James Chapter Five
The two classes in Israel are distinctly marked here in contrast with one another, with the addition of the walk which the Christian ought to pursue when chastised by the Lord.
The apostle gives the coming of the Lord as the term of their condition, both to the unbelieving rich oppressors in Israel, and to the poor believing remnant. The rich have heaped up treasures for the last days; the oppressed poor are to be patient until the Lord Himself shall come to deliver them. Moreover, he says, deliverance would not be delayed. The husbandman waits for the rain and the times of harvest; the Christina for his Master's coming. This patience characterizes, as we have seen, the walk of faith. It had been witnessed in the prophets; and in the case of others we count them happy which endure afflictions for the Lord's sake. Job shews us the ways of the Lord: he needed to have patience, but the end of the Lord was blessing and tender mercy towards him.
This expectation of the coming of the Lord was a solemn warning, and at the same time the strongest encouragement, but one which maintained the true character of the Christian's practical life. It shewed also what the selfishness of man's will would end in, and it restrained all action of that will in believers. The feelings of brethren towards each other were placed under the safeguard of this same truth. They were not to have a spirit of discontent, or to murmur against others who were perhaps more favoured in their outward circumstances: "the judge stood before the door."
Oaths displayed still more the forgetfulness of God, and the actings consequently of the self-will of nature. "Yea," ought to be yea, and "Nay," nay. The actings of the divine nature in the consciousness of the presence of God, and the repression of all human will and of sinful nature, is what the writer of this epistle desires.
Now there were resources in Christianity both for joy and sorrow. If any were afflicted, let them pray (God was ready to hear); if happy, let them sing; if sick, send for the elders of the assembly, who would pray for the sufferer and anoint him, and the chastisement would be removed, and the sins for which, according to God's government, he was thus chastised, would be forgiven as regards that government; for it is that only which is here spoken of.
The imputation of sin for condemnation has no place here. The efficacy of the prayer of faith is set before us; but it is in connection with the maintenance of sincerity of heart. The government of God is exercised with regard to His people. He chastises them by sickness; and it is important that truth in the inner man should be maintained. Men hide their faults; theydesire to walk as if all were going on well; but God judges His people. He tries the heart and the reins. They are held in bonds of affliction. God shews them their faults, or their unbroken self-will. Man "is chastened also with pain upon his bed and the multitude of his bones with strong pain." (Job 33:19) And now the church of God intervenes in charity, and according to its own order, by means of the elders; the sick man commits himself to God, confessing his state of need; the charity of the church acts and brings him who is chastised, according to this relationship, before God-for that is where the church is. Faith pleads this relationship of grace; the sick man is healed. If sins-and not merely the need of discipline-were the cause of his chastisement, those sins will not hinder his being healed, they shall be forgiven him.
The apostle then presents the principle in general as the course for all, namely, to open their hearts to each other, in order to maintain truth in the inner man as to oneself; and to pray for each other in order that charity should be in full exercise with regard to the faults of others; grace and truth being thus spiritually formed in the church, and a perfect union of heart among Christians, so that even their faults are an occasion for the exercise of charity (as in God towards us), and entire confidence in each other, according to that charity, such as is felt towards a restoring and pardoning God. What a beautiful picture is presented of divine principles animating men and causing them to act according to the nature of God Himself, and the influence of His love upon the heart.
We may remark, that it is not confession to the elders that is spoken of. That would have been confidence in men-official confidence. God desires the operation of divine charity in all. Confession to one another shews the condition of the church, and God would have the church to be in such a state, that love should so reign in it, that they should be so near to God, as to be able to treat the transgressor according to the grace they know in Him: and that this love should be so realised, that perfect inward sincerity should be produced by the confidence and operation of grace. Official confession destroys all this-is contrary to it. How divine the wisdom which omitted confession when speaking of the elders, but which commands it as the living and voluntary impression of the heart!
This leads us also to the value of the energetic prayers of the righteous man. It is his nearness to God, the sense that he has consequently of that which God is, which (through grace and the operation of the Spirit) gives him this power. God takes account of men, and that according to the infinitude of His love. He takes account of the trust in Himself, the faith in His word, shewn by one who thinks and acts according to a just appreciation of what He is. That is always faith, which makes sensible to us that which se do not see-God Himself, who acts in accordance with the revelation that He has given of Himself. Now the man who in the practical sense is righteous through grace, is near to God; as being righteous, he has not to do with God for himself with regard to sin, which would keep his heart a t a distance; his heart is thus free to draw nigh to God, according to His holy nature on behalf of others; and, moved by the divine nature, which animates him and which enables him to appreciate God, he seeks, according to the activity of that nature, that his prayers may prevail with God whether for the good of others or for the glory of God Himself in His service. And God answers, according to that same nature, by blessing this trust and responding to it, in order to manifest what He is for faith, to encourage it by sanctioning its activity, putting His seal on the man who walks by faith. 
The Spirit of God acts we know in all this; but the apostle does not here speak of Him, being occupied with the practical effect, and presenting the man as he is seen, acting under the influence of this nature in its positive energy with regard to God, and near to Him, so that it acts in all its intensity, moved by the power of that nearness. But if we consider the action of the Spirit, these thoughts are confirmed. The righteous man does not grieve the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit works in him according to His own power, but acting in the man according to the poser of his communion.
Finally, we have the assurance that the ardent and energetic prayer of the righteous man has great efficacy: it is the prayer of faith, which knows God and counts upon Him and draws near Him. The case of Elijah is interesting, as shewing us (and there are other examples of the same king) how the Holy Ghost acts inwardly in a man where we see the outward manifestation of poser. In the history we have Elijah's declaration: "Jehovah liveth, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." This is the authority, the power, exercised in the name of Jehovah. In our epistle the secret operation, that which passes between the soul and God, is set forth. He prayed, and God heard him. We have the same testimony on the part of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. Only that in the latter case we have the two together, except that the prayer itself is not given-unless in the unutterable groan of Christ's spirit.
Comparing Galatians 2 with the history in Acts 15, we find a revelation from God which determined Paul's conduct, whatever outward motives there may have been which were known to all. By such cases as those which the apostle proposes to the church, and those of Elijah and the Lord Jesus, a God, living acting, and interesting Himself in all that happens among His people, is revealed to us.
