James 5: But God Does Redemption

I am intrigued how James ends this letter that has focused so much on what we are to do in our faith.

So be patient, my brothers and sisters, for the appearing of the Lord. . . . the appearing of the Lord is near at hand. (5:7-8)

Three more times in four verses James uses the words “patient” or “patience.”

All letter long James has focused on our actions — all the while avoiding the legalism and self-reliance of the Judaizers — and at the end he closes by drawing the readers’ attention back to Jesus.  And not just Jesus, but the return of Jesus to this world to set it right with judgment and re-creation.

Waiting for Jesus

Lest we turn the book of James into justification for salvation by works, he reminds us that the most important work of all comes solely from God, not us. All we can do is be patient as we wait for God through Christ to restore this world to the just, loving, and faithful kingdom it was meant to be.  As we do faith and do love and do wisdom, James reminds us it is God’s role to do the redemption of this world and our very souls.

James has many, diverse messages, but did one overall point really hit home with you this week?

Categories: James | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “James 5: But God Does Redemption

  1. Eddy Efaw

    Theocentricity in an epistle. Dr. Oster would be proud that you blogged about that point. : ) Great point!

  2. Melanie Semore

    I like what The Message says in ch. 3: “Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk that counts.”

    What hit home with me was the inseparable fusion of faith and living. I like to think of “living” rather than “works” because works sounds a lot like a check-off list, while living seems to be, well, life–and life is relentless! Doing works seems a lot easier than living a faith-controlled life from the inside out.

    • I really like that subtle change in verbiage. That can make a great difference. I am going to start using that terminology.

  3. “You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong.”

    I need to hear these words for several situations in my life right now. I am trying. It is hard to keep that faith and hope.

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