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James 1:19-27

Read James 1:19-20

  • Why does James caution his readers to be slow to get angry?

  • How have you seen human anger (in yourself or others) produce things that are contrary to God's righteousness?

  • How does being quick to listen and slow to speak help us to avoid getting angry too quickly?

  • What other Christian virtues are fulfilled in being quick to listen and slow to speak?

  • What does it say about our hearts that we are often so slow to listen and so quick to speak?

Read James 1:21-27

  • How does James describe 'the word' in these verses? [1] (You might like to underline or highlight every reference to the word). Can you piece together the flow of the logic here in your own words?

  • How does a focus on God's word change the way we use our own words? (look at verses 19-21 and 26-27)

  • Have you seen examples of 'religious' people failing to keep a tight rein on their tongues? What harm does this cause to the reputation of Jesus and His followers?

    • And how have you seen good religion, where Christians are taking care of those who are poor or needy, and keeping themselves from being polluted by the ways of the world around them? What does this do for the reputation of Jesus and His followers?

  • What word of God have you committed to memory, so that you might remember it and do it?

    • Choose a verse or two from James chapter 1 to memorise. Read it over and over, and test yourself to see if you've got it committed to memory. Then see how you can put it into practice this week.

[1] Douglas Moo makes some interesting observations about the word being "planted in you":

What James is suggesting by describing the word in this way is that the Christian must not think he is done with the word of God after it has saved him. That word becomes a permanent, inseparable part of the Christian, a commanding and guiding presence within him. The command to receive the implanted word, then, is not a command to be converted (‘receive the word’ means this elsewhere in the New Testament), but to accept its precepts as binding and to seek to live by them. Christians who have truly been ‘born again’ (v. 18) demonstrate that the word has transformed them by their humble acceptance of that word as their authority and guide for life. Or, to use the imagery our Lord used to make the same point: the believer is to prepare ‘good ground’ in his heart in order that the ‘seed’ of the word that has been planted there might produce much fruit (cf. Mark 4:3–20).

Douglas J. Moo, Tyndale Commentary Vol. 16: James, p85.


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