There is also the activity of love towards those who err. If any one departs from the truth, and they bring him back by grace, let it be known that to bring back a sinner form the error of his ways is the exercise-simple as our action in it may be-of power that delivers a soul from death; accordingly all those sins which spread themselves in their odious nature before the eyes of God, and offended His glory and His heart by their presence in His universe, are covered. The soul being brought to God by grace, all its sins are pardoned, appear no more, are blotted out form before the face of God. The apostle (as throughout) does not speak of the power that acts in this work of love, but of the fact. He applies it to cases that had happened among them; but he establishes a universal principle with regard to the activity of grace in the heart that is animated by it. The erring soul is saved; the sin put away from before God.
Charity in the assembly suppresses, so to speak, the sins which otherwise would destroy union and overcome that charity in the assembly, and appear in all their deformity and all their malignancy before God. Whereas, being met by love in the assembly, they go no farther, are, as it were (as regards the state of things before God in this world). dissolved and put away by the charity which they could not vanquish. The sin is vanquished by the love which dealt with it, disappears, is swallowed up by it. Thus love covers a multitude of sins. Here it is its action in the conversion of a sinner.
 It is well to remember that this is carried out in respect of the governing ways of God, and thus under the title of Lord-a place which Christ specially holds, though here the term is used generally. Compare chapter 5:11, and the general Jewish reference of the passage. To us we have one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ. He is become Lord and Christ, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
── John Darby《Synopsis of James》
The judgments of God denounced against rich unbelievers. (1-6) Exhortation to patience and meekness under tribulations. (7-11) Cautions against rash swearing Prayer recommended in afflictive and prosperous circumstances, Christians to confess their faults to each other. (12-18) The happiness of being the means of the conversion of a sinner. (19,20)
Commentary on James 5:1-6
(Read James 5:1-6)
Public troubles are most grievous to those who live in pleasure, and are secure and sensual, though all ranks suffer deeply at such times. All idolized treasures will soon perish, except as they will rise up in judgment against their possessors. Take heed of defrauding and oppressing; and avoid the very appearance of it. God does not forbid us to use lawful pleasures; but to live in pleasure, especially sinful pleasure, is a provoking sin. Is it no harm for people to unfit themselves for minding the concerns of their souls, by indulging bodily appetites? The just may be condemned and killed; but when such suffer by oppressors, this is marked by God. Above all their other crimes, the Jews had condemned and crucified that Just One who had come among them, even Jesus Christ the righteous.
Commentary on James 5:7-11
(Read James 5:7-11)
Consider him that waits for a crop of corn; and will not you wait for a crown of glory? If you should be called to wait longer than the husbandman, is not there something more worth waiting for? In every sense the coming of the Lord drew nigh, and all his people's losses, hardships, and sufferings, would be repaid. Men count time long, because they measure it by their own lives; but all time is as nothing to God; it is as a moment. To short-lived creatures a few years seem an age; but Scripture, measuring all things by the existence of God, reckons thousands of years but so many days. God brought about things in Job's case, so as plainly to prove that he is very pitiful and of tender mercy. This did not appear during his troubles, but was seen in the event, and believers now will find a happy end to their trials. Let us serve our God, and bear our trials, as those who believe that the end will crown all. Our eternal happiness is safe if we trust to him: all else is mere vanity, which soon will be done with for ever.
Commentary on James 5:12-18
(Read James 5:12-18)
The sin of swearing is condemned; but how many make light of common profane swearing! Such swearing expressly throws contempt upon God's name and authority. This sin brings neither gain, nor pleasure, nor reputation, but is showing enmity to God without occasion and without advantage It shows a man to be an enemy to God, however he pretends to call himself by his name, or sometimes joins in acts of worship. But the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. In a day of affliction nothing is more seasonable than prayer. The spirit is then most humble, and the heart is broken and tender. It is necessary to exercise faith and hope under afflictions; and prayer is the appointed means for obtaining and increasing these graces. Observe, that the saving of the sick is not ascribed to the anointing with oil, but to prayer. In a time of sickness it is not cold and formal prayer that is effectual, but the prayer of faith. The great thing we should beg of God for ourselves and others in the time of sickness is, the pardon of sin. Let nothing be done to encourage any to delay, under the mistaken fancy that a confession, a prayer, a minister's absolution and exhortation, or the sacrament, will set all right at last, where the duties of a godly life have been disregarded. To acknowledge our faults to each other, will tend greatly to peace and brotherly love. And when a righteous person, a true believer, justified in Christ, and by his grace walking before God in holy obedience, presents an effectual fervent prayer, wrought in his heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, raising holy affections and believing expectations and so leading earnestly to plead the promises of God at his mercy-seat, it avails much. The power of prayer is proved from the history of Elijah. In prayer we must not look to the merit of man, but to the grace of God. It is not enough to say a prayer, but we must pray in prayer. Thoughts must be fixed, desires must be firm and ardent, and graces exercised. This instance of the power of prayer, encourages every Christian to be earnest in prayer. God never says to any of the seed of Jacob, Seek my face in vain. Where there may not be so much of miracle in God's answering our prayers, yet there may be as much of grace.
Commentary on James 5:19,20
(Read James 5:19,20)
It is no mark of a wise or holy man, to boast of being free from error, or to refuse to acknowledge an error. And there is some doctrinal mistake at the bottom of every practical mistake. There is no one habitually bad, but upon some bad principle. This is conversion; to turn a sinner from the error of his ways, not merely from one party to another, or from one notion and way of thinking to another. There is no way effectually and finally to hide sin, but forsaking it. Many sins are hindered in the party converted; many also may be so in others whom he may influence. The salvation of one soul is of infinitely greater importance than preserving the lives of multitudes, or promoting the welfare of a whole people. Let us in our several stations keep these things in mind, sparing no pains in God's service, and the event will prove that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. For six thousand years He has been multiplying pardons, and yet his free grace is not tired nor grown weary. Certainly Divine mercy is an ocean that is ever full and ever flowing. May the Lord give us a part in this abundant mercy, through the blood of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on James》
 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Come now, ye rich — The apostle does not speak this so much for the sake of the rich themselves, as of the poor children of God, who were then groaning under their cruel oppression.
Weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you — Quickly and unexpectedly. This was written not long before the siege of Jerusalem; during which, as well as after it, huge calamities came on the Jewish nation, not only in Judea, but through distant countries. And as these were an awful prelude of that wrath which was to fall upon them in the world to come, so this may likewise refer to the final vengeance which will then be executed on the impenitent.
 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
The riches of the ancients consisted much in large stores of corn, and of costly apparel.
 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
The canker of them — Your perishing stores and motheaten garments.
Will be a testimony against you — Of your having buried those talents in the earth, instead of improving them according to your Lord's will.
And will eat your flesh as fire — Will occasion you as great torment as if fire were consuming your flesh.
Ye have laid up treasure in the last days — When it is too late; when you have no time to enjoy them.
 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
The hire of your labourers crieth — Those sins chiefly cry to God concerning which human laws are silent. Such are luxury, unchastity, and various kinds of injustice. The labourers themselves also cry to God, who is just coming to avenge their cause.
Of sabaoth — Of hosts, or armies.
 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Ye have cherished your hearts — Have indulged yourselves to the uttermost.
As in a day of sacrifice — Which were solemn feast-days among the Jews.
 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
Ye have killed the just — Many just men; in particular, "that Just One," Acts 3:14. They afterwards killed James, surnamed the Just, the writer of this epistle.
He doth not resist you — And therefore you are secure. But the Lord cometh quickly, James 5:8.
 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit — Which will recompense his labour and patience.
Till he receives the former rain — Immediately after sowing.
And the latter — Before the harvest.
 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Stablish your hearts — In faith and patience.
For the coming of the Lord — To destroy Jerusalem.
Is nigh — And so is his last coming to the eye of a believer.
 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Murmur not one against another — Have patience also with each other.
The judge standeth before the door — Hearing every word, marking every thought.
 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Take the prophets for an example — Once persecuted like you, even for speaking in the name of the Lord. The very men that gloried in having prophets yet could not bear their message: nor did either their holiness or their high commission screen them from suffering.
 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
We count them happy that endured — That suffered patiently. The more they once suffered, the greater is their present happiness.
Ye have seen the end of the Lord — The end which the Lord gave him.
 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Swear not — However provoked. The Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing, though not so much by God himself as by some of his creatures. The apostle here particularly forbids these oaths, as well as all swearing in common conversation. It is very observable, how solemnly the apostle introduces this command: above all things, swear not - As if he had said, Whatever you forget, do not forget this. This abundantly demonstrates the horrible iniquity of the crime. But he does not forbid the taking a solemn oath before a magistrate.
Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay — Use no higher asseverations in common discourse; and let your word stand firm. Whatever ye say, take care to make it good.
 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Having anointed him with oil — This single conspicuous gift, which Christ committed to his apostles, Mark 6:13, remained in the church long after the other miraculous gifts were withdrawn. Indeed, it seems to have been designed to remain always; and St. James directs the elders, who were the most, if not the only, gifted men, to administer at. This was the whole process of physic in the Christian church, till it was lost through unbelief. That novel invention among the Romanists, extreme unction, practised not for cure, but where life is despaired of, bears no manner of resemblance to this.
 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
And the prayer offered in faith shall save the sick - From his sickness; and if any sin be the occasion of his sickness, it shall be forgiven him.
 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Confess your faults — Whether ye are sick or in health.
To one another — He does not say, to the elders: this may, or may not, be done; for it is nowhere commanded. We may confess them to any who can pray in faith: he will then know how to pray for us, and be more stirred up so to do.
And pray one for another, that ye may be healed — Of all your spiritual diseases.
 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Elijah was a man of like passions — Naturally as weak and sinful as we are.
And he prayed — When idolatry covered the land.
 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
He prayed again — When idolatry was abolished.
 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
As if he had said, I have now warned you of those sins to which you are most liable; and, in all these respects, watch not only over yourselves, but every one over his brother also. Labour, in particular, to recover those that are fallen.
If any one err from the truth — Practically, by sin.
 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
He shall save a soul — Of how much more value than the body! James 5:14.
And hide a multitude of sins — Which shall no more, how many soever they are, be remembered to his condemnation.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on James》
Chapter 5. Love and Deeds
of Gold and Silver
The Crying of Wages
I. Be Patient until the Lord's Coming
II. Effect of the Prayer of Faith
III. Those Who Wander from the Truth
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Five General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THE CHAPTER
1) To appreciate the need for patience in times of oppression
2) To see the value of prayer and confessing sins in times of sickness
The final chapter opens with a strong condemnation toward the rich who
were oppressing the poor while living in pleasure and luxury. Most
likely these were rich unbelievers such as those mentioned earlier (cf.
2:6-7). The Lord heard the cries of those defrauded, and judgment was
to come upon the rich who had condemned and murdered the just. This
passage may be an allusion to the destruction of
foretold by Jerusalem
Jesus in Matthew 24 and fulfilled in A.D. 70. James counsels his
brethren to patiently wait for the coming of the Lord, and to establish
their hearts. Appealing to the farmer, the prophets, and to Job as
examples of patience, he also warns against grumbling against one
another and swearing rash oaths (1-12).
The last half of the chapter provides a call to prayer and praise. The
suffering are to pray, the cheerful are to sing praises, and the sick
are to call for the elders of the church. The elders were to pray over
the sick and anoint with oil in the name of the Lord. What is
uncertain is whether the anointing was sacramental or medicinal (I
think the latter, see Review Questions below). In answer to the prayer
of faith, the Lord will raise the sick and also forgive sins if they
had been committed. In this context James encourages Christians to
confess their sins to one another and pray for one another that they
may be healed. He reminds them of the value of fervent prayer by the
righteous, using Elijah as an example of how God answers prayer
providentially. The epistle then closes with a reminder that turning a
sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover
a multitude of sins (13-20).
