I. THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTIAN
PERFECTION STRESSED BY JAMES
A. Counting It All Joy Whenever Falling
into Trial and Enduring It by Faith with
the Hope of Receiving the Promised Crown of Life
The crown of life is an incentive, inciting the believers to count all the trials as a kind of joy, so that they can endure them by faith (James 1:2-4, 12).
B. Asking of God in Faith for Wisdom
to Know How to Be Perfect
To endure trials James says that we need faith. Then he says that we need to ask of God in faith for wisdom to know how to be perfect (1:5-8). This wisdom is different from the wisdom covered by 1 Corinthians 1. Christ is our wisdom, but not for us to know how to be perfect. He is our wisdom as our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (vv. 24, 30).
C. Rejoicing of the Lowly Brother
in His Exaltation and of the Rich Brother
in His Being Brought Low
Whether you are exalted as a poor one or brought low as a rich one, you need to rejoice (James 1:9-12). This kind of rejoicing is a virtue.
D. Resisting the Temptation
(Which Draws the Believers Away
and Entices the Believers by Their Own Lusts)
James 1:13-18 points out that we need to resist the temptation (which draws the believers away and entices the believers by their own lusts) by all good giving and every perfect gift from the Father of lights and by the virtue of being begotten by God with the word of truth to be the firstfruits of His creatures. These three points are very good: the begetting of God, the word of truth, and the firstfruits of His creatures. We resist the temptation by God’s good giving and gifts and by the virtue of God’s regeneration, which is with the word of truth to produce the firstfruits of His creatures. We can resist temptations only as a regenerated man, not as a natural man.
(Crystallization-Study of the Epistle of James, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)