James 5

So, let’s turn in our Bibles now to the Book of James, chapter five, as we finish the Book of James tonight. And then we start into the two epistles of Peter, as we move through the Bible. And of course, we’re getting down towards the end. Come springtime, we will be completing, well perhaps, summer time, completing our study of the Bible, going through it. So, we have just about a half a year left and we will have completed our study once more through the whole Bible. Then I’m sort of anxious and excited to get back to Genesis.
So, James chapter five. He begins the fifth chapter with a warning to the rich, who have gained their riches by fraudulent means. And he is rebuking them for the riches that they have laid up through fraud.
He said, Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. It’s interesting how the Bible takes up for the poor and condemns the rich who would oppress the poor. And here’s another one of those places in the Bible where the issue is brought up. So many people have riches that are ill-gotten gain.
Jesus said, how hard it is for those who trust in riches, to enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s actually easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The disciples were so shocked! They said, Lord, who then can be saved? Jesus said, with man it’s impossible, but with God all things are possible. So the warning to the rich, the miseries are going to come upon you.
For he said, 2Your riches are corrupted, Now the riches were usually represented by the store of corn and grain. The wealthy person had great barns filled with corn and grain. That was representing your riches. He said here, your riches will be rotted. That is, your grain and your storage of your corn and grain will rot.
He said, and your garments are motheaten. Another means of demonstrating riches was in the apparel. And there are several passages of Scripture that speak about the riches in their goodly apparel. Paul is his declaration said, I coveted no man’s silver or apparel. Because riches were often times manifested in the wardrobe. But he said it will be moth-eaten.
And then,3Your gold and silver is cankered (corrupted); The Bible tells us of day that is coming during the Great Tribulation when there will be a tremendous famine here on the earth. It follows the wars that will be coming. And these wars that are coming will probably involve nuclear weapons. And the tragic aftermath of a nuclear war will be the radioactive fallout that will destroy and make inedible the crops.
We recall just not too long ago, Chernobyl and the melt down of that atomic power plant there near Kiev. And the result was this release of radiation that blanketed Europe. And they had to plow under many of the crops. And of course the cattle feeding on the grasses and all, they radio activity had a tremendous side effect in the food chain. You can imagine what would happen in an all out type of a nuclear war on the food chain. How it would be contaminated by the radioactivity. So that the famine that will result from these wars there in Revelation, chapter six, in the opening of the first three seals, the famine that will ensue from this will drive up the cost of food so that a loaf of bread will cost you a bag of gold. So that the real value will be in the person who has wheat that has not been contaminated by the radioactive fallout. And all of your gold will be spent for food. Your riches are corrupted and your grain is rotted. Your garments are motheaten and your gold and silver is cankered.
and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, Now we know that gold and silver are base metals and thus they do not rust, but he is talking about the rust in the sense that things erode. And they, your gold and silver will be eroded.
They bear witness against you and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. So those that are heaping together, hoping to, you know, survive in these last days. Then he rebukes them because of the ill-gotten gain—the way they got their gain.
4Behold, 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. Throughout the Bible, God is very interested in the impoverished person, the poor person. In the law, God made several provisions for them. In those days there was no middle class. There were the very rich and the very poor. And the rich seemed to care nothing for the poor. And the poor just sort of subsisted and survived just almost day by day. Thus, the Scriptures ordered the rich to pay daily wages because often times the person depended on the wage that they got that day for food that night for their families. So there were several passages of Scripture that dealt with the importance of paying the wages that were due on a daily basis. The Bible says you shall not oppress a higher servant who is poor and needy. You shall give him his hire on the day he earns it. Before the sun goes down, for he is poor and he sets his heart upon it. Lest he cry against you to the Lord and it be sin in you. (Deuteronomy 24:14-15). So paying the wages. The man is working hard all day, setting his mind upon the wages that he will get in the evening, so he can buy enough food to feed the family that night.
In Leviticus 19:13, the Lord said, the wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. And then in Jeremiah, it said, woe to him that builds his house by unrighteousness and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages. Surely the Bible does deal with social issues and the defense of the poor.