I. TRUE RELIGION DISPLAYS PATIENCE UNDER OPPRESSION (1-12)
A. GOD'S ANGER AT RICH OPPRESSORS (1-6)
1. The rich are called to weep and howl for the miseries to come
a. Their riches are corrupted
b. Their garments are moth-eaten
c. Their gold and silver are corroded
1) Which will be a witness against them
2) Which will eat their flesh like fire
d. They have heaped up treasure in the last days
2. The reasons for God's anger against the rich
a. They have defrauded the laborers who mowed their fields
1) Keeping back wages owed them
2) The cries of the reapers have been heard by the Lord of
b. They have lived in pleasure and luxury, fattening their
hearts in a day of slaughter
c. They have condemned and murdered the just who does not
B. A CALL FOR PATIENCE UNDER OPPRESSION (7-12)
1. Be patient until the coming of the Lord
a. Consider the patience of the farmer
b. Establish your hears, for the coming of the Lord is at hand
2. Do not grumble against one another
a. Lest you be condemned
b. The Judge is standing at the door
3. Remember the examples of suffering and patience
a. Such as the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord and
are blessed for their endurance
b. Such as the perseverance of Job, to whom the Lord proved
very compassionate and merciful at the end
4. Above all, do not swear (make rash oaths)
a. Either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath
b. Let your "Yes" mean "Yes," and your "No" mean "No"
c. Lest you fall into judgment
II. TRUE RELIGION BLESSED THROUGH PRAYER, SINGING, AND CONCERN FOR THE
A. THE BLESSING OF PRAYER AND SONG (13-18)
1. If anyone is suffering, let him pray
2. If anyone is cheerful, let him sing psalms
3. If anyone is sick, let him call for the elders of the church
a. Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name
of the Lord
b. The prayer of faith will save (heal) the sick, and the Lord
will raise him up
c. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven
d. Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one
1) That you may be healed
2) For the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man
a) The example of Elijah, a man with a nature like ours
b) He prayed that it would not rain, and no rain fell
for three years
c) He prayed again, the heaven gave rain, and the earth
produced its fruit
B. THE BLESSING OF LOVE FOR ERRING BRETHREN (19-20)
1. He who turns back one who wanders from the truth will save a
soul from death
2. He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will cover a
multitude of sins
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- True religion displays patience under oppression (1-12)
- True religion blessed through prayer, singing, and concern for the
2) Who is being condemned in verses 1-6 of this chapter? (1)
- Those who are rich (probably unbelievers who had been oppressing
Christians, cf. Ja 2:6-7)
3) What sort of miseries were to come upon them? (1-3)
- Their riches are to be corrupted, their garments moth-eaten
- Their gold and silver will be corroded, and serve as a witness
- Such corrosion will eat their flesh like fire
4) Why is God so angry at these rich? (3-6)
- They have heaped up treasure in the last days
- They have defrauded their workers by keeping back what is owed
- They have lived in pleasure and luxury, fattening their hearts
- They have condemned and murdered the just, who does not resist
5) What are the Christians to do in response to such oppression? (7-12)
- Be patient until the coming of the Lord
- Establish their hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand
- Don't grumble against one another, for the Judge is standing at
- Do not swear (make rash oaths), but let their "yes" be "yes" and
their "no" mean "no"
6) What three examples does James provide to encourage patience? (7-11)
- The farmer who waits patiently for the precious fruit of the earth
- The prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord
- The perseverance of Job
7) What does James encourage one to do when suffering? When cheerful?
- To pray when suffering
- To sing praises when cheerful
8) What is one who is sick to do? (14)
- Call for the elders of the church
9) What are they to do? (14)
- Pray over the sick, anointing with oil in the name of the Lord
10) Is "anointing with oil" sacramental or medicinal?
- "Some commentators consider this anointing with oil to be a
sacramental anointing, but others consider it a medicinal anointing.
In defense of the medicinal anointing, Burdick wrote the following:
`There are a number of reasons for understanding this application of
oil as medicinal rather than sacramental. The word aleipsantes
("anoint") is not the usual word for sacramental or ritualistic
anointing. James could have used the verb chrio if that had been what
he had in mind. The distinction is still observed in modern Greek,
with aleipho meaning "to daub," "to smear," and chrio meaning "to
anoint." Furthermore, it is a well-documented fact that oil was one
of the most common medicines of biblical times. See Isaiah 1:6 and
Luke 10:34. Josephus (Antiquities, 17, 172 [vi. 5]) reports that
during his last illness Herod the Greek was given a bath in oil in
hopes of effecting a cure. The papyri, Philo, Pliny, and the
physician Galen all refer to the medicinal use of oil. Galen
described it as "the best of all remedies for paralysis" (De
Simplicium Medicamentorum Temperamentis, 2.10ff.). It is evident,
then, that James is prescribing prayer and medicine.'" (New
Commentary, James, Fausset, and Brown)
11) What will save (or heal) the sick? Who will raise him up? (15)
- The prayer of faith
- The Lord
12) What if the one who is sick has committed sins? (15)
- He will be forgiven
13) What are Christians to do? Why? (16)
- Confess sins one to another and pray for one another
- That they may be healed
14) What avails much? Who is a good illustration of this? (16-18)
- The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man
15) What happens when one turns a sinner from the error of his way?
- A soul is saved from death
- A multitude of sins is covered
When God Gets Angry At The Rich (5:1-6)
1. Compared to many people in the world, we are indeed blessed; in fact,
in comparison with most people who live now and who have lived in the
past, we are VERY RICH!
2. Now, it is important to stress that God does not condemn the rich for
a. Some of the godliest people in the Bible were rich
b. E.g., Job, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, Barnabas, Philemon
3. However, Christ does speak of the difficulty of the rich being saved
- cf. Mt 19:23-26
4. And there are times when God is very angry at the rich, as in our
1 Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that
shall come upon [you]. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your
garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the
rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your
flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last
days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your
fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of
them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of
sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton;
ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have
condemned [and] killed the just; [and] he doth not resist you.
5. As we consider this passage more carefully, we shall do so by trying
to answer four questions:
a. Who is James addressing in this passage?
b. What is in store for these rich people?
c. Why is God so angry at them?
d. What applications can we draw from this passage?
[We begin, then, with the first question...]
