James: Key Verses

Each chapter in the book of James has a two to four themes. If you want to learn the content of the book of James you can learn the themes along with key verses which will help you know what is contained in each chapter and in the book.

I would encourage you to commit these verses to memory. Learning key verses for books of the Bible will help you know what is contained in the book. And, in this case, each of these verses will give you a greater idea of what is in each chapter.

James 1

Greeting — James 1:1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Trails and Temptations — James 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Doers and Not Hearers Only — James 1:22

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James 2

Partiality — James 2:1

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Faith Without Works — James 2:14

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

James 3

Controlling the Tongue — James 3:5

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

Wisdom — James 3:17

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 4

Worldliness — James 4:4

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Judging One Another — James 4:11

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Boasting About Future — James 4:14

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James 5

Warnings to the Rich — James 5:1

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Patience in Afflictions — James 5:8

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Prayer — James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Wandering Christians — James 5:20

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Image with link to a memory course for the book of James.While I have listed these as the key verses to help you learn the topics in each chapter, there could be other verses that you may find to be better in helping you remember each chapter’s content. If you do have another verse that you prefer, post that in the comments below. I am curious as to what stands out as important to others.

For the most part, this list came from a memorization course on the book of James that I am doing. Check out the Master of Memory course if you would like to memorize the book as well.

Faith or Sight – Trusting Christ Because of His Word, Not Experience

In John 20 verse 25 Thomas said that he would not believe Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive unless he was able to put his fingers in the nail prints of Jesus’ hands and side. When Jesus reappeared eight days later he walked in and Thomas saw him with his own eyes. Without the need for putting his fingers in the wounds of Jesus he declared that Jesus was alive and was God.

The disciples were with Jesus for more than three years but they seemed to not completely understand that Jesus was God. They saw His miracles and heard His teaching, but their words and actions spoke to the fact that they did not completely understand who Christ was. Here Thomas proclaimed, “my Lord and my God.” He finally recognized Jesus for who he was—the God of the universe.

Jesus was willing to allow Thomas to follow through with his proclamation for not believing unless he touched Jesus (even though Jesus would not allow Mary to touch Him in verse 17). Thomas was satisfied. Jesus acknowledged that Thomas wanted to see, hear and touch Him. After that though, Jesus turned the emphasis from experiencing the presence of Christ to believing through faith.

Jesus then said to Thomas, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” I believe Christ was speaking for our benefit. We have not been able to physically experience Jesus, but through faith in His Word we can know Him.

We are told in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This was after an explanation that there is a need for people to proclaim the God’s Word. We can know God and Jesus Christ through the Bible. We don’t need the experiences. In fact, Jesus proclaimed a blessing on those who believe in Him through faith and not through sight.

To know Jesus Christ we need to read and study the Bible personally. It is great to be part of a church and to have a pastor and Sunday School teachers who will guide you, but personal Bible study is where your faith will increase.

Don’t Stone the Messenger

Joshua and Caleb stood before the children of Israel in Numbers 14 ready to give their report of what they saw in the Promised Land. Verses 7 through 9 is their impassioned plea to the people to trust the Lord’s leading.

And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

Their report was that the land was “exceeding good.” The land flowed with milk and honey. The Israelites shouldn’t fear the Canaanites, though they were giants, because God was on their side. It was time to trust God and receive their promised inheritance.

But the reaction of the people isn’t what we would expect. Numbers 14:10 says:

But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.

Their reaction was to pick up stones and kill the two men who brought the report that God was with them and God would do the work needed to overtake the land. The people could not bring themselves to trust the promises of God. The result is that they wandered in a wilderness for 40 years and all the adults, save the 2 they wanted to stone, died before entering the Promised Land 40 years later.

What is it today that you have trouble trusting God about? Would you rather obey God, or silence the ones who bring the message of victory just because you don’t want to hear it?

Faith is Like a Straw

Tonight in church a guest speaker was talking about Ephesians 2:1-10. When he got to the often quoted verses 8 and 9 he gave an illustration that I had never heard. I have not thought it through completely, but I thought I would share what he had to say.

He commented that he used to think it was faith that saved us. According to these verses, it is God’s grace that does the saving, but it comes to us by faith. His illustration was something like this (loose translation from Spanish to English and the fact that I am paraphrasing 4 hours later).

If I am thirsty and I have a glass of water in front of me, I can use a straw to transport that water to my mouth and into my stomach. While the straw can’t quench my thirst, it can be the method by which the water is transported (or applied) to my body. Playing with the straw does not do any good until it is used to connect the life sustaining water with my stomach.

Faith is like the straw. People put trust in their faith and not in the grace of God that is actually what saves us. We need to apply the faith to transporting God’s grace into our lives for salvation.

His main point was that we don’t arrive in Heaven because of our own works and abilities. We arrive in Heaven because of what God, through Jesus Christ, did in our place. We have no ability to save ourselves, but we can trust in One who can save us.