In Proverbs, it says do not say to your neighbor, go and come again tomorrow and I will give it when you have it with it you. And then in Malachi, he said, those that oppress the hireling in his wages are under the judgment of God.
Then he that takes away his neighbor’s living, the bread gotten by sweat slayeth him. And he that defrauds the labor of his hire, defrauds his Maker and shall receive a bitter reward, for he is a brother to them who are bloodletters. Now that’s not Scripture, that’s in one of the apocryphal books. And so he speaks here of how they hold back from the wages that are due and how that the Lord will hear their cry.
He said, 5Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Or you have been fattened for the slaughter.
6Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. So that’s the kind of wealth that James is speaking out against. Those who would oppress the poor and have ill-gotten gains.
Now, having dealt with them, he turns now the subject to the coming again of the Lord. These people in the last days have heaped up their riches, but they’re not going to be of much value when the great tribulation comes.
7Be 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. Now most of the farming over there is called dry farming. That is they did not have irrigation systems in Palestine, but they depended upon the rain. The land is interesting over there in that their rains usually begin somewhere in November. And it was after the early rains, they would put out their grains. They would depend upon the early rains to cause the seed to germinate. Then they seemed to have sort of a period of dryness in which the grain has an opportunity to grow, not much rain during December and January. But the rains begin again, the latter rains, in February and March, which then bring on the grain to its full production. So they would wait for those latter rains.
Now the interesting thing is that for many years the weather patterns changed. For hundreds of years, during the time that the people of Israel were in exile throughout the world, these weather patterns of early and latter rains, seemed to cease. And thus the land became very barren. It was very unproductive as far as fruit was concerned. But the interesting thing is that having returned to the land, there are now again the early and the latter rains. The crops that are produced there are really phenomenal.
They do attribute the early and latter rains to the change of the weather patterns to the fact that they have planted so many trees throughout the land. And they believe that the many, many forests that they now have there have again created the former and the latter rains. Whether or not that is so or it’s just the hand of God is, I suppose, a matter of opinion. At least they do have now again, the weather cycles that they had in Biblical times. It has helped Israel to become the fourth largest exporter of fruit and vegetables of any nation in the world. And it’s probably not any bigger than New Jersey. And so for them to produce so much fruit and other types of produce to fill the markets of Europe, especially in the wintertime with the products from Israel, is quite an amazing thing.
So the Lord is like a good farmer. He waits for the former and the latter rains, as He waits for the precious fruit of the earth. He has long patience for it. He is talking about the coming of the Lord. And he is giving you the reason why the Lord hasn’t come, already. He is waiting for the precious fruit of the earth.
There seems to be a spiritual kind of a sequel. And the former rain would refer to the power of the Holy Spirit, manifested through the church in the Book of Acts, as the Spirit was poured upon the church and its ministry was so dynamic in reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is, it would seem, a hope at least, and a promise that in the last days, God would also pour out His spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and daughters will prophesy and your young men shall see visions. Your old men will dream dreams. And God said, upon my servants and my handmaidens, will I pour out of My Spirit in that day, saith the Lord. And so, sort of the last ingathering of the harvest. One final reaping of the harvest of the earth. And then the Lord will bring to an end the blasphemies, the rebellion of man, and He will set up His kingdom here upon the earth.
So the precious fruit of harvest are those souls who receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of their lives. And they come into the family of God. And so, the Lord has patience, as far as the coming again of Jesus, and the establishing of the kingdom. And thus James enjoins us to also be patient.
8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: Be firm in the faith!
for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. As we said this morning, Paul in writing to the Romans (Romans 13:11), told them, now that knowing the time is high time, that we awake out of our sleep. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
We do not know, and it is God’s intent that we don’t know the time that Jesus is going to come for His church. But the Lord exhorts us to be patient and to wait and to be ready for His return!
So the coming of the Lord draws nigh. We are one day to the closer to the return of Jesus Christ, than we were yesterday! And the Lord is coming again! That is an assured thing in the Word of God!
