Study Questions

Sermon Questions

  1. What does James say about the way we speak of one another?
  2. What does James mean by his advice to “refuse to swear or make an oath?”
  3. What is the best way to keep from breaking your promises?
  4. What should you do when you find yourself in a crisis?
  5. Why would James encourage us to confess our sins to one another?
  6. What is the point of anointing with oil?
  7. What is the value in pursuing a brother or sister who has lost their way or who has lost faith?

Additional Scriptures

Matthew 5:33-37
Jesus gives instructions about our promises.  How does this impact our choices about keeping our word?

Romans 12:9-16
These words of the apostle mirror the words of James in several ways.  Outline the similarities.  What else does the author of Romans add?

Small Group Discussion

  1. How do you typically respond to crises in your life?
  2. When was the last time you grumbled about a brother or sister?  What events led to the grumbling?  Do you still feel justified in grumbling?
  3. Do you tend to think before you make a promise, or look for excuses after you make the promise for your inability to keep it?
  4. What damage is done when you don’t keep a promise, even if you ask for forgiveness later?
  5. Do you have a person or group of people with whom you can confess your sins?  Who might be a candidate for such in your life?
  6. How do you celebrate the goodness of God to you?  Cite a recent example.

Going Deeper

  1. Which advice of James cut most closely to you?  What will you do about it?
  2. Is there anyone you think you should pursue—someone you know is making wrong choices, even though they are professing a desire to live righteously?  (Of course, we understand that when we pursue people who have not made this kind of commitment, we are expecting Christian behavior out of non-Christian people, which doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense, does it?)