THE BOOK OF JAMES CHAPTER 5 (Study – vv. 1-20)
Rich Oppressors Will Be Judged
5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches [a]are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of [b]Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and [c]luxury; you have [d]fattened your hearts [e]as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have
condemned; you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Be Patient and Persevering
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord [f]is at hand.
9 Do not [g]grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be [h]condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into [i]judgment.
Meeting Specific Needs
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 [j]Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, [k]fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 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 land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Bring Back the Erring One
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save [l]a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Notes James 5 Study – (vv. 1-20)
5:1-6: The terrible fate of the unjust rich is that their wealth will condemn them …
5:7-12: The earthly and latter rain – (v. 7) refers to the pattern of rainfall – at planting time and just before harvest – in Palestine … We are to put away grumbling at each other, and we must not demand that life be “fair” … Patience, forbearance, and a right vision of the ultimate Judge are true workers of living faith …
5:10-11: The faithful prophets, true saints of God, are models or examples to us in how to practice suffering and patience … Consequently, Christians from the NT era even till today have honored or venerated the prophets – indeed, all the saints- counting them blessed …
5:12: A polemic against bad custom stemming from bad faith: the common practice of swearing by God or something that signifies God – (as if swearing were a proof of truthfulness) … We may swear when required to, but the solution to lack of trust is good faith – our integrity, truthfulness between a person and God … (Matthew 5:33-37) …
Matthew 5:33-37: 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