To what extent is your life directed by the knowledge that Christ is coming back? Much of our thinking and behavior is shaped by what we can see of present circumstances or past events. Yet Scripture speaks forcefully of Christ's return as a fact that should be directing how we live now. Christians are to be motivated by the certainty of this future event.
When I had been a Christian less than a year, I attended a conference for the InterVarsity chapters in our state. Among those in my cabin was a student from another campus who made a lasting impression on my life through one passing remark. During a discussion in the cabin about the events surrounding Christ's return, this student suddenly commented, "What a great day that will be!" He spoke briefly but with such fervor that I could not forget his words. I realized that the return of Christ was a fact of knowledge for me but had not become a moving force on my emotions, attitudes and behavior.
James writes now about a forward-looking stance of faith in which the realities of the future affect outlooks and behavior in the present. His flow of thought can be outlined in three sections evident in his three addresses in 4:13, 5:1 and 5:7. The first two begin with identical words, age nyn ("now listen" in NIV, or "come now" in the more literal NASB), and are negative in thrust. In the third section, James returns to his loving address, brothers, along with then, oun, showing that his thrust here will be his conclusion from what has preceded. The three sections are thus tied together and can be summarized as: "don't be arrogant; don't be materialistic; instead, be patient."
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! For just a few dollars each month, Bible Gateway Plus gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.