I. WHO IS JAMES ADDRESSING IN THIS PASSAGE?
A. ARE THEY CHRISTIANS?
1. Are these rich Christians who had been guilty of oppressing
2. Possibly, but unlikely for several reasons...
a. They are not addressed as "brethren" as is often done in
this epistle - Ja 1:2,19; 2:1,14; 3:1,10; 4:11
b. There is no call to repentance in this passage
1) As there is throughout this epistle in those passages in
which it is clear brethren are being addressed
2) Here there is only condemnation!
c. The brethren are not addressed until verse 7, in which
THEY are told to be patient in light of what has just been
B. MORE LIKELY, THOSE ADDRESSED ARE RICH UNBELIEVERS...
1. Who had been oppressing the Christians - cf. Ja 2:6
2. This tirade of judgment upon them appears to serve the purpose
of comforting the brethren who were being oppressed by them -
cf. Ja 5:7
a. The Lord has heard their cries - Ja 5:4b
b. Judgment is coming upon these rich oppressors
c. Therefore the Christians are told to be patient
[But even if this passage does not have direct reference to rich
Christians, there are still things to which we should give careful heed.
And so, we ask...]
II. WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THESE RICH OPPRESSORS?
A. MISERIES THAT WILL CAUSE THEM TO "WEEP AND HOWL"! (1
1. So certain are these miseries to come, that James speaks of
them already occuring!
a. Riches are corrupted
b. Garments are moth-eaten
c. Gold and silver are corroded
2. When this "corrosion" of their riches occurs...
a. It will serve as a witness against them (that they were
guilty of the things to be mentioned shortly
b. It will eat their flesh like fire
1) The anguish and misery of poverty usually affects the
hardest those who were once rich!
2) Thus, when poverty strikes, it will make them "weep and
howl" as though they were on fire!
B. THE MISERIES SPOKEN HERE MAY HAVE REFERENCE TO WHAT LATER OCCURED
IN THE DESTRUCTION OF
IN JERUSALEM 70 A.D.
1. Not long after this epistle was written,
was destroyed Jerusalem
by the Romans
2. Many of the rich Jews who had oppressed their Christian brethren
literally "weeped and howled"
3. What they had failed to realize was that they had heaped up
treasure "in the last days" (Ja 5:3b)
a. Like the man in the parable of the rich fool (Lk 12:16-21),
they thought they were laying up riches for their latter days
b. When in fact, it was the "last days" of the Jewish economy
when they were so busy storing up wealth!
c. Like some today, who store up for retirement and then die
before they retire!
[The miseries that came upon these rich people were terrible indeed (as
described by Flavius Josephus, an eyewitness of the destruction of
Even if it did not come in the destruction of Jerusalem, it certainly
came upon them when they died, as it did upon the rich man in the story
of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31)!
This leads us to the third question...]
III. WHY IS GOD SO ANGRY AT THESE RICH PEOPLE?
A. BECAUSE OF HOW THEY GOT THEIR WEALTH...
1. It was through wicked means - 4
2. Specifically, by withholding wages from those who had worked
3. Just as some people today get rich through dishonest schemes or
unjust labor practices!
B. BECAUSE OF HOW THEY USED THEIR WEALTH...
1. They hoarded their wealth - 3b
2. They spent it on themselves with pleasures and luxury - 5
(fattening themselves like cows for the slaughter!)
3. They used the power that comes with wealth to oppress "the
just" - 6
a. Possibly a reference to Christ
b. Or the Christian whom they also oppressed
[The manner in which they got their wealth and used it caused those who
were oppressed to cry out, and the Lord heard their prayers (4). Now,
God who is just is about to bring judgment upon these rich oppressors!
Having examined this passage more closely...]
IV. WHAT APPLICATIONS CAN WE DRAW?
A. WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL HOW WE OBTAIN OUR WEALTH...
1. To do so at the expense of others will bring God's wrath upon
us! - cf. Deut 24:14,15
2. It is wrong to think that success can only come by stepping on
3. This might be an appropriate place to add what we learn from
Paul in 1 Ti 6:9-10
a. It is not riches that are wrong, but the DESIRE TO BE RICH
that is wrought with many dangers!
b. Riches are not wrong if they are the BY-PRODUCT of our
endeavors, not the GOAL of those endeavors!
1) I.e., one may desire to be a doctor to help the sick, or
a plumber because of one's skill or interest in such
matters, and receive riches as a by-product because of the
value society might place on such services
2) But to enter such professions solely because one's goal is
to get rich thereby, then we are ensared by the love of
4. So how do we obtain our wealth?
a. If we do it honestly and in compensation for a job well done,
then God is not displeased
b. But if we do it by hurting others and by making wealth our
primary object, then we are in danger of God's wrath!
B. WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL HOW WE USE OUR WEALTH...
1. To spend it on luxurious living when others are suffering...
a. Is exactly what James has described in this passage
b. Is an indication of the lack of the love of God - 1 Jn 3:17
2. According to the New Testament, the purpose of working is not
to obtain wealth for our own gratification, but to help those
a. As commanded by Paul - Ep 4:28; 1 Ti 6:17-19
b. As exemplified by Paul - Ac 20:34-35
1. Living in the country and society in which we do, we have much for
which to be thankful
2. But we also have much of which we need to beware:
a. We live in a society where it is quite easy to become wealthy
b. We live in a society where covetousness or the desire to be rich
are not considered sins
c. We live in a society where heaping up treasures for our own
gratification is considered an inalienable right!
-- It is easy to be influenced by these values!
3. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves constantly: Are we laying up
treasure in heaven, or on earth?
a. Those who lay up treasure in heaven are those who use their wealth
to do good and help the poor and less fortunate - cf. Mt 19:21;
1 Ti 6:18-19
b. Those who lay up treasure on earth are actually storing up for
themselves miseries and wrath!
1) Miseries...when their wealth fails them in their time of true
2) Wrath...from God in the Day of wrath that is yet to come
These are sobering thoughts worthy of our careful consideration...Have
you even begun to lay up treasure in heaven by obeying the gospel of
When You're Being Oppressed (5:7-12)
1. Do you feel like someone is out to get you? That they are trying to
take advantage of you? That you are being oppressed?
