James is a small but priceless book that contains spiritual truths that are the gateway to supernatural living. The Book of James is full of spiritual pearls. Each pearl of truth, taken separately, opens a gateway into supernatural living that will lead us to experience deeper aspects of the Life of Christ. For this reason, each spiritual pearl of truth that James presents deserves our careful study and meditation.
There is a surface message in James that even a causal inquirer can understand. However, there are spiritual truths in the Book of James that, like buried treasure, lay hidden beneath the surface. This spiritual treasure will never be discovered by the causal inquirer. Throughout the Book of James, enough of these pearls stick out to catch the light. They shimmer and beckon us to come and stop a while to dig them up and gaze upon their beauty.
We are reminded in the Scripture, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings to search out a matter.” We are told in Proverbs that “wisdom calls out” for us to search for her, and if we will seek her “we will find life and will obtain favor from the Lord” (Prov. 8). Jesus promised, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” Paul explains that “eyes have not seen and ears have not heard the wonderful things God has prepared for us, but God will reveal them to us by His Spirit.” How much of the life of God have we missed out on, how many of His promises have we forfeited because we haven’t asked or sought for them, or meditated in the scriptures long enough for its truths to unfold? We haven’t knocked and as a result, the door hasn’t opened.
Ask, Seek, and Knock and The Door Will Open
It is through seeking that we find. This a theme in scripture. The whole book of Revelation was written because of this one principle. John said that he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day when he heard a voice and saw Jesus in all His glory standing among seven lampstands. John writes, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door was standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ ” Jesus gave us the promise that if we would “knock” the door would be opened. Not only that, He tells us that He is knocking on the door of our heart, and gives us this promise, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and have fellowship with him and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)
Faith that Transforms
To understand James in its depths, we must study it with this meditative approach. James does not just give us doctrines to believe. On the contrary, James tells us that it is not just enough to believe in God or give mental assent to spiritual truth. James asks, “Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!”(James 2:19). Even the demons believed in Jesus when He was one the earth and cried out, “We know who you are, You are the Son of the Living God. Have you come to persecute us before our time?” They knew the truth; they believed in Jesus, but all their believing did them absolutely no good. Our faith and knowledge of Jesus and His Word should be more than a doctrine we believe in or a truth we know, it should transform our lives and produce spiritual works. If it doesn’t, we have no more faith in God than the devil does. James teaches us “to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only.” If we are only a hearer, James tells us we “deceive ourselves.” (James 1:22)
Being a Doer of the Word
According to historical record, James’ own life, which ended by martyrdom, was a testimony to his teaching. The Jews demanded that James publicly deny his belief in Jesus. James instead, stood up in the temple and cried out that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Jesus had taught His disciples, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will deny before My Father who is in heaven.” James was a doer of the word and not a hearer only. He was thrown from the battlements of the temple to the ground below. Since the fall did not kill him, he was beaten to death with a club while he was on his knees praying. He did as Jesus had taught all His followers to do – forgive others and He prayed as he was breathing his last breath, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”