|The Place of Works:
Outward Demonstration of Inner Faith
|Jas 1:1-18||Jas 1:19-2:13||Jas 2:14-25||Jas 3:1-12||Jas 3:13-4:12||Jas 4:13-5:12||Jas 5:13-19|
FAITH AT WORK
The reaction of living faith to injustice (James 5:1–11)
A. The judgment coming upon the oppressive rich (James 5:1–6)
1. The announcement of the judgment (James 5:1)
2. The description of the judgment (James 5:2–3)
3. The charges against them in the judgment (James 5:4–6)
a. The oppression of the poor laborers (James 5:4)
b. The self-indulgence of the rich (James 5:5)
c. The violence against the righteous (James 5:6)
B. The exhortation to the afflicted brethren (James 5:7–11)
1. The call for patience in view of the parousia (James 5:7–8)
2. The warning against blaming one another (James 5:9)
3. The examples of suffering and endurance (James 5:10–11)
a. The example of the prophets (James 5:10)
b. The example of Job (James 5:11)
The reaction of living faith to self-serving oaths (James 5:12)
The Reliance of Living Faith on God
The reliance of living faith on God (James 5:13–18)
A. The resort to prayer in diverse circumstances (James 5:13)
B. The resort to God in sickness (James 5:14–16a)
1. The calling of the elders to pray for the sick (James 5:14)
2. The results of the prayer of faith (James 5:15)
3. The duty of mutual confession and prayer (James 5:16a)
C. The power of a godly man’s petition (James 5:16b–18)
1. The statement concerning its power (James 5:16b)
2. The illustration of its power (James 5:17–18)
The abrupt conclusion: The restoration of the erring (James 5:19–20)
A. The assumed restoration of one erring (James 5:19)
B. The assured results of the restoration (James 5:20) (from Hiebert - James Commentary)
- Come now Jas 4:13
- you rich: Jas 1:11 2:6 De 8:12-14 32:15 Ne 9:25,26 Job 20:15-29 Ps 17:14 Ps 49:6-20 73:3-9,18-20 Pr 11:4,28 Ec 5:13,14 Jer 9:23 Mic 6:12 Zep 1:18 Mt 19:23,24 Lu 6:24 12:16-21 16:19-25 1Ti 6:9,10 Rev 6:15-17
- weep and howl : Jas 4:9 Isa 13:6 22:12,13 Jer 4:8 Eze 19:2 Joe 1:5,11,13 Am 6:6,7 Zec 11:2,3 Lu 6:25 23:28,29
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.
- Your riches have rotted: Jer 17:11 Mt 6:19,20 Lu 12:33 1Pe 1:4
- your garments have become moth-eaten Jas 2:2 Job 13:28 Ps 39:11 Isa 50:9 51:8 Ho 5:12
Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.
- Your gold and your silver have rusted: 2Ti 2:17
- their rust will be a witness against you: Ge 31:48,52 Jos 24:27 Job 16:8
- will consume your flesh like fire Jer 19:9 Mic 3:3 Rev 17:16 20:15 21:8
- you have stored up your treasure: De 32:33,34 Job 14:16,17 Ro 2:5
- It is in the last days : Ge 49:1 Isa 2:2 Mic 4:1 Ac 2:17 2Pe 3:3
Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!
James 5:4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
- the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields Lev 19:13 De 24:14,15 Job 24:10,11 31:38,39 Isa 5:7 Jer 22:13 Hab 2:11 Mal 3:5 Col 4:1
- cries out against youGe 4:10 Ex 2:23,24 3:9 22:22-24,27 De 24:15 Job 34:28 Ps 9:12 Lu 18:7
- Lord of Sabaoth: Ro 9:29 Isa 1:9
Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
- You have lived luxuriously on the earth 1Sa 25:6,36 Job 21:11-15 Ps 17:14 73:7 Ec 11:9 Isa 5:11,12 Isa 47:8 56:12 Am 6:1,4-6 Lu 16:19,25 1Ti 5:6 2Ti 3:4 Jude 1:12 Rev 18:7
- led a life of wanton pleasure: Isa 3:16 Ro 13:13
- in a day of slaughter.: Pr 7:14 17:1 Isa 22:13 Eze 39:17 Rev 19:17,18
You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
- You have condemned: Jas 2:6 Mt 21:38 23:34,35 27:20,24,25 Joh 16:2,3 Ac 2:22,23 Ac 3:14,15 4:10-12 7:52 13:27,28 22:14 1Th 2:15,16
- he does not resist you: Isa 53:7 Mt 5:39 26:53,54 Lu 22:51-53 Joh 19:9-11 Ac 8:32 1Pe 2:22,23
You have condemned and put to death the righteous man;
He does not resist you
This is true of no Righteous Man more than Jesus the Scriptures recording "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. " (Isaiah 53:7) "WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:22-23).
