BY: Tim Chilvers
DATE: Sunday 19 March 2023
BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
James | Chapter 5 | Verses 1-9
How can I show God’s heart for justice? At a time in our society where the gap between the rich and poor seems ever widening God calls us to live in a counter-cultural way, not trusting in or trying to gain the things the world puts value in such as wealth and power but instead trusting in God alone.
Bible Study Questions
Each week there are TWO different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.
A | DISCUSSION STARTERS
These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):
1 | Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?
2 | Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?
3 | As a result of the talk, what:
a. Changes do you want to see?
b. Truths do you need to remember?
c. Actions do you need to take?
B | QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE
These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:
Read James Chapter 5, verses 1-19
1 | Were there any points that stood out for you from the talk on Sunday? Was there anything you particularly agreed or disagreed with?
2 | These verses have been used at times in past church history as teaching to say that the wealthy cannot have a full relationship with God. Is this the point you think James is making? If not what do you think his main point is?
3 | Why do wisdom and wealth have a conflicted relationship? What are some of the points of conflict between them?
4 | James instructs us that wise business (defined as living in God’s world in the way of Christ) requires two habits: trusting in God in planning and paying fair wages. Which of these habits/areas of life is more of a challenge to you, and how does it affect you?
5 | James calls out the unjust way that the rich land owners have treated those taking care of the lands they own; putting their own comfort and wealth above the needs of others. Where do you see this happening on a global and local scale in the world today? Have you had experience of being on either of these sides in your own life?
6 | Make a commitment to focus on one area in your life where you would like to develop more of God’s heart for justice. Share this with your group and pray for one another.
As you work thorugh these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus in this year ahead.
Bible Study Resources
BOOK | The Letter of James by Scot McKnight (a shorter version with questions is also available: James & Galatians by
Scot McKnight). Please contact us to borrow a copy if you are preparing teaching material.
BOOK | The IVP Bible Background: Commentary by Craig S. Keener.
# Helpful for a brief overview of James.