2. What should you do when you are oppressed? What should you NOT do?
3. In James 5, we find James giving instructions to those who appear
to have been oppressed by the rich
a. Notice Ja 2:6
b. The rich had been holding back their wages - cf. Ja 5:4
c. The rich had been oppressing the righteous - cf. Ja 5:6
-- What were the oppressed Christians to do?
4. In Ja 5:7-12 (and surrounding verses), we find principles and
instructions which should govern Christians when they are oppressed
[These principles are just as applicable today when we are oppressed by
others. Let's notice what they are...]
I. DON'T RESIST
A. SUCH WAS THE BEHAVIOR OF THOSE BEING OPPRESSED IN JAMES' DAY...
1. Notice Ja 5:4,6
2. Though treated unjustly, they did not resist
B. NOT RESISTING IS CONSISTENT WITH THE TEACHING OF CHRIST AND HIS
1. Consider Lk 6:27-30
2. Also Ro 12:19-21
3. And 1 Pe 2:18-23
C. ADMITTEDLY, NOT RESISTING IS CONTRARY TO HUMAN NATURE AND WISDOM...
1. Human nature moves one to react in "justifiable anger"
2. Human wisdom calls for "standing up for one's rights"
D. BUT NOT RESISTING IS BASED UPON TWO THINGS...
1. AN AWARENESS that the Lord is coming to judge - Ja 5:8-9
a. The coming of the Lord in this passage may have reference
to His coming in judgment upon Jerusalem (as foretold by
Jesus in Lk 21 and which occured when Rome destroyed
Jerusalem in AD 70)
b. But it may also refer to the Lord's final coming on the Day
of Judgment which has yet to occur
c. Likewise, we can look for the coming of the Lord in judgment
in various ways (death, the second coming, etc.)
2. A WILLINGNESS to let Him be our avenger - cf. Lk 18:7-8
[It is not easy to keep one's self from resisting, and to wait for the
Lord to take care of it. That's why there is a need for the next
II. BE PATIENT
A. THE WORD FOUND HERE IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT THAN THAT FOUND EARLIER
IN THIS EPISTLE...
1. In Ja 1:3, the word is "hupomone"
a. Which means to bear up under trials
b. Which normally means to be patient in reference to THINGS or
2. In Ja 5:7-8,10, the word is "makrothumia"
a. Which means to suffer long
b. Which normally means to be patient in reference to PEOPLE
(like those who oppress you)
c. As Vincent defines it:
1) A patient holding out under trial; a long-protracted
restraint of the soul from yielding to passion, especially
the passion of anger
2) The thought links itself naturally with that in the
preceding verse: "the righteous does not resist"
B. THREE EXAMPLES ARE GIVEN TO ENCOURAGE US TO BE PATIENT...
1. The FARMER: "Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the
precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it,
until he receive the early and latter rain." - Ja 5:7
2. The PROPHETS: "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have
spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering
affliction, and of patience." - Ja 5:10
3. JOB: "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard
of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that
the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." - Ja 5:11
C. EACH OF THESE EXAMPLES TEACH US...
1. To place our trust in the Lord, that He will eventually reward
us for our trust in Him
2. To be stedfast, in the meantime, in our service to Him
[But such patience or long-suffering is not easily acquired. Therefore,
there is a need to apply the third principle in this passage...]
III. ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS
A. THE WORD "ESTABLISH"...
1. Means "to fix, make fast, to set" (VINE)
2. Is translated "strengthen" in other places
3. To establish one's heart, then...
a. Involves strengthening our heart in a certain way
b. Here, it means to strengthen our heart so as to be patient
and not resist the evil being done
B. THE "KEY" TO ESTABLISHING OUR HEARTS...
1. Is the Word of God - cf. 2 Pe 1:12
2. Through constant and careful study of God's Word...
a. Our faith in God and His eventual justice is made stronger
b. Patience and strength to not resist is developed - cf. Ro
[With hearts rooted and established in God's Word, we are more likely
to act as we should when oppressed.
But there are some things we are likely to do when under stress due to
unjust oppression. James goes on to mention two that we are to avoid.
The first of these is...]
IV. DON'T GRUMBLE
A. ESPECIALLY AGAINST ONE ANOTHER (9)
1. When others oppress us, we are likely to vent our frustrations
as those closest and dearest to us
2. For example, a man after a bad day at work often takes it out
on his wife and family
3. So brethren are likely to direct their frustration towards each
other when being oppressed from outside
B. WE HAVE GOOD REASON NOT TO GRUMBLE...
1. "lest you be condemned"
2. The sin of grumbling is a serious one - cf. 1 Co 10:5-11
3. The same Lord who will judge those who oppress others will
judge those who murmer and grumble!
[So don't let the oppression of others cause us to be condemned by our
mistreatment of our brethren.
Another warning is given...]
V. DON'T SWEAR
A. THIS IS SOMETHING ELSE ONE IS LIKELY TO DO WHEN IN TROUBLE...
1. In other words, make rash promises
2. Promises which God will hold you to, even if not serious - cf.
B. THIS PROHIBITION APPLIES ESPECIALLY TO "FLIPPANT OATHS"...
1. In Jesus' day, many Jews were prone to swear in this fashion
2. Where they made a distinction between oaths using God's name
and other oaths (those using His name were considered binding,
while the others were not)
3. Both Jesus and James condemn this distinction between different
kinds of oaths - cf. Mt 5:33-37; 23:16-22
[The solution is to refrain from oaths altogether, and stand by your
Finally, in times of oppression, those who are God's children have a
powerful weapon in their arsenal. To utilize it, they should...]
A. THIS IS THE KEY THING TO DO WHEN OPPRESSED...
1. As we learn from Ja 5:13
2. This is what the Christians of James' day were doing - cf. Ja
B. WHEN WE PRAY, GOD HEARS!
1. As seen in Ja 5:4
2. As promised by both Jesus and James, the Lord will avenge His
righteous ones - Lk 18:7-8; Ja 5:7-8
3. It may not come when we want it, and the Lord may "bear long
with us" - cf. Re 6:9-11
4. But when the time is ripe, the oppressed will be avenged!
1. Therefore, when we are being oppressed...
a. Don't resist
b. Be patient
c. Establish your hearts
d. Don't grumble
e. Don't swear
2. When we react this way to oppression...
a. We follow the example of Christ and the early disciples
b. Who committed themselves to God who judges righteously
1) Christ - "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he
suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him
that judgeth righteously:" (1 Pe 2:23)
2) The disciples - "Wherefore let them that suffer according to
the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in
well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1 Pe 4:19)
3. With such a righteous God on our side, it should be a lot easier to
endure those who oppress us!