So 9Grudge not (It is also translated, complain not or grumble not.) one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Again, the idea, the Lord’s coming and He is standing at the door. Jesus, in talking about His coming again, giving signs that would indicate that we are getting close to His coming, said, when you see these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head. For your redemption is drawing close. The judge is at the door. So, don’t be a complainer. Don’t be a grumbler.
It’s interesting, the Lord just hates complaining and grumbling because He takes that personally, as though you’re complaining against Him, because He orders your life. He’s in charge of the circumstances.
And the children of Israel with their murmuring in the wilderness, they were murmuring against God. God took it personally! They were murmuring against the provisions that God had made! And so God has been so good! And rather than looking at the negative aspects and complaining about those things that sort of irritate you or trouble you, it’s so easy to forget how much God has done! It’s so easy to overlook the tremendous blessings that God has bestowed upon us, because something was done—I don’t like the way they did that, you know. And that becomes the main focus in our minds and it causes us to lose the joy of the blessings that God has bestowed! So the warning against grumbling and against complaining.
10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Probably one of the most hazardous professions in the world was being a prophet. I imagine that the “workmen’s comp” on prophets was probably higher than any other category because they were always being persecuted. People didn’t want to hear what God had to say because God was usually not too happy with the way the people were living and the prophets would tell them that. Then they would get angry at the prophets for speaking to them the truths of God. Rather than listening and hearkening to the things that God was saying, they would just get angry at the messenger of God. And they would persecute them.
So that as Stephen was giving his defense before the Jewish counsel. And in giving his defense, he was rehearsing for them the history of their nation. They were always so proud of “our fathers”. They would talk about “our fathers” and the traditions were deeply engrained. Their national pride—well, “our fathers”.
So he began to speak to them about their fathers. But he began to burst the bubble, the illusion that their fathers were perfect. He begins to point out the imperfection, which made them so angry, they gnashed upon him with their teeth. They just—ggrrrrw. They stoned him to death! But he had just said to them, which of the prophets have your fathers not persecuted? Name one of the prophets that wasn’t persecuted by “your fathers”. And he said you’re worse than your fathers, because you put to death the One that the prophets were saying, was going to come! That’s when they got so angry, they gnashed their teeth. They took him out and stoned him!
So one more prophet stoned! But they had done that historically. You read there in Hebrews, chapter eleven, when it talks about the men of faith of the Old Testament. How that they were persecuted. How that they lived often times in the wilderness. How that they were destitute. How they were slain with the sword. How they were sawn asunder and all. He said, men, of whom the world was not worthy. And you think you have it bad? Just look at the prophets as an example of those who have suffered affliction for the cause of Christ, being a prophet of God. And as an example for patience, the waiting on God, to fulfill His promises.
Now I know we don’t like this, but look how long Abraham waited for God to keep His promise to give him a son! God, you know, had promised that He would give him a son. But he was years in waiting for God to fulfill that promise. And the area where we so often fail is the area of patience, as we wait for God to keep His word and to keep His promises to us.
So look to the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord. They are a good example of the affliction that men who dare to speak for the Lord receive. And they are a good example of men who have learned to wait upon God.
11Behold, 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. So he points out, one man, Job, as a classic example of patience, enduring the affliction. And of all of the hardships that Job went through, but how that God was so gracious and merciful in the end. The end of the story is one of tremendous blessing. God gave him greater riches that he ever had! More children and the end of Job’s story is glorious because he patiently went through the hardships and the sufferings that were laid upon him.
Now he turns from that subject to the subject of taking oaths. He sort of jumps from one issue to another as he is closing out his letter, sort of dealing with issues and jumping from one to another. And in verse twelve, he turns to the subject of taking oaths.
