It is characteristic of James to pass from one paragraph to another by repletion of a key word. Here, having spoken of God’s word in regeneration (verse 18), he goes on to speak of the place God’s word- as expressing his will- should have in the believer’s life.
- What do you consider to be the possible hindrances and dangers that may prevent God’s word from taking root and bearing fruit in our lives?
- ‘Meekness’ (verse 21) is not to be confused with inactivity.
What lessons dose James’ illustration enforce concerning our reaction to God’s word and his law?
With verse 25, cf. Luke 8:15. How does your religion stand up to James’ practical tests (verses 26ff.)?
- Verse 25. ‘Looks intently into ‘: literally ‘peers closely at’; cf. John 20:5, 11; 1 Pet. 1:12. ‘The perfect law that gives freedom’: cf. Rom. 8:2.
The Christian gospel is a ‘law that gives freedom’ because God’s Spirit cerates within the hearts of those who receive it the will and power to obey God.
So God’s law becomes an inner constraint and is no longer chiefly an external restraint.
- Verse 27. ‘Religion’: the word means the outward expression of faith.