be patient,, Lu 8:15 Ro 2:7 8:24,25 15:4 2Co 6:4,5 Ga 5:5 6:9 Col 1:11 1Th 1:3 Heb 6:15 12:1-3
until the coming of the Lord: Jas 5:8,9 Mt 24:27,44 Lu 18:8 21:27 1Co 1:7 1Th 2:19 3:13 2Pe 3:4
until it gets the early and late rains: De 11:14 Jer 5:24 Ho 6:3 Joe 2:23 Zec 10:1
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
You too be patient: Ge 49:18 Ps 37:7 40:1-3 130:5 La 3:25,26 Mic 7:7 Hab 2:3 Ro 8:25 Ga 5:22 1Th 1:10 2Th 3:5 Heb 10:35-37
strengthen your hearts: Ps 27:14
for (KJV): Jas 5:9 Php 4:5 Heb 10:25-37 1Pe 4:7 Rev 22:20
You too be patient - Make the decision of your will every time you have a choice to have this attitude which can endure delay and bear suffering and never give up. Don't give way to a quick burst of temper toward those around you who fail or fall but be considerate & understanding toward them, holding off your mind not giving it room to take action or invoke passion. Take a long time before fuming and breaking into flames (in fact don't even start a fire). Summed up in 1 Co 13:4 Love is patient.
strengthen your hearts (2Th2:17, 3:3, Ro1:11, 16:25, 1Th3:2 3:13 Ja 5:8 1Pe 5:10 2Pe1:12 Rev 3:2 Lu 22:32)
As David says "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. (Ps 27:14)
For the coming of the Lord is near.
Henry Morris - In fact, the great "judge standeth before the door," as it were (James 5:9; Revelation 3:20; Mark 13:29). Even though a great majority of Christian believers in every nation are among those of whom the rich have taken unjust advantage, the Lord would advise prayerful patience rather than rebellion and retribution. He will make all things right when He comes in judgment.
- Do not complain, Jas 4:11 Lev 19:18 Ps 59:15 Mk 6:19 *marg: 2Co 9:7 Ga 5:14,26 1Pe 4:9
- so that you yourselves may not be judged: Mt 6:14,15 7:1,2
- the Judge is standing right at the door. Ge 4:7 Mt 24:33 1Co 4:5 10:11 Rev 3:20
Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
- As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience: 2Ch 36:16 Jer 2:30 Mt 5:11,12 21:34-39 23:34-37 Lu 6:23 13:34 Ac 7:52 1Th 2:14,15 Heb 11:32-38
- take the prophets who spoke: Isa 39:8 Jer 23:22 26:16 Ac 3:21 Heb 13:7
As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
- We count those blessed who endured: Jas 1:12 Ps 94:12 Mt 5:10,11 10:22 Heb 3:6,14 10:39
- You have heard of the endurance of Job: Job 1:21,22-2:9,10 13:15,16 23:10
- have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings: Job 42:10-17 Ps 37:37 Ec 7:8 1Pe 1:6,7,13 2Pe 2:9
- the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful: Ex 34:6 Nu 14:18 1Ch 21:13 2Ch 30:9 Ne 9:17,31 Ps 25:6,7 Ps 51:1 78:38 86:5,15 103:8,13 116:5 119:132 136:1-26 Ps 145:8 Isa 55:6,7 63:7,9 La 3:22 Da 9:9,18,19 Joe 2:13 Jon 4:2 Mic 7:18 Lu 1:50 6:36 Ro 2:4 Eph 1:6 2:4
We count those blessed who endured.
You have heard of the endurance of Job - Job may have been unclear on why he was suffering but he held firmly to his moral integrity.
Job 1:21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Job 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
Job 16:19 “Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, And my advocate is on high.
Job 19:25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
This verse indicates that Satan’s purpose was to try to get Job to be impatient and give up. Job did become impatient with himself and his critical friends, but he never lost his faith in God. Though he did not understand what God was doing, Job knew that he could trust God and that God would vindicate him in the end.
Henry Morris on Job - This is the only NT reference to Job. Many modern theologians have alleged that the book of Job was a great dramatic poem, with Job merely a fictional character concerned with the perennial problem of undeserved suffering. James, however, confirms the historicity of Job and his experiences.
- But above all, my brethren: 1Pe 4:8 3Jn 1:2
- do not swear, either by heaven or by earth: Mt 5:33-37 23:16-22
- but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no: 2Co 1:17-20
- so that you may not fall under judgment.: Jas 3:1,2 1Co 11:34
But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath - James echoes the words of Jesus in Mt 5:34. When read in context of all Scripture, it is clear that James is not forbidding taking of a solemn oath, but is stressing need for integrity in speech, and the sinfulness of carelessly/flippantly using God's name or a sacred object to guarantee truthful speech. Truthfulness is to be the norm among brothers & sister in Christ; hence taking oaths would be totally unnecessary.