12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, (that is, as far taking oaths) neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; (Let your yes be a yes and your no be a no.) lest ye fall into condemnation. Now Jesus said much the same. And he is probably thinking of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus brings up the subject of taking oaths to verify that you are seeking the truth. And usually an oath is taken when a person doubts your word. They will ask you to sware to what you say is true. And when you swear by an oath, it sort of is an end to all controversy. It is to stop the argument. I swear by heaven, and of course there are people who say, I swear to you by God, you know. Well, he says don’t do that! You don’t have to do that. Be a person of your word! So that people can trust what you say. And when you say yes, then do it. If you say no, then stand by it. Let your yes be a yes! Let your no be a no! Jesus said, anything more than this, is sinful. And so the importance of honoring your word.
When you look at legal contracts today, drawn up by lawyers. You realize that people are not always honest. When they look you in the face and say with great feeling, “I never had sex with that woman.” But what do they mean by that?
The mother was getting after her little son the other day. She said did you practice the piano for an hour? He said yes I did! She said, son, how can you say that when I know you didn’t practice the piano today? He said, you didn’t say, today. You just said did I practice the piano? And I did—last week. She said, well, what am I going to do with you? He said what are you going to do with the president?
But you see, your yes has to be a yes. Your no has to be a no. There shouldn’t be deception, because people then can’t trust you.
Now our whole legal jurisprudence system is established on a person taking an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God! They’ve left off that last part now. But you swear to tell the truth. And if you have sworn to tell the truth and the whole truth, and you fail to do so, then how can we ever determine what is factual or not? If a person can swear, take an oath, that they are going to tell you the truth and the whole truth, and yet they don’t. They withhold. They deceive. You see, our whole court system is down the tubes. That’s why it’s such a serious offense that the president is being charged for. They are trying to put a spin on it and say, well, his private sexual life is his own business. That’s not the issue. The issue is his looking you in the eye and saying, I never had sex with that woman. That’s the issue. And that’s a very serious issue. Swearing under oath to the same thing, in the Paula Jones trial.
Now James is warning against that. He is saying, don’t swear by heaven or by the earth, nor by any other oath—Boy Scout honor, mother’s honor or whatever. But let your yes be a yes! Let your no be a no! Lest you fall into condemnation.
He passes that issue off. Now he goes to another issue.
13Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. It seems that he does make a distinction here between afflictions and sicknesses. Afflictions could be instruments of God for corrective purposes in our lives. Sometimes God allows to be afflicted. It’s sort of as in the Book of Hebrews, this chastening of the Lord. And the purpose is to deal with issues in our lives. And thus, if I am afflicted. If I am experiencing an affliction, God is dealing with me over a certain issue, then I’m to pray! I’m to seek God! And I am to make things right with God on this issue.
Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is there any among you who is merry? Then let him sing psalms. Singing has been and always has been, a very wonderful and important part of the church. Our singing praises and Paul said when you gather together, you know, he talks about, you know, one has a Psalm, another a hymn and so forth. Then he talks about singing praises and making melody in your heart to the Lord. And singing is such an important part of our worship of God. And so you’re happy, you’re merry, God’s done some glorious things! Just sing psalms to the Lord. Sing praises to Him!
14Is any sick among you? We’re living in a germ filled world. And it’s difficult to escape some of the viruses. And oftentimes a person does become sick.
Then 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: Now the prayer for the sick is something that was practiced in the early church. We do find, of course, in the ministry of Jesus, the healing of the sick. It was very common. But then also in the Book of Acts, how they brought the sick unto the apostles. And so that many miracles were wrought through prayer for those that were sick.
Now notice that there is a duty imposed upon the person who is sick. And that’s to call for the elders of the church. A lot of times a person is sick. They show up later and they are all upset. I was sick for two weeks and no one called on me! We didn’t know you were sick! You see, it’s the duty of the sick person to call for the elders of the church. We don’t have ESP. We don’t know when you’re sick. So, it’s your duty to call for the elders of the church.
Once we’ve been informed, then it is our duty to pray, anointing with oil in the name of the Lord. On Saturday night, our elders meet here at the church, I believe it’s in room 18, back in the corner of the school room, to pray for the sick. And so every Saturday night there are those that come for healing, as the elders following the Scripture injunction to pray for the sick.
