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By Gary Holloway / College Press / 1996
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The epistles of James & Jude hold a very unique position in the New Testament Canon. The writers of these epistles are brothers of our Lord Jesus Christ! It would be difficult for us to imagine the profound effect this relationship would have on these two men. However, what it brings to their inspired writings is a direct, personal, and intimate look at the Living word. James and Jude hold one other unique credential that undergirds their epistles. It is likely neither brother believed in Jesus' deity until after the Resurrection. The Apostle Paul writes that it took a special and personal appearance to James to finally convince him of Jesus' Lordship. Combined with their testimony, this translates out to very powerful proof of the Resurrection of Christ. The epistle of James stands alone in a single call: Faith without works is dead! The connection between works and living faith cannot and will not be separated. Salvation does not come from works, but spiritual works come from a saved and faithful heart. The value of James lies in its linking together faith and righteousness. This is a wisdom that can only come from God. This message—this call to believers to receive "wisdom from above"—is very relevant to the Christian today. The epistle of Jude also has a powerful message for Christians today. In a culture that is growing in its apathy and antagonism toward Christianity, in a world that is more accepting of everything non-Christian, and less tolerant of the faith, Jude has one message: There are times when the faith must be defended! That defense embodies opposing false teaching, and living the upright and godly lives spoken of through the Bible. An added feature to this commentary is a section containing special studies on the book of James. This feature is useful for application and instruction in daily living.