The letter of James is frequently commended as a ‘practical’ book. But in this devotional commentary, Sinclair Ferguson is out to prove that its wise guidance is drawn from a weighty theology.
The link between beliefs and behaviour is demonstrated ably in his treatment of James 2:14-26. Here Ferguson unpicks the difficult wording by presenting the passage as a conversation between two people with different types of faith — only one of which is real, saving faith.
Another strength is his ability to trace continuity through a letter which can appear disjointed at first glance. For example, the exhortation to seek wisdom (James 1:5-7) is shown to be directed particularly to Christians who are facing trials (1:2-4) — which can include both poverty and wealth (1:8-12).
The pages brim with illustrations and metaphors — like the weightlifter standing steadfast under the strain; the hypocrite’s mask being torn off by the Word of God; and the ‘spiritual bad breath’ (p.33) of an angry Christian. These vivid word-pictures will help readers recall the main thrust long after the printed words have faded from memory.
Let’s Study James will help believers to grow in knowledge; knowledge which is theological and yes, practical too.