James: True Faith Works

James 5:13-20 - Prayer: The Enduring Evidence of Faith

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:13-20. Notice James’ emphasis on prayer and confession. Do you ever confess of your sins? In what ways could it be improved?
     
  3. Before studying this passage, what statement did you most agree with: sickness is always the result of personal sin, sickness is never the result of personal sin, or sickness is sometimes the result of personal sin? What statement do you agree with now, and why? And how might James 5:15; 1 Cor. 11:30; and John 9:1–3 factor into your thinking?
     
  4. How do you usually respond if someone “falls off the radar” due to sin and stops gathering with our church? Read James 5:19–20; how should this passage inform your actions if people do this?
     
  5. If someone asks you to pray for them to be healed, is it ever appropriate in light of James 5:16 to ask that person if there might be any unconfessed sin in their life that is contributing to their physical sickness? If you asked for prayer for healing and someone asked you this question, how would you respond? How should you respond?
     
  6. As we conclude our study in James, take time to review the book and discuss what truths have been most impactful for you. Read Romans 12:9-13 and note themes in James that are echoed in Romans.
     
  7. Take time to pray for one another in your community group.

James 5:7-12 - Living with an Eternal Perspective

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:7-12. What examples of patience does James give? What reasons does James give for being patient?
     
  3. In what circumstances do you find it most difficult to be patient? What examples in Scripture can be a reminder and encouragement to you during those times?
     
  4. Aside from exterior circumstances, what are some desires, motivations, or mindsets that might foster an attitude of impatience? How can we be on guard against such an attitude? (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
     
  5. Read Matthew 5:33-37 and 12:36-37. How do these two passages contribute to a right understanding and application of James 5:12? Consider whether you are someone who is known to follow through on what they say, or if you find yourself having to convince others that you mean what you say.
     
  6. Discuss how your community group can help each other cultivate greater patience in light of the Lord’s return.

James 5:1-6 - A Warning to the Rich

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Read James 5:1-6. What sinful ways did these particular rich people use their wealth? How does this compare to how you use your wealth?
     
  3. In what ways might you be like the rich people in this passage? In what ways might you be like the oppressed? 
     
  4. What truths in James 5:1-6 can be an encouragment to you if you are being oppressed, or treated unfairly?
     
  5. What does James 5:2-3 reveal to us about the nature of earthly riches? What are some ways you have seen earthly riches fail someone or do them harm?
     
  6. What does James 5:4 reveal to us about the nature of God?

James 4:13-17 - If the Lord Wills

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Read James 4:13-17. What are some ways people might misapply this text?
     
  3. How might James 4:14 affect the way you view your life, your goals, your accomplishments?
     
  4. James 4:15 reminds us that God is sovereign over our lives. How should this knowledge influence our prayers for our church, our own lives, and the lives of our unsaved friends?
     
  5. James tells us in 4:15 that we ought to have a mindset of “If the Lord wills” before declaring future plans. How might saying this out loud benefit you and those around you? Who could you ask to help you grow in this area? 
     
  6. Read James 4:17. What is a truth that you have learned from James over the past several weeks? How can you put it into practice and do “the right thing”?

James 3:13-18 - Wisdom From Above

Discussion Questions

  1. 1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. What are the differences James 3:13-18 points out between wisdom that comes from above and “wisdom” that does not?
     
  3. Some of the people James was writing to were self-deceived into thinking they were wise when in fact they were not. How can believers avoid being self-deceived into thinking we’re something we’re not? What role does your community group and church body have in helping to avoid self-deception?
     
  4. What do 1 Corinthians 1:30 and Colossians 2:2-3 tell us is necessary for being “wise and understanding”?
     
  5. Compare the values in James 3:17 with the things that our culture values. In what ways are the world’s values similar? In what ways are they opposed?

James 3:1-12 - The Power of Words

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Do you find it easier to honor God with your speech in conversations with Christians or with non-Christians? Who or what do your conversations tend to focus on in each of those situations (yourself, others, God, entertainment, etc.)?
     
  3. How have you seen the destructive power of the tongue impact your own life or the lives of others?
     
  4. When have you witnessed or experience the power of words in building someone up?
     
  5. How do the words you use reveal what is in your heart?
     
  6. When do you find it most difficult to control your tongue? What can you do to find victory over temptation in such situations? What are some ways you can prepare for such situations ahead of time by giving the Holy Spirit control over your speech?

James 2:14-26 - Faith and Works

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. After studying James, what is genuine, saving faith based upon? What then does it lead to?
     
  3. Does this text challenge your thinking of your personal salvation? Based on the fruit shown through life, would you say you have genuine, soul-saving faith?
     
  4. How does the idea that even demons “believe” challenge our ideas of salvation?
     
  5. How can you grow in your good works this week? Is there an area of your life that the Lord is asking you, or providing an opportunity for you, to grow in, like He gave Abraham? Is there perhaps a way your community group, as a whole, could serve together and grow in good works together?
     
  6. Are there areas in your life that your behavior may not match your faith? How could a person evaluate this?

James 2:1-13 - Consistent Compassion

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. When have you been guilty of treating people differently because of what they could offer you? What does James think of such partiality (See James 2:4)? What do such decisions reveal about our thought patterns?
     
  3. Will God judge our behavior toward others, and if so, what criteria will He judge by (See Matthew 12:36; 18:21-35, and Colossians 3:22-25)?
     
  4. Consider the people whom you pray for on a regular basis. Does the focus of your prayers reveal any partiality in your heart (i.e. praying only for people who are similar to you)?

James 1:19-27 - Avoid Spiritual Deception

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. How do you regularly prepare your heart to receive God’s Word? (James 1:21)  Is there a practice that you find particularly helpful that might aid others in their reception of God’s Word?
     
  3. How is God’s Word a mirror for your life? What are some practical ways to make sure you are “looking intently” into the mirror of God’s Word instead of just “glancing” at it?  (see Psalm 119:105)
     
  4. How can you apply “visiting orphans and widows” in our culture and what does it mean to “keep oneself unstained from the world”? (James 1:27) Which of those do you find it easier to focus on? What are some ways you can improve in those areas?
     
  5. Since religious works can be manufactured and deceptive, how can you know the difference between counterfeit and true good works?