, so a schism is created in your mind. This also explains why Christians who are carnal / operate exclusively on gnosis act oddly and far more chaotically than someone who is an unbeliever.

Another faculty being 'walking in darkness' disallowing your ability to interpret / discern Bible Doctrine; so you misuse the [memorized] information adding fuel to the schism in your mind.

LOGOS PISTIS: Operating under Bible Belief

Regarding this chart, this is the model that James is advising the Brethren (believers) to follow. We start with Bible Doctrine, this then has two pathways, either being understood or not understood. If it's understood it can be believed and memorized with 1 John 1:9, allowing God's Word (Bible) in you to then create the effects in James 1:21 (which is a small example). If the information is not understood, the believer should then ask God through 1 John 1:9 (James 1:5) to receive help on deciphering what the Bible is saying, and then once revealed and interpreted goes down the same path once believed with 1 John 1:9.

The problem that was happening is that believers were not believing B.D. (epignosis), and instead either memorizing information (gnosis) and repeating it or discarding it entirely. The phenomnenon with repeating information but not entirely understanding it (even if you convince yourself you do) can be anaylzed not just in Christianity, but in many other topics.

Rich / Poor Theme

In the next two verses (nine and ten), James introduces the theme about physical wealth (being poor / rich) and then also contrasts this to spiritual wealth eventually as well. It's important to take note as it's brought up again in the second book and re-iterated upon in greater detail. Also, both poverty and wealth are a test in and of themselves.

James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted

James 1:9 Καυχάσθω δὲ ὁ ἀδελφὸς ὁ ταπεινὸς ἐν τῷ ὕψει αὐτοῦ

Rejoice as in not being put down / distracted about your physical poverty; since Bible Doctrine is far more valuable (and not to mention, once you get into studying the Bible, there's nothing else like it).

James 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he will pass away.

James 1:10 ὁ δὲ πλούσιο`,2; ἐν τῇ ταπεινώσει αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ὡς ἄνθος χόρτου παρελεύσεται.

And if you're rich, not to let the physical riches become the prime distraction; because the spiritual riches are indefinite.

Note: the context of verses 9 and 10 are not literally saying the poor are exalted and the rich are made low.

Fallback to Psalm 90 (part of how God orchestrates time, and especially in context for believers). Basically advising the rich not to doubt from wealth, and the poor not to doubt from poverty since both are unique challanges that can get to someone's head.

James 1:11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also will the rich man fade away in his ways.

James 1:11 ἀνέτειλεν γὰρ ὁ ἥλιος σὺν τῷ καύσωνι καὶ ἐξήρανεν τὸν χόρτον καὶ τὸ ἄνθος αὐτοῦ ἐξέπεσεν καὶ ἡ εὐπρέπεια τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἀπώλετο: οὕτως καὶ ὁ πλούσιος ἐν ταῖς πορείαις αὐτοῦ μαρανθήσεται.

Everything fades, not that riches are bad, but that the WORD is more important that riches, because it lasts forever in your mind.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried (tested), he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him.

James 1:12 Μακάριος ἀνὴρ ὃς ὑπομένει πειρασμόν, ὅτι δόκιμος γενόμενος λήμψεται τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς (ὁ κύριος) ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν.

The crown of life refers to the inheritances. You will get tested as a result of becomming part of the royal priesthood. This is exemplified by dokimadzo in Romans 12:2 (proving):

Cross Verses

Romans 12:2 And don't be conformed to this world: but transform [yourselves] by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove (dokimadzo) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect mature, will of God.

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted: "I am tempted of God": for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He temp any man:

James 1:13 Μηδεὶς πειραζόμενος λεγέτω ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ πειράζομαιl: ὁ γὰρ θεὸς ἀπείραστός ἐστιν κακῶν, πειράζει δὲ αὐτὸς οὐδένα.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.

James 1:14 ἕκαστος δὲ πειράζεται ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἐξελκόμενος καὶ δελεαζόμενος.

Originating 'creating' your own sin

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth births sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth births death.

James 1:15 εἶτα ἡ ἐπιθυμία συλλαβοῦσα τίκτει ἁμαρτίαν, ἡ δὲ ἁμαρτία ἀποτελεσθεῖσα ἀποκύει θάνατον.

Sin has become anarthrous by making it divine, hence you're giving it dinivity in that you're creating it: a deliberate contrast to firstfruits (in James 1:18). Also indirectly referencing 1 John 1:9 as a re-filling is required after the sin is 'birthed'.

Romans 5:12 Therefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned

James 1:16 Do not err be deceived, my beloved brethren.

James 1:16 Μὴ πλανᾶσθε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί.

Emphasis on "brethren" / believers again.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect mature gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17 πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον ἄνωθέν ἐστιν καταβαῖνον ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων, παρ᾽ ᾧ οὐκ ἔνι παραλλαγὴ ἢ τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα.

James 1:18 Of His own will He brought birthed us by with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

James 1:18 βουληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀπαρχήν τινα τῶν αὐτοῦ κτισμάτων.

Further emphasis on the BIBLE doing the work, and not YOUR believing. Therefore, the Word in YOU does the work and not you.

Firstfruits is also a term for Christ, hence being a doer of the Word = letting the Word (Bible in you) do the work. LOGOS has no definitive article therefore being anarthrous. Logoe is also in the dative (actor), so the word acting on you. Which tracks back to verse three, being passive work done by God and not yourself. Therefore any works YOU do or any claims that YOU make are invalid and violate the Bible; since it's God that does the work in you. Doing external physical works are also going back to James 1:15 where you birth your own sin, because you'll want to plagiarize and claim that the works YOU'RE doing are of God or divine quality.

