The Point of the Book of James
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings. (James 1:1 ESV)
Have you ever heard someone say, “Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.” If you haven’t, what do you think it might mean?
Have you ever met someone who said they could do lots of things, but really, they can’t? Maybe
it was someone who said they were great at sports but they turned out to not be very good.
Maybe it’s someone who said they would ace a test at school, but in reality, they got a D instead.
Maybe it’s someone who thought they were tough, but when someone picked on them, they run
The book of James was written to a group of people like this. They were great at “talking the
talk” but not very good at “walking the walk.” James was writing to a group of Jewish people
who had been saved by Jesus. They said they loved and followed Jesus but in reality it didn’t
really look like it. The rich and the poor people in the church weren’t getting along, and they
loved the things of this world more than the things of God.
To make matters worse, they were being hypocrites, and they were being persecuted for their
faith. During a time when they should have been coming together like a family to support, love,
and encourage each other, they were not acting very much like Christians. James wrote his book
of the Bible to address these Christians and tell them what God had to say about it.
Read James 1:22
1.What does James want us to understand in this verse?
2.In what ways are you tempted to simply be a hearer and not a doer?
3.Why do you think James emphasizes this issue for Christians? What’s the big deal?
Our Father, thank you that you were perfectly a hearer and doer of God’s word. We thank you
that your perfection covers us when we fail to completely live up to this standard. We stand in
awe of your death and empty tomb that accomplishes this. Give us more of your Holy Spirit so
that our heart is your heart and our life reflects your life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.