It was an important part of the early church. And there is a law of Scriptural interpretation that says, if it was taught by Jesus, if it was practiced in the Book of Acts, and if you have teaching on it in the epistles, then we accept it for general church practice through the church’s history. Now much of the church no longer practices prayer for the sick. And many times those that do not practice it, say, well, that all ceased with the apostles.
But Irenaeus, one of the early church fathers, writing far down in the second century, tells us that the sick was still being healed by hands being laid on them. Tertullian writing midway through the third century, said that no less a person than the Roman Emperor, Alexander Severus, was healed by the anointing at the hands of a Christian called Tropasian. And that in his gratitude, he kept Tropasian as guest in his palace until the day of his death.
There is an interesting book called the Ministry of Healing by Simpson, who was one of the founders of the Christian Missionary and Alliance Church. And he follows through the history of the church, how that in so many of the great movements of God throughout the history of the church, they were accompanied by people being healed by the laying on of hands.
Now there is much concerning healing that we don’t understand. We don’t understand why God doesn’t heal everybody. There are those who come along and declare that God will heal every body and if you’re not healed, then there is perhaps sin in your life. They are sort of like Job’s comforters. You don’t have enough faith or you allow the negative thoughts to come into your mind. And maybe you made a negative confession. Maybe you said, I’m sick. And you are what you say. And all of these crazy, unscriptural, weird, ideas, and false ideas concerning healing.
Not everybody is healed. Why we are not healed, we don’t know. And it is manifestly wrong to say that there is some sin in their life or that they are lacking in faith or something of that nature. We just don’t know. God has chosen not to heal them.
Paul wasn’t healed! But he received the answer to his prayer. When three times he prayed for the healing. And God finally said, My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.
Probably the man in the Old Testament, through which God performed more miracles than anybody else was Elisha, the prophet. He had asked for a double portion of Elijah’s mantle. And it fell upon him. And there are twice as many miracles recorded in the ministry of Elisha than there was with Elijah. But you have that interesting passage of Scripture, that says now Elisha felt sickness, of the sickness whereof he died. And yet the tremendous power that this man possessed in prayer! So why God doesn’t heal everybody, we don’t know. And that’s God’s business.
But our business is to pray for the sick. And so, he tells us, 15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; You see, our part is to pray! It’s the Lord’s part to raise him up and we can’t do the Lord’s part!
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Now there are some sicknesses that are directly attributable to sin. There are certain venereal diseases that are usually contracted through fornication or illicit sexual relationships. And thus there is a direct tie between the sin and the healing.
There was a man brought to Jesus by his friends, who had palsy. This palsy usually was the result of a syphilis infection. And it was, as the brain was deteriorating, the body began to shake, uncontrollably. The person sort of began to lose, in the final stages, much of the motor function capacities of the body. This man was in sort of that final state, the palsy resulting from the infection. His friends brought him to Jesus for healing.
And not being able to get into the house, you remember, because of the crowd, they went on the roof. They lifted some tiles and let the man down in his bed with ropes before Jesus. And Jesus, looking at the man, said, your sins are forgiven.
I imagine his buddies on the roof were upset! Lord, we didn’t tear the roof up so you could forgive his sin. We want our buddy to party with us again. We want him healed.
The Pharisees who were there had a very negative reaction. They said who does this man think he is, saying your sins are forgiven? Only God can forgive sin? And they were correct in their assessment. Only God can forgive sins. And so Jesus was just proving that He was God. He said, what’s easier to say, your sins are forgiven or to rise, take up your bed and walk? Naturally, it’s easier to say, your sins are forgiven.
You know, you could go over to the mall and meet some kook, wild eyed, wearing a robe, going around and saying, your sins are forgiven! That’s easy to say. But you can’t prove it. You can’t show it. You can’t demonstrate it. So it’s an easy thing to say. But if you say, rise, take up your cot and walk, if the fellow just lies there, you say, no, that guy’s a fraud! But if the guy rises, takes his cot and walks, then you say, oh wait a minute! What’s going on here? There’s power in that man’s word! So Jesus said, what’s easier to say, your sins are forgiven? Or rise, take up your bed and walk? But that you might know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sin or that you might know that I am God! He then said to the man with the palsy, rise, take up your bed and walk.