Ryrie - ot all oaths are forbidden by this verse, only flippant, profane, or blasphemous ones. Oaths in the sense of solemn affirmations were enjoined in the law (Ex. 22:11) and were practiced by Christ (Matt. 26:63-64) and Paul (Ro 1:9).
Mt Henry: "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."
but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.
PRAYER AND PRAISE
- Is anyone among you suffering: 2Ch 33:12,13 Job 33:26 Ps 18:6 50:15 91:15 116:3-5 118:5 Ps 142:1-3 La 3:55,56 Ho 6:1 Jon 2:2,7 Lu 22:44 23:42 Ac 16:24,25 2Co 12:7-10 Heb 5:7
- Is anyone cheerful: Judges 16:23-25 Da 5:4
- He is to sing praises: 1Ch 16:9 Ps 95:2 105:2 Mic 4:5 Mt 26:30 1Co 14:26 Eph 5:19 Col 3:16,17 Rev 5:9-14 7:10 14:3 19:1-6
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.
- Then he must call for the elders of the church: Ac 14:23 15:4 Tit 1:5
- they are to pray over him: 1Ki 17:21 2Ki 4:33 5:11 Ac 9:40 28:8
- anointing him with oil: Mk 6:13 16:18
Is anyone among you sick?
Henry Morris comments that "The promise of healing in this passage applies only to the special case of one whose sins have brought about the Lord's chastening in the form of sickness. The word "sick" in this verse means "ill." In James 5:13, on the other hand, the word "afflicted" means "suffering trouble" (same as in James 5:10; also, the same as "endure hardness" in 2 Timothy 2:3; see also 2 Timothy 2:9 and 4:5). In such a case of affliction in a believer's life, assuming it is not clearly a specific chastising because of sin, the admonition is: "Let him pray." The Lord, in such cases, will answer in whatever way best serves His greater purpose (note Paul's testimony in 2 Corinthians 12:9). However, in cases of divinely imposed illness, when the sick person has injured the body of Christ by his sin (as in 1 Corinthians 11:18-34, especially verses 30-31), he must first confess his sin to God and to those injured, as represented by the elders of the church, asking them to pray for him. The initiative comes from him rather than the elders.
Criswell comments on James 5:14-16 - This passage has led to many erroneous teachings. The central theme of the passage is prayer. It is through the prayer of believers that divine aid and blessing are invoked. Oil was widely believed to have a medicinal value in biblical times (cf. Isa. 1:6; Luke 10:34) and is here used in this sense. The text is stating that the prayer of faith will heal and that medical means are to be used. God does occasionally, however, directly heal those who are ill. The believer has a right to ask for healing from the Lord, who revealed Himself to His people in Ex. 15:26 as Yahweh-Ropheka (Heb., "For I am the Lord who heals you"). God heals and often employs means in the process (cf. Isa. 38:21; Mark 6:12, 13; 1 Tim. 5:23). One excellent illustration of the activity of God in regard to sickness occurs in Acts 28, when Paul and Luke the physician are shipwrecked in Malta. The father of Publius was very ill, and Paul "went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him" (Acts 28:8). The word used here to describe the miraculous healing by Paul is iaomai (Gk.). The others on the island who were sick were also brought to be healed (Acts 28:9). The word used to describe their healing is from therapeuo (Gk.) and, together with the plural pronoun in Acts 28:10 ("they also honored us"), clearly indicates that medicine was practiced on them by Luke. God does heal with and without means. In fact, if there is healing, God does the healing. It may not be in God's will for healing to occur in a particular case. Believers are instructed to pray for healing, but they are also instructed to seek God's will (1 John 5:14) and are taught by Christ's example to pray, "nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). Note also 2 Cor. 2:7-10, in which Paul earnestly prays for healing that does not occur, and 2 Tim. 4:20, note, in which Paul's valued friend and helper, Trophimus, remains sick at Miletus. Yet Paul did not heal him.
Then he must call for the elders of the church - See Acts 11:30 and Acts 14:23 where elders were leaders in the early church.
and they are to pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord
Morris - There is nothing magical in the anointing oil but served as a spiritual symbol representing God's hoped-for anointing of the sick person by the Holy Spirit in order to bring him back to active service for the Lord. This symbol recalled how priests and kings had been anointed in ancient Israel, symbolizing their divine call to service.
