BY: Sarah Auger
DATE: Sunday 8 Janaury 2023
BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Overview of the book of James.
What difference does following Jesus make in our lives? Are the lives of Christians the same as everyone else? What would change if we really took Jesus’ words seriously? As we begin this teaching series in the book of James we find answers to many of these questions and discover the life-changing reality that a life with Jesus can bring. After all, the author should know – he was Jesus’ brother! Our prayer for this series is that, like James, we will so absorb Jesus’ words and actions that we develop a new understanding and relationship with Jesus that changes everything about our lives.
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:
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 | The reading this week outlines who James is writing his letter to. How does his intended audience differ from many of the letters Paul wrote in the New Testament?
3 | Read James 5:12 & Matt 5:33-37. What do these two passages highlight about the relationship James had with Jesus?
4 | The theologian Scot McKnight writes ‘no other book after the four Gospels sounds more like Jesus than James. The ability to sound like Jesus without quoting him reveals that this brother of Jesus had so absorbed his Messiah’s teachings that he could not talk without sounding like Jesus.’ What distinctive behavior patterns do you see in yourself or other Christians you know that reflect Jesus to others? How did you/ could you cultivate these?
5 | As we start this series discuss and commit to something you will do that will help you deepen your relationship with Jesus. It could be making time for reading the Bible, prayer, confession, fasting, journalling, prayer walking, sharing your faith with others etc. Commit to supporting one another in the things that you choose. So, what will you do that will help you deepen your relationship with Jesus?
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.