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Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:18 word of truth. We are “born again” through the incorruptible “word of God” (I Peter 1:23; note also James 1:21; Ephesians 5:25-26).

1:18 firstfruits. See I Corinthians 15:20,23. Christ is Himself the “firstfruits” from among the dead, but among “His creatures,” we are His firstfruits. There may be also a suggestion here, since James was writing specifically to and about Jewish believers in Christ, that these were considered His firstfruits, with Gentiles coming later. Even Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, agreed that the gospel should be preached “to the Jews first” (Romans 1:16).

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