Is the righteous God on your side? Or rather, are you on His side?
A Call To Prayer And Praise (5:13-18)
1. As is common in many of the New Testament epistles, we find various
commands and exhortations as we draw near to the end of the epistle
2. In Ja 5:13-18, we find a call to pray and sing praises, with
guidance as to what to do and when
I. IN TIMES OF SUFFERING, LET US "PRAY" (13)
A. WHAT KIND OF SUFFERING DOES JAMES REFER TO?
1. The word used refers to suffering of any kind
2. Such as sickness, bereavement, disappointment, persecutions,
loss of health or property
3. Later, James will deal specifically with sickness
B. FOR WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY?
1. For the REMOVAL of the suffering, if it be the Lord's will
- cf. Paul in 2 Co 12:8
2. For the STRENGTH to endure the suffering, if it be the Lord's
will that we bear with it - cf. 1 Co 10:13
a. God may not always remove the source of our suffering, for
it may be for our ultimate good - cf. Ps 119:67,71,75
b. But at least He promises to help us endure it!
C. FOR WHOM SHOULD WE PRAY?
1. Certainly for ourselves, as implied above
2. But also for those who may be the source of our suffering
a. As Jesus taught in Lk 6:28
b. Doing this can help greatly to endure the suffering
[So in times of suffering, let us pray! It is a wonderful privilege to
pray, and a great source of comfort when afflicted.
Next, we learn from James that...]
II. IN TIMES OF CHEER, LET US "SING PRAISES" (13)
A. THE WORD "CHEERFUL"...
1. Denotes pleasantness, agreeableness
2. It suggests a state of mind free from trouble--the opposite
B. IN SUCH A STATE OF HAPPINESS, ONE SHOULD SING PRAISES!
1. For singing praises is becoming of God's people
a. Consider the attitude of David, the sweet singer of Israel -
Ps 92:1-2; 96:1-2; 101:1; 111:1; 113:1-3; 146:1-2; 147:1;
b. David was a man after God's own heart, shouldn't we be also?
2. For singing praises has the power to make a good situation
even better - cf. Ep 5:18; Co 3:16
C. WHY DON'T SOME CHRISTIANS SING PRAISES MORE OFTEN, MORE FERVENTLY?
1. Are they that "afflicted"?
2. Hasn't God done enough in our lives to prompt us to praise Him
fervently in song?
3. What excuse can we possibly give for refusing to praise God
for His glory and goodness?
a. We cannot use the excuse that we cannot sing
b. God "commands" all to sing, and unless we are "mute" the
command applies to us
c. Fortunately, God is not concerned with how it sounds, but
that it is coming from the heart, therefore all who can speak
can and should sing!
4. Heaven is described by John in the Book of Revelation as a
place where singing praises to God and Christ is an on-going
a. If we don't sing praises to God on earth, though able...
b. Can we really expect to be allowed to praise God in heaven?
[Singing praises to God is just as important as praying to God! Perhaps
our prayers would be answered more often, if we would praise God more
The rest of our text deals with prayer as it applies to a special
III. IN TIMES OF SICKNESS, LET US "PRAY" (14-18)
A. ADMITTEDLY, THIS PASSAGE IS DIFFICULT...
1. Questions abound concerning it
a. Is the sickness physical or spiritual?
b. Is the anointing with oil medicinal or symbolic?
c. Is the healing through providential means or miraculous?
d. Is the healing spiritual or physical?
2. First, I believe the sickness and healing in this passage is
physical, though spiritual needs are taken into consideration
a. This is in view of the phrase "and IF he has committed sins,
he will be forgiven"
b. This implies the sickness is physical, though it MAY be
accompanied with spiritual sickness as well
c. But the conditional "IF" makes it clear that the illness
may not be accompanied by sin, which if true, would mean the
illness is not spiritual, but physical
3. With the assumption that physical illness is being discussed,
then there are two feasible alternatives...
a. This passage refers to MIRACULOUS HEALING
1) The elders were called because they possessed the gift
2) The anointing with oil was symbolic, representing the
influences of the Holy Spirit - cf. Mk 6:13
3) The healing was miraculous
b. This passage refers to PROVIDENTIAL HEALING
1) The elders were called because they were likely the most
righteous in a congregation - cf. Ja 5:16
2) The anointing with oil was medicinal, as was commonly
practiced in those days - cf. Lk 10:34
3) The healing was providential
4. I lean toward the latter explanation...
a. The first explanation must assume that the elders in every
church possessed the gift of healing, which is not likely
for two reasons:
1) We have no record of such in the New Testament
2) The qualifications for elders did not require this gift
- cf. 1 Ti 3:1-7; Ti 1:5-9
b. In illustrating the efficacy of prayer, James uses an
example of God PROVIDENTIALLY answering prayer - cf. 1 Ki
1) God was indeed answering Elijah's prayer
2) But God did so, providentially, working through natural
B. WITH THIS UNDERSTANDING, LET'S MAKE THE APPLICATION...
1. In times of physical sickness, call for the elders of the church
a. You want the prayers of the "righteous" working in your
behalf, don't you?
b. Notice: You are to call for them, not wait for them to
call on you!
c. Have the elders pray with you...
1) In faith (trusting in the Lord's power to heal, if it be
2) Fervently ("the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
man avails much.")
