“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (James 1:1).
It is often true that “Imitation is the highest form of flattery”. However, when it comes to spiritual matters, the phony is never an acceptable substitute for the genuine.
With the very first words James wrote with his quill at the outset of his epistle, three distinctive traits are implicitly rooted therein. Each significant characteristic deserves a careful examination.
A Christian is someone who esteems the spiritual above everything else.
There are several notable descriptors James did not use in reference to himself: the half-brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19); a witness of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7); a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9). Instead, James focuses upon his spiritual relationships with God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
James’ words are a clear example of the principle stated by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17: “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
As Jesus made plain in Mark 3:31-35, His kinfolk are those who do God’s will; it is not determined by physical genetics or personal pedigree.
Those who have been raised with Christ and are seeking the things which are above focus their minds on the spiritual above everything else (Colossians 3:1-2).
A “worldly Christian” is far more than an oxymoron. It is ugliest form of blasphemy of the name “Christian”.