The Book of James Bible Study

| Book of James Bible Study | Introduction to James | Themes in James | James and Jesus | About the Author |
James 1

The Christian's Bible

Does God Change? - James 1:16-17

How is a Person Saved? - James 1:18

Acceptable Religion - James 1:26-27

Deception through religious acts

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The Christian's Brethren - James 2:1-13

The Christian's Bible

Editor's note: James moves into a more theological discussion on who God is and what the Christian is responsible for doing in his or her life.  This section asks the question "What is God like?" and sets up the next section with the question Does God Change?

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:16-17).

EXPOSITION: “Do not be deceived” is commonly used to call attention to some truth just spoken or to one about to be stated (Galatians 6:7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Luke 21:8). James uses it in the midst of his discussion to stress that evil does not come from God. James places it after the negative assertion and before the positive statement of what God does not and does provide.

It is possible to understand James as “Stop deceiving yourselves by supposing that God is the originator of sin, or that he impels any man to commit it.” If God is not the author of evil, what does He sire? Every good and perfect gift! Both God’s acts of giving and His gifts are good and perfect. “Every” indicates that God is the fountain and author of all goodness. In fact, Jesus said, “No one is good—except God alone” (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19).

Therefore, in contrast to the evil enticements that proceed from within the heart of fallen man, good gifts come to us from above. Such benefits come down to us in a steady stream from the Father of lights. This is understood best from the benediction to the Shema: “Blessed be the Lord our God who hath formed the lights.” These heavenly bodies provided readily understood symbols of purity as well as constancy.

This statement effectively negates any possibility the claim that temptation to sin comes from God. Key to this fact is that God the Father does not change like shifting shadows. There is no change, variation in God. While God is the Creator and Sustainer of these variable lights, as the Giver of good gifts to men there is no variation in Him.

Next Section - Does God Change?

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Decoding Daniel

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

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Life of the Apostle Paul

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