Ryrie - God may heal directly, through medicine, or in answer to prayer, as here. The oil is a symbol of the presence of God (cf. Ps. 23:5); it may also have been considered medicinal in James's day (cf. Luke 10:34), though hardly as being effective for all diseases. Prayers of faith are answered not simply because they are prayed in faith but only if they are prayed in the will of God (1 John 5:14). God does not always think it best to heal (cf. 2 Cor. 12:8; 2 Tim. 4:20). Here the healing is dependent on confession of sin. Historically, the Roman Catholic sacrament of extreme unction developed out of this practice, but the significance is entirely changed, for the Roman Catholic rite has death in view, not recovery. Some understand the word sick in verse 14 to refer to spiritual, not physical, weakness and the different word translated sick in verse 15 to mean "weary" (these meanings are legitimate). Thus the discouraged person will be restored to spiritual vigor by the elders' prayer and anointing.
- and the prayer offered in faith: Jas 5:13,16 1:6 Mt 17:20,21 21:21,22 Mk 11:22-24 16:17,18 1Co 12:28-30
- if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven hi: Isa 33:24 Mt 9:2-6 Mk 2:5-11 Joh 5:14 1Co 11:30-32 1Jn 5:14-16
and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick -
and the Lord will raise him up,
and if he has committed sins - The "if" is a condition of 3rd class which indicates the possibility of sin being related to the sickness.
they will be forgiven him.
- confess your sins to one another: Ge 41:9,10 2Sa 19:19 Mt 3:6 18:15-17 Lu 7:3,4 Ac 19:18
- pray for one another : Col 1:9 1Th 5:17,23,25 Heb 13:18
- so that you may be healed: Ge 20:17 2Ch 30:20 Lu 9:6 Ac 10:38
- The effective prayer Ge 18:23-32 19:29 20:7,17 32:28 Ex 9:28,29,33 17:11 32:10-14 Nu 11:2 14:13-20 21:7-9 De 9:18-20 Jos 10:12 1Sa 12:18 1Ki 13:6 17:18-24 2Ki 4:33-35 19:15-20 20:2-5 2Ch 14:11,12 2Ch 32:20-22 Job 42:8 Ps 10:17,18 34:15 145:18,19 Pr 15:8,29 Pr 28:9 Jer 15:1 29:12,13 33:3 Da 2:18-23 9:20-22 Ho 12:3,4 Mt 7:7-11 21:22 Lu 11:11-13 18:1-8 Joh 9:31 Ac 4:24-31 12:5-11 1Jn 3:22
- of a righteous man can accomplish much: Ro 3:10 5:19 Heb 11:4,7
Therefore, confess your sins to one another - Confession of sin is more than a mere acknowledgment of sin in the life. It is an agreeing with God as to all the implications that enter into the fact that one has sinned. It is looking at sin from God’s point of view, and acting accordingly. It means the putting away of that sin (Repentance). It means the determination to be done with that sin. In Proverbs 28:13+ we read "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes (cf Repents) them will find compassion."
Confess (1843)(exomologeo from ek - wholly out from or ex = out or intensify meaning [implies full, frank, open confession, openly or publicly] of homologeo - to say the same thing about) means to speak the same thing that another speaks, to fully agree with someone else or to confess.
And pray for one another
So that you may be healed.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
- Elijah : 1Ki 17:1, Elijah
- was a man with a nature like ours: Ac 10:26 14:15
- he prayed earnestly : Ro 11:2 Rev 11:6
- it did not rain: Lu 4:25
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
- 1Ki 18:18,42-45 Jer 14:22 Ac 14:17
- if any among you strays: Ps 119:21,118 Pr 19:27 Isa 3:12 1Ti 6:10,21 2Ti 2:18 2Pe 3:17 Jude 1:11
- and one turns him back: Jas 5:20 Eze 34:4,16 Mt 18:15 Lu 22:32 Ga 6:1 Heb 12:12,13 Jude 1:22,23
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,
- hat he who turns a sinner from the error of his way: Jas 5:19
- will save his soul : Pr 11:30 Ro 11:14 1Co 9:22 1Ti 4:16 Phm 1:19
- from death: Jas 1:15 Pr 10:2 11:4 Joh 5:24 Rev 20:6
- will cover a multitude of sins.: Ps 32:1 Pr 10:12 1Pe 4:8
Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way
will save his soul from death
Henry Morris - This verse can properly be considered an incentive for soul-winning in general. In context, however, it seems to refer primarily to the particular case being discussed--that of a professing Christian whose sin has resulted in divine chastisement in the form of sickness. As long as he persists in his sin, refusing to confess and forsake it, he is in danger of eventually being consigned to physical death (1 Corinthians 5:5; 11:30; 1 Timothy 1:20). This is probably the "sin unto death" mentioned in 1 John 5:16. There is, thus, a great need for concerned Christian friends to try diligently to turn him back (convert) from the dangerous course he is traveling. It is even more urgent if his professed faith in Christ was not genuine in the first place. He then needs to be saved not only from physical death but also from eternal, spiritual death.
and will cover a multitude of sins.