Notes from Norman
By Norman P. Grubb
James is different from any of the other letters. Somewhat the same way the book of Esther is different from any other book in the Old Testament. There is a profound work of Spirit; yet, the Spirit and God are hardly mentioned. James is a little like that. He almost by-passes all the depth of interest in all of Paul’s, John’s and Peter’s letters. His letter is a class by itself. He is entirely concerned by the practical outworking of Christian living. In a sense he takes the background for granted…yet, in a very subtle way doesn’t take it for granted. All he really says points back to what the background really is. So there is a subtlety tucked away in his presentation. The background, of course, is what we have continually learned through Paul and John.
We have learned that a true person is in conscious union of conscious unity. We are created for that and we are created for that in Christ. The whole purpose of God through the ages is the Spirit unity with His redeemed family (His Son and sons). He expresses Himself and operates by a redeemed family. So it is God operating Himself by His redeemed human people (human forms). The basis is a conscious Oneness. You are operating from conscious oneness. So it is always God operating Himself by us, God speaking by us, God working by us (God meaning the whole Trinity Father, Son and Spirit). This we understand is the ultimate of the Gospel. This is the purpose of God through Eternity, chosen by Him before the foundation of the world.
James makes a plain statement of where he starts. Then he makes a very pregnant comment to follow, which is really the secret of his letter. His plain statement starts by saying, “I’m a servant of God of The Lord Jesus Christ. I’m speaking to you, the brethren scattered abroad.” A servant is the highest form of son. So we are delighted to be servants. Jesus’ highest level was to be a servant. God highly exalted Him because He had gone to the bottom roots of taking our place. So to be a servant is the highest glory. We are a son to be a servant and delight to be a servant. This means that your interest is to fulfill other peoples’ needs. So James just says that, “I’m a servant of God of The Lord Jesus Christ.” So his basis is there for himself.
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