James was not called during His ministry, but may have received his calling when Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to John, a non-family member.
Richard Ritenbaugh asserts that the epistle of James stresses both faith and works, emphasizing those factors necessary for growth, enabling us to produce a bountiful harvest of fruit. We are to exercise humility and impartiality, taking particular effort to bring our tongues under control, being cautiously slow to speak, …
The book of James applies to us after the sanctification process has begun. The most effective way of eliminating sin is to do righteousness.
Richard Ritenbaugh reiterates that the command to eat unleavened Bread outnumbers the command to refrain from eating leavened bread three to one, indicating that if we actively engaged ourselves in studying God's word and doing righteousness, we wouldn't have time or place to participate in unrighteousness. Ingesting God's word …
We can sum up the epistle of James with one verse: 'Pure and undefiled religion...is this: to visit orphans and widows..., and to keep oneself unspotted...."
Pure religion, according to James, takes care of vulnerable people — the widows, fatherless, and strangers. This echoes the words of the prophets.
Competition is the root cause of war, business takeovers, and marital discord. Solomon describes man's rivalry with one another as a striving after wind.
Peace is less of an external situation than an internal state. As such, we can have peace wherever we happen to be. We can help ourselves create this state by occasionally getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Works are necessary for a Christian, and have not been neutralized by grace. Good works serve as the evidence of faith; faith without works is dead.
James provides some of the best advice on communication and control of the tongue. The correct order of communication is listening, waiting, and then responding.
Even with Christ's sacrifice, God does not owe us salvation. We are called to walk, actively putting to death our carnal natures, resisting the complacency.