The tough sell to some of the men yesterday, many of whom have grown up on Marxist ideology, was that we are not the product of our environment. James is pretty clear that being poor can be a blessing. So we spent time discussing that our problem is not our circumstances but our sinful hearts.
People have wrongly (and with great error) charged that James offers a different picture of salvation than Paul does. Our close survey of the text showed that James drips with grace. He says that every good gift comes from God. Then, rather than glorifying the free will of man, he speaks of the free will of God in the new birth:
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:18My first session this morning is at 7 a.m. : )