Oak Grove Baptist Church

Striving to become the church of choice for this generation.

How to Live with Faith and Trials

James 1:1

Scripture Outline

  1. Greetings (Jas_1:1)
  2. How to Profit from Trials (Jas_1:2-4
  3. How to Obtain Wisdom (Jas_1:5-8
  4. How to Be Rich and Poor (Jas_1:9-11
  5. How to Overcome Temptation (Jas_1:12-15
  6. How to Receive Good Gifts (Jas_1:16-18
  7. How to Communicate (Jas_1:19-21
  8. How to Become a Doer (Jas_1:22-25
  9. How to Be Authentically Religious (Jas_1:26-27)

Christianity is much more than mere philosophy, theology, or religious teaching. It is a lifestyle based upon a vital relationship with God. He has invited us to love Him with all of our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength (Mar_12:30).

He desires for us to not only know about Him, but to know Him personally (1Jn_4:7). We are to allow Jesus Christ to be the vine of our lives, and we are to be the branches (Joh_15:5). Christ asks that we not only receive Him but that we walk in Him and be rooted and built up in Him (Col_2:6-7).

Our relationship with Him is one of great intimacy and utter dependence. We are asked to no longer live for ourselves but rather for Him. We are to be in Christ, and He is to be in us (2Co_5:14-17). In fact, without Him we can do nothing (Joh_11:5). But through Him we can do anything He calls us to do (Php_4:13).

Love is at the very center of this relationship. It was God's love for us which caused Christ to live and die and rise from the dead. He was and is love personified (Rom_5:8). Nothing in all of creation can separate us from Christ's love (Rom_8:35-39). Where Christ is, there is love. His very character is love (1Jn_4:8). Jesus said that it is by this love that His authentic disciples are to be recognized (Joh_13:35). This love must not only be expressed in word or in talk, but it must be expressed in action, in deed and in truth (1Jn_3:18). Therefore, love is not an option for the Christian; love is at the very center of his or her lifestyle. And so are the other qualities of the "fruit of the Spirit" at the center of the Christian's life, including joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal_5:22-23).

Love, and all of the other fruit of the Spirit, must be lived out in daily lifestyle. Possession is more than mere profession; authentic Christianity is practical. That is what the Book of James is all about. James helps us understand "how to" live the Christian life.

He helps us to move from the place of merely possessing intellectual belief in Christ to the joy of knowing Him personally and following Him daily. Too often the church has merely told people that they "should" live for God or that they "must" do what is right. James moves beyond mere moralizing to teach us "how to" follow Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives. His teaching is both practical and workable; his style is "show and tell." He tells us and shows us "how to" do it.

James is concerned with the matter of faith. For him, faith is not merely something which is believed; faith is something we do. It must be lived—in active obedience. The focus of his direct teaching regarding faith is found in the second chapter of his letter. However, the emphasis is found throughout the book beginning with the first chapter which focuses upon how to live with faith and trials.


As we have seen in our introductory study, James identifies himself not as a brother of Jesus Christ, nor as a leader of the church, but rather as a servant of God and a servant of Jesus Christ. I believe that his identification is more than mere literary style. He is writing with a true Christian perspective of leadership.

James understands who he is and who the people of God are within the Christian family. His style is one of love and humility. Other leaders of the early church used a similar greeting in their epistles, such as Paul (Php_1:1) and Peter (2Pe_1:1).

James understood that his highest calling, and therefore his most accurate identification of his position, was that of a servant. Peter presents that teaching in a powerful manner as he addresses his "fellow elders" concerning the Christian style of leadership (1Pe_5:1-4). He is expounding the basic teaching of Jesus regarding the vital matter of servant leadership (Mat_20:20-28).

Jesus taught clearly that the leaders of His kingdom did not "lord over" or dominate others. Instead, the one who is the greatest in the kingdom of God is the one who is the servant of all (Mat_20:26). This is the understanding and conviction of James. He seeks to be the servant of God's people wherever they may be.

Our introductory study has shown us that James is writing to a scattered church often referred to as the Diaspora—those Christians who were dispersed throughout the Roman world as a result of severe persecution.

His reference to the twelve tribes appears to be a symbolic description of the scattered people of the New Covenant as opposed to the twelve tribes of Israel of the first covenant. These twelve tribes are the New Covenant people of the Church of Jesus Christ.

The simple word translated as "greetings" from James is the Greek word chaı́rein, which was used often in letters of that day. Although Paul and the other New Testament writers did not use it, the Jerusalem church used it in their letter to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia (Act_15:23).

In summary, James writes as a humble servant of Christ and His church to fellow believers who are scattered throughout the Roman world by persecution for their faith. These are people who have a deep faith in Jesus Christ. James writes to give them practical counsel regarding how they can follow Christ as the Lord of their lives even more effectively.

The Importance of Being Careful

Romans 16:1-16

Scripture Outline

  1. The Care of Giving Encouragement to People (Rom_16:1-16)

  2. The Care of Giving Attention to Problems (Rom_16:17-20)

  3. The Care of Giving Glory to God (Rom_16:21-27)

The Apostle is full of Surprises.


