Who is this James?  Why is he a servant?  Who are the 12 tribes?  Why do we care about this letter? 

This first section lays out the answers and sets the stage for understanding this epistle and applying it to our lives.

What is joy?  Why should I have it?  How do I get it?  What difference does it make?

Living in light of the work of Christ, should produce certain things in us.  In this section, James lays out some of that produce.

What is wisdom?  Why do I need it?  Why will God give it to me if I ask?  

Living wisely in the world, as James has exhorted the people to do, requires Godliness and wisdom.  James grounds his teaching in God, as the only wise foundation.

How do I view my life if I have nothing?  How do I view my life if I have everything?  How do I view my life if I have lost everything?

James’ encouragement is to trust in Christ; not just for salvation, but for everything.  In this section we lay out the case for that trust, and show the consistency of the Bible.

Who runs everything?  Where does my sin come from?  What am I running towards?

In light of God’s working amongst His people, and James’ call to persevere in faith and sanctification; James answers these questions.

How can James be confident his readers will understand?  How do I do the things James is calling me to do?

Faithfully following God is not a new concept in the New Testament.  James will now remind his readers of their salvation, as use that as a “jumping off point” to encourage their sanctification.