In the roughly fifteen years since Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, new communities of His followers had been established in hundreds of villages, cities, and towns. The Holy Spirit prompted James, the leader of the Jerusalem church, to write to the dispersed believers that there were many significant issues in these “new covenant” communities to address. The purpose of the letter is not apologetic or doctrinal, but personal and practical. A genuine faith in Christ will produce, James states, real changes in a person’s inner character and outer conduct. The absence of such transformation is evidence of a dead, non-saving faith.
The Acts of the Apostles, Part 34 – Outline (PDF)