WE are the fruit as a result of getting Bible in our heads, but it's not what we do. It's about the work that God does to your thinking AS A RESULT of getting the Bible in your head.

To recap:
#1 Firstfruits = Christ = the Bible working on you (once mentally metabolized)
#2 LOGOS is anarthrous AND dative; so the Word (Bible) acts on you - claiming the other way around that YOUR works are from the Bible is a sin and diagnostic pointing to carnality
#3 Doing works and claiming their divine is plagiarism and using the Lord's name in vain

James 1:19 Therefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

James 1:19 Ἴστε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί, ἔστω δὲ πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ταχὺς εἰς τὸ ἀκοῦσαι, βραδὺς εἰς τὸ λαλῆσαι, βραδὺς εἰς ὀργήν:

James 1:20 For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.

James 1:20 ὀργὴ γὰρ ἀνδρὸς δικαιοσύνην θεοῦ οὐκ ἐργάζεται (κατεργάζεται?).

Bible RESCUES your Soul (mental rehabilitation)

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save RESCUE and rehabilitate your souls.

James 1:21 διὸ ἀποθέμενοι πᾶσαν ῥυπαρίαν καὶ περισσείαν κακίας ἐν πραΰτητι, δέξασθε τὸν ἔμφυτον λόγον τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν.

You can't stop "filthiness" and other things in your life by yourself. Therefore receiving the WORD through humilitiy. Why? you have to know you cannot do anything of your own accord and that it's the Bible that does the work; otherwise someone who is stubborn will say change is instant and promote their physical works. In other words, if you believe in the "faith without works" mistranslation and believe YOU have to do works, you're not receiving the WORD through humility.

Due to the way we inherently think (culturally, religiously and instinctually), we need to RELEARN after being saved because even after you're saved, your soul is still the same. You still have the same tendencies. Still the same person.

ENFOUTON: Implanted by nature, because you are reborn spiritually. Therefore it can ONLY be for believers, because they've believed and they need the Word Implanted. Lest you are Rom 10:10 and mouth it without BELIEVING. Also note that LOGOE only becomes anarthrus it has to be implanted (ENFOUTON) via Tou, which is the same thing in verse 1:3, so Word believed THEN Word implanted.

enfouton = monadic because of TON at the beginning, logos is anarthrous, no article.

Also a fallback to Luke 8 with the 'implanted' Word (the seed being the Word).

BELIEVE the Word

James 1:22 But be become yourselves doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving deluding your own selves.

James 1:22 Γίνεσθε δὲ ποιηταὶ λόγου καὶ μὴ μόνον ἀκροαταὶ παραλογιζόμενοι ἑαυτούς.

Being a doer the Word is BELIEVING (epignosis) the Word with 1 John 1:9.

James 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror:

James 1:23 ὅτι εἴ τις ἀκροατὴς λόγου ἐστὶν καὶ οὐ ποιητής, οὗτος ἔοικεν ἀνδρὶ κατανοοῦντι τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐσόπτρῳ.

LOGOS has no definitive article (no TOU). Anarthous. If you don't believe the information, you'll deem it as useless and forget it. Also it is possible to memorize the Bible, but that memorized information will still be ran through a filter; especially if you're carnal (walking in darkness) and are unable to process Bible Doctrine.

James 1:24 For he looks at himself and goes his way; and right away forgets what kind of man he was.

James 1:24 κατενόησεν γὰρ ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀπελήλυθεν καὶ εὐθέως ἐπελάθετο ὁποῖος ἦν.

Which is again forgetting from not believing (or filtering out the information being unable to process it).

James 1:25 But who ever looks into the perfect mature / completing law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work; this man will be blessed in his deed.

James 1:25 ὁ δὲ παρακύψας εἰς νόμον τέλειον τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας καὶ παραμείνας, (οὗτος?) οὐκ ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς γενόμενος ἀλλὰ ποιητὴς ἔργου, οὗτος μακάριος ἐν τῇ ποιήσει αὐτοῦ ἔσται.

Law of liberty, another word for the Bible

"Pure Religion" *sarcasm*

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart mind, this man's religion is vain.

James 1:26 Εἴ τις δοκεῖ θρησκὸς εἶναι μὴ χαλιναγωγῶν γλῶσσαν αὐτοῦ ἀλλὰ ἀπατῶν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ, τούτου μάταιος ἡ θρησκεία.

James 1:27 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 from the world.

James 1:27 θρησκεία καθαρὰ καὶ ἀμίαντος παρὰ (θεῷ?) τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ αὕτη ἐστίν, ἐπισκέπτεσθαι ὀρφανοὺς καὶ χήρας ἐν τῇ θλίψει αὐτῶν, ἄσπιλον ἑαυτὸν τηρεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμου.

First aspect is easy to do (visiting the fatherless / widows), and many religions do it: generic physical works. The second however, it's a really clever play-- key is "unspotted", going back to Christ being the blemishless lamb:

Cross Verses

1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood (thinking) of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

YOU CAN'T DO THAT! Only the Bible (Christ's thinking) is what makes you unstained. Not yourself or any of the 'good works' YOU do / claim they are from God. AND YET SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE (DOER) OF THE WORD WILL SPIN AROUND AND SAY YOU NEED TO DO THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT AND VISIT THE FATHERLESS/WIDOWS AND BE UNSTAINED BY YOUR OWN ACCORD.

Believing in the Bible (Christ's thinking), and you are unstained. Visiting the fatherless and the widows does not get the Bible into your thinking. Which is the whole premise of the sarcasm: you'll be doing deeds and works, and it will completely distract you from studying the Bible.

To Conclude

James is not written to unbelievers and exclusively for post-salvation events because:
#1 The book is addressed right in verse 1:2 MY BRETHREN
#2 The book heavily reiterates being born again (James 1:8)

Continued in Book 2

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