James And Jude

Introduction

Matthew 13:55 mentions four brothers of Jesus. Two of them, James and Jude (Judas), are credited with the writing of the books which bear their names. This lesson will discuss the men and cover some of the principles we can learn from these two books.

I. James And Jude

A. James.

  1. An apostle and son of Zebedee and Salome (Matthew 4:21; 27:56). He was a brother of John, and a fisherman (Luke 5:10). He was called to be an apostle (Matthew 4:21-22; 10:2; Mark 1:19-20; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13) and surnamed Boanerges by Jesus (Mark 3:17). He was martyred in A.D. 44 (Acts 12:2).
  2. The younger, an apostle. He was the son of Alphaeus (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; 15:45; Luke 12:17).
  3. The brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Galatians 1:19; 2:9, 12). The brother of Judas (Jude) and Joseph (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Jude 1). A witness of Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7). He addressed the council at Jerusalem in favor of liberty for the Gentile converts (Acts 15:13-21). He sent disciples to Antioch (Galatians 2:12). He heard of the success attending Paul’s ministry (Acts 21:18-19) and he wrote the epistle of (James 1:1).
  4. Father of the apostle Judas (not Iscariot) (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13).

B. Jude.

  1. Also known as Judah. He wrote the last of the New Testament epistles.
  2. He was the brother of James and Jesus (Jude 1:1; Mark 6:3).

II. Principles In James

A. Chapter 1.

  1. We should rejoice when faced with trials (vss. 2-4).
    a) The testing of our faith produces endurance.
    b) Endurance helps to make us complete spiritually.
  2. We should pray for wisdom (vs. 5).
  3. Our prayers should be accompanied by an unwavering faith (vss. 6-8).
  4. God will reward us if we remain faithful to Him and endure trials (vs. 12).
  5. Some facts about temptations (vss. 13-16).
    a) God does not tempt us with evil.
    b) Our temptations result from our own lusts.
    c) Our lusts give birth to sin.
    d) Sin brings forth death.
  6. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only (vss. 21-25).
    a) Those who hear but do not do God’s will deceive themselves.
    b) Those who hear and do God’s will shall be blessed.

B. Chapter 2.

  1. We must not show partiality (vss. 1-13).
    a) Partiality results from evil motives.
    b) God has not shown partiality.
  2. Faith without works is dead (vss. 14-26).

C. Chapter 3.

  1. We must control what we say (vss. 1-12).
    a) Our tongues can defile our bodies and are hard to tame.
    b) Our religion is vain if we do not control our tongues (James 1:26).
  2. The truly wise person is known by his behavior (vss. 13-18).

D. Chapter 4.

  1. Wrongly motivated prayers will not be answered (vs. 3).
  2. Those who are friends of the world are enemies of God (vs. 4).
  3. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (vs. 7).
  4. If we humble ourselves before God, He will exalt us (vs. 10).
  5. In the context of eternity, our lives last only as long as a vanishing vapor (vs. 14).
  6. We sin if we do not do what we know is right (vs. 17).

E. Chapter 5.

  1. Those who seek earthly riches and not God will receive misery (vss. 1-6).
  2. In waiting for the Lord’s return, we must be patient and endure suffering (vss. 7-11).
  3. We must be true to our word (vs. 12).
  4. We should pray for those who are sick (vss. 14-15).
  5. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (vs. 16).
  6. If a Christian strays from the truth, we should try to turn him back (vss. 19-20).

III. Principles In Jude

A. God has given us His completed revelation (vs. 3).
B. God brings judgment upon evil people.

  1. The unbelieving Israelites (vs. 5).
  2. The angels who abandoned their proper position (vs. 6).
  3. Sodom and Gomorrah (vs. 7).
  4. Cain, Balaam and those involved in the rebellion of Korah (vs. 11).
  5. False Teachers (vss. 4, 8, 10-19).

C. We must grow spiritually and build upon our faith (vs. 20).
D. We should do everything possible to keep others from being lost spiritually (vs. 23).

Conclusion

James and Jude, although small books, contain a wealth of practical, scriptural teaching for us regarding living in this world and standing strong for truth.

Questions:

  1. Name five trials that may try our faith today.
  2. When faced with a temptation to sin, what can we do to keep from yielding to it?
  3. James 2:21 says that works justified Abraham. However, Romans 4:2-3 says that Abraham was not justified by works but by faith. Are these passages contradictory?
  4. Cite three passages that show that God’s revelation has been completed.
  5. Jude 20 says we must build upon our faith, and 2 Peter 1:5-11 tells us what to add to our faith. How can we accomplish the spiritual growth God expects of us?

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