The Soaring Theology


The Early Chapters


The Striking

and Challenging Practicality


The Latter Section


the epistle,

He Concludes With

a delightful personal


Intimate Series of GREETINGS


show A Number

Of Things that

He Wanted To Do.



It should be noted that this

final chapter

has been the basis


much debate,

particularly with regard


the fact that The Apostle

could hardly

have known so

many people

in a church he had never visited.

It has been suggested, therefore,

that the letter was really sent to Ephesus.

The response to

this theory

has been that

The Apostle Was

Asking For Trouble

in mentioning

only Twenty-Six People

by name in a church

where he had

recently spent TWO



In the light of such arguments,

We may assume that Paul

Knew a lot

Of Christian people

All over the world


Had the ability

To keep track of them

As they moved

From place to place.

It is clear that

He was careful

To Remember Names


Details of the people he met.

PHOEBE, the bearer of the letter,

is Warmly Commended

as she makes

her journey to Rome



enjoy the normal Hospitality

extended by

The believers in

The early church.

She is described


(Greek, diakonos—deaconess),


credentials of

The Highest


The Apostle's beloved





Who have braved innumerable


with Paul,

are described graphically

in verse Rom_16:4

as those who "risked their own necks for my life."

The fact that


almost always

precedes her husband

in the Scriptures

may be attributable


Her Superior Social Station


more likely to her

being the more striking


Gifted Person

in the joint ministry

they exercised.

Numerous People

are commended

for their "LABOR,"


not a few are


described as "BELOVED,"


The Apostle repeatedly

uses the expression

"In The Lord"


Identify the bond

that holds them together.

It is clear that some

of The Believers


that some of them

knew Christ before Paul, that

Some Were Slaves


others came from

The Household Of Herod,

that some

Had Shared Prison Cells

with Paul

and others

Had Cared For Him

and even " him.

But all were




BARCLAY points out that:

Tryphena and Tryphosa

were probably twins,


their names mean

"Dainty And Delicate,"


They Were Described


Those Who "LABOR,"

with Paul

Purposely Choosing

the word that suggests LABOR to

The Point Of Exhaustion.

Of such stuff


the church of Rome made!

As his mind teems with remembrances of dear friends and courageous fellow-workers, the apostle shows his concern as he gives them an important warning.

Rom 16:13  Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 


Mar 15:21  And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 

Romans 16:17-20

The Care of Giving Attention to Problems

The Authoritative Apostle appears

at this juncture

as he takes steps

to warn

the believers in Rome


the possibility of people


into the fellowship


perverted doctrine

delivered with considerable expertise


less than honorable motives.

He refers to these people

as those who


and cause



who serve "their own belly."

They are committed to their own appetites,


the ministry of Paul,


.deny the fundamentals


the faith as outlined

in the apostolic teaching.

They are, therefore,

to be regarded

as agents of Satan,


the believers should

"avoid them."

Under no circumstances


the believers be afraid

of these people,

for while they are

to be watched and avoided,

they cannot prevail ultimately.

As was promised in the Garden,

the enemy of souls

will eventually be crushed,


the Romans will enjoy

their special place

in this promised victory


"the God of peace will crush Satan under [their] feet shortly."

As always,

Paul strikes a fine


as he warns Christians

not to ignore

Satan but at the same time


to be paranoid about him.

That he is

real and dangerous

goes without saying,

but that he is



his days are numbered

is equally true.

The devil is like

a roaring lion s


whom he may devour,


he is on a short leash


the hand that holds

it is the hand of God.

Careless ignoring


satanic infiltration

is foolish,

but chronic oppression

by satanic influence

does no justice

to the victory

which is ours in Christ.

Romans 16:21-27

The Care of Giving Glory to God

It is quite possible that


who had taken down

the epistle at Paul's


read the finished


to the apostle,

who then picked up the pen


wrote these final words of


They ring with similar


to those with which

the letter opened


direct the attention

of the readers to God


His ability to

"establish" them.

In the light of

the great themes

of salvation

that have been unfolded,

the believers in Rome

are to live as people

who will be part of the


who will present

the gospel to all corners.

This will require

great strength

and fortitude

but God would not

call them to the task

if He were not able


willing to "establish" them.

Accordingly, they must

look up continually

to Him


see in the gospel


the preaching of Jesus


the revelation of

the mystery,


the Scriptures

of the prophets,

the message that

God has intervened

in the human arena

and t

hat, having called people

to faith

in and obedience to Christ,

He will strengthen

them for

the task ahead.

He is the One

who intervened;

His was the wisdom

that devised

the glorious blending

of grace, mercy

and justice;

it was His Son

who died and it was

His power that raised

Him from the dead;

it was from His right hand

the Spirit

was dispensed

and through Him

that the redeemed believer

lives the life that

honors the Lord

and crushes Satan.

Therefore, to Him all glory rightly belongs!

Conference Call Instructions

Bible Study Conference Call

Welcome, to the Oak Grove Baptist Church Weekly Bible Study Conference Call.

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