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Archives of Previous Studies

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December 14, 2017

Spiritual Adultery in Everyday Life and James 4:4

In tonight's study, we continue to explore the meaning of spiritual adultery as expressed in James 4:4 by examining sections of the prophets Hosea and Jeremiah as well as several New Testament scriptures.  We also raise and answer a question about divorce and remarriage.

December 7, 2017

Sinful Prayer and Spiritual Adultery in James 4:4

In tonight's study we connect James' depiction of praying wrongfully with his condemnation of spiritual adultery and then explore the theme of spiritual idolatry in the prophets.  We also take time to establish the historical context of the prophets by reading the contemporaneous accounts in First and Second Kings.

November 16, 2017

Praying correctly, will, trust, and good person syndrome in James 4:3

In the first half of our study, we compare asking rightly and wrongly in prayer, praying according to God's will, and how that ties to trust.  We discuss "good person syndrome" and examine the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In the second half, we examine modes of prayer drawing upon the writings of Teresa of Avila.

November 9, 2017

Godly wisdom, strife, faith, trust and prayer in James 3:17-4:2

In tonight's study we finish James 3 with his discussion of the Wisdom from Above and the resulting peace.  We then start chapter 4 and begin a discussion of prayer, why our prayers are not always answered, and how we often do not pray or exercise faith in a spiritually mature way.  This leads to a further discussion of faith, and trust drawing upon some of the writings of Saint Faustina.

October 26, 2017

The Two Wisdoms and Peter's Humbling in James 3:13-16

We continue our examination of the two wisdoms in James 3 using examples in Paul's letters to the Corinthians and Peter's interaction with Jesus at the end of the Gospel according to John.

October 19, 2017

Trials, Faith, Teachers, Two Different Wisdoms, and Self-Honesty in James 3:13-14

Tonight's study begins with several instances of sharing on the topic of perfection, completion, trials, and faith and then a question about Abraham's faith when offering Isaac.  We return to the topic of teachers with a quote from Pope Gregory the Great and the proceed from where we left off in James 3:13-14 discussing the two wisdoms and the need to be honest with one's self.

October 12, 2017

Gehenna, Controlling God, and Proper Speech in James 3:6-13

Tonight's study covers James 3:6-13 dealing with the dangers of the tongue and beginning a discussion about wisdom. However, we take several digressions to discuss the history of the word Gehenna, religious practices in Canaan, how we can pervert Christianity into similar religious practices, the danger of judging Christ our teacher when we judge each other, and Hebrew expressions passed through Greek and then into English.

September 28, 2017

Proper Use of the Tongue in James 3:2-6

After a question about faith and works, we look at James' discussion of our speech in James 3:2-6 both positive and negative — when to speak and when not to speak.  We finally begin to explore the history of the word Gehenna for Hell.

September 21, 2017

Good Teachers and Bad Teachers in James 3:1

In tonight's study, we discuss our responsibilities to our teachers and leaders, their responsibility to us, and how to deal with good and bad teachers in the Church.  We address the importance of the Oral Tradition and teaching as we have been taught.  We also touch on the difference between information and formation and the idea that we must know God in order to make Him known.

September 14, 2017

The Progression of Faith in II Peter

We continue our exploration of James' demonstration of faith in James 2 as something that progresses into works by seeing how this is echoed in II Peter chapter 1.  Along the way, we discuss the cost of discipleship and the steps of progressing on to spiritual perfection.

September 7, 2017

Faith and Works in James and Paul: James 2:24-26

Tonight's study looks at how James may be intentionally clarifying abuse of Paul's writings about faith and works and how their writings are complementary rather than contradictory.  We review the story of Rahab as referenced by James.  We observe how James portrays a progression of faith and then look how Peter outlines a progression of faith in II Peter chapter 1.  In our discussion of II Peter 1, we introduce commentaries as a Bible study aid.

August 31, 2017

Fruitful and Fruitless Faith - James 2:12-23

We continue through James chapter two and the discussion of works and faith.  We spend time comparing Paul, James, and John, digress briefly on Anti-Christs, and conclude discussing friendship with God.

August 24, 2017

James 2:12-16: Judgment, Mercy, Faith, and Works

In tonight's study, we touch again upon judgment, mercy, and the law of liberty which sets the stage for James discussion on faith and works.  We then look at illustrations of mercy, faith, and works in Proverbs and Ruth.