2. Elders should not only pray, but see that appropriate medical
aids are provided
a. In a century where hospitals were non-existent, and
physicians were rare, anointing with oil was a common
treatment - cf. Lk 10:34
b. In our present century, this would involve the elders making
sure that the sick receive the treatment needed
3. The sick should also confess their sins, if they have any...
a. Verse 15 makes it clear that sickness is not always the
consequence of sin
b. But verse 16 and others (like 1 Co 11:29-32) suggests
that illnesses may be God's loving chatisement for sin, in
an effort to direct us back to Him
c. In any case, sins need to be confessed and forgiveness
sought if we hope to have God hear our prayers
1. However one interprets Ja 5:14-16, there is no dispute over the
main thrust in this passage...
a. Prayer and praise are very special privileges for the Christian
b. There is not a time in our life when we shouldn't be doing one
or the other
c. We must be careful not to underestimate:
1) The importance of praise
2) The power of prayer
2. But to truly benefit from these two spiritual exercises, we need to
be in a right relationship with God
a. Which involves being open to God's Word: He that turneth away his
ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.
b. And being a doer of God's will: Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Mt 7:21)
Restoring Straying Saints (5:19-20)
1. As James comes to the close of his epistle, he stresses the
importance of restoring those who wander from the truth:
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert
him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the
error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a
multitude of sins. (James 5)
2. Restoring straying saints is a responsibility given to ALL who are
truly the children of God - cf. Ga 6:1-2; 1 Th 5:14
3. Yet, it is a responsibility that is so easy to neglect, and in most
cases IS neglected!
4. The purpose of this lesson is two-fold:
a. To impress upon our minds the importance of engaging in this work
of restoring straying saints
b. To suggest how we should carry out this important work
[To appreciate the grave importance of restoring saints who have strayed,
consider this question: "What is the condition of those who have
wandered from the truth?"]
I. THE CONDITION OF SAINTS WHO HAVE STRAYED FROM THE TRUTH
A. AS DEFINED BY JAMES IN OUR TEXT...
1. They are in danger of DEATH! - Ja 5:20
2. One who has wandered from the truth has also wandered from the
from the source of forgiveness - cf. 1 Jn 1:6-7
3. Separated from the blood of Christ to cleanse him of his sins,
he is in danger of suffering the consequences of sin: DEATH!
- cf. Ro 6:23
B. AS DEPICTED BY PETER...
1. "the latter end is worse for them than the beginning" - cf.
2 Pe 2:20-22
2. That such a person is in danger of more serious punishment is
stressed by Jesus in Lk 12:47-48
C. AS DESCRIBED IN THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS (He 10:26-31)...
1. "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins"
-- the blood of Christ is no longer available for him in this
2. "but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery
-- all that remains is to be eternally lost in hell!
3. "much worse punishment...will he be thought worthy"
-- because such a person is trampling underfoot the Son of God,
counting the blood of Jesus which had sanctified him a
common thing, and is insulting the Spirit of grace!
4. "the LORD will judge His people"
-- for those who despise His mercy, they will face His righteous
D. AS DECLARED BY JESUS HIMSELF...
1. Such will be removed from His presence! - cf. Re 2:4-5
2. He will expel such from His presence! - cf. Re 3:15-16
[When we truly understand the spiritual condition of our friends and
loved ones who have strayed from the truth, it should move us to do
But how shall we carry out this responsibility?]
II. RESTORING STRAYING SAINTS
A. IT REQUIRES SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES...
1. PEOPLE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL - Ga 6:1
a. Those who are producing the fruit of the Spirit in their
own lives - cf. Ga 5:22-23
b. Unqualified personnel need not apply for this work
1) They might best work on themselves first - Mt 7:3-4
2) Then they can help others - Mt 7:5
2. A SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS - Ga 6:1
a. We are engaged in delicate "soul surgery"
b. This is not the time to misuse the "sword of the Spirit"!
3. A CONSTANT SENSE OF SELF-EXAMINATION - Ga 6:1
a. If we are not careful, we can easily fall into the same
b. As many do when they counsel those with marital problems
without proper supervision
4. A WILLINGNESS TO BEAR ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS - Ga 6:2
a. Which involves an expense of time and energy to help the
weak to overcome their faults
b. Our responsibility is not fulfilled by simply pointing out
our brother's faults!
a. This is implied in Ga 6:3
b. It is stated outright in 2 Ti 2:24-26
c. People will not accept correction or advice coming from an
d. In many cases, we may need to confess our own sin of
negligence first! (for not coming sooner)
6. AMPLE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WORD - 2 Ti 2:24
a. We must be able to teach and apply God's Word to the
b. For it is important that they respond to GOD'S word, and not
just to OUR views or opinions!
7. PATIENCE (longsuffering) - 2 Ti 2:24
a. The same kind that we receive from God for our faults
b. The same kind that Paul showed towards the church at Corinth
- cf. 2 Co 1:23-2:3
c. Of course, if repentance is not forthcoming, we can wait for
only so long - cf. 2 Co 13:1-2
8. A SINCERE DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE
a. Both at the time of rebuke - cf. 2 Co 2:4
b. And at the time of repentance - cf. 2 Co 2:6-8
B. IT REQUIRES THE PROPER PROCEDURE...
1. The wrong procedures:
a. Running around and talking to everyone but the person who
needs to be corrected and restored!
b. Preaching about these people from the pulpit at the very
c. Bringing it up at congregational business meetings at the
2. The proper procedure is outlined by Jesus in Mt 18:15-17
a. Even though the sin may not be against you personally...
1) This is still a good way to avoid misunderstanding
2) This is still more likely to succeed
1) Go to the person first
2) Then take others, if necessary
3) Then tell it to the church, if necessary
4) If he won't hear the church, withdraw any association
that might appear to give approval to their behavior
- cf. 1 Co 5:1-13; 2 Th 3:6-15; Ro 16:17
1. The work of restoring or correcting saints may be unpleasant at
times, but it has the potential for great joy!
a. Both in heaven: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in
heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and
nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Lk 15:7)
b. And in our hearts: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my
children walk in truth." (3 Jo 4)
2. It comes down to this...
a. Do we really love God?
b. Do we really love our straying brethren?
c. Read 1 Jn 3:16-19, and substitute "spiritual goods" for
"world's goods" to answer our question
Brethren, let us love one another!
Love and deeds
The corrosion of gold and silver
The crying of wages
I. Be patient until the Lord’s coming
1. The yield of the land
2. Autumn and spring rains
3. The example of Job
II.Effect of the prayer of faith
1. Anoint in the name of the Lord
2. Confess sins and pray for each other
3. Follow the example of Elijah
III. Those who wander from the truth
1. Bring back from error
2. Save the soul
3. Cover over a multitude of sins
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》