Now, as far as this man was concerned, who had the palsy, to hear the words, your sins are forgiven. I imagine it caused his heart to leap for joy! Because don’t you know that if you had committed, say the sin of fornication, or you gone to a prostitute, you had contacted syphilis, and you were in the final stages. Of course they didn’t have penicillin and other drugs to treat it in those days, and it went its course until you went insane and died. Don’t you know that as this disease was progressing in his body, that he was tormented and tortured by that experience that he’d had with the prostitute, where he became infected? As he would lie there, day after day, deteriorating, don’t you know that just plagued his mind? Why? How could I have it? That’s was so stupid! Why? Why? Why? It would have just absolutely plagued him.
And for Jesus to say, your sin’s are forgiven. This heavy load of guilt, the shame, the disgrace, lifted! And as David said, oh how happy is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sins have been covered! And so oftentimes in the Scripture, there was a relationship between the sickness and sin.
But that isn’t always so and it is absolutely wrong and ludicrous to make that assumption when a person is sick, that they are suffering as a result of some sin. It’s some punishment of God for sin in their life. God help us! If that were so, none of us would be here tonight. We’d all be home sick.
We had a church in Tucson, years ago, where a man actually in taking a prayer request. It was a small church, so we could take prayer requests before we prayed. This man asked for prayer for his wife. She had been sick for two weeks with the flu. And pray that God will help her to confess whatever sin she’s been committing, you know, so she could get well. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! But yes, there are, as I say, cases where there is a definite cause and effect relationship.
Going on, he said, 16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. But be careful who you confess them to.
Three pastors had gone on a retreat. As they were rooming together, they decided, here in James, confess your faults one to another. Pray for one another that you might be healed. The first pastor confessed to a problem with alcohol. And how that he kept a bottle even stashed in his desk at the church. And the real problem that he had with it.
The second pastor confessed to a problem that he had with women. He was having an affair. They turned to the third and they said, what about you brother? He said, well, I have a real problem with gossip and I can’t wait to get out of here! So be careful who you confess to!
And then this glorious promise! This glorious promise–The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Effectual, fervent–the fervent prayer. The prayer that’s from the heart. The prayer that often rises out of desperation, out of tremendous need. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man. I think, quite often, we’re rather cavalier in our prayer. But it’s the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man, availeth much!
And now to illustrate this—he used Job as an illustration of patience, but not to illustrate this, he talks to us about Elijah. 17Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, In other words, Elijah was just a plain, ordinary person like us. He wasn’t anything special. He was just an ordinary person, like passions that we have.
Yet and he prayed earnestly (effectually, fervently) that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. Now, he was just a man, like you. And he prayed that it wouldn’t rain. And God withheld the rain for three years and six months!
18And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. So after a three and one half drought, he prayed again and it rained! Now, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James closes his letter by saying, 19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Someone goes astray. You go to them. You talk to them. You pray with them. You point out where they are going wrong. You turn them from their error.
20Let 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. Daniel wrote, he that winneth souls is wise and shall shine as the stars forever and ever.
James tells you that if you lead a person out of error, one who has strayed from the truth. And another converts him, you’ll save the soul from death, from damnation, and God will wipe away their sins. You cover a multitude of sins. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses a man from all sins. It covers a multitude of sins.
Father, we thank You for the practicality of James, the lessons that he taught, the things that we can learn from this man. Thank You, Lord, for the work of Your Holy Spirit through his life, inspiring him to write these things for our benefit, for our instruction in the ways of righteousness and truth. And Lord, even as James said, help us, that we will now be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. So Lord, even the many things that James said for us to do in this chapter, may we be faithful in doing them, in order that we might be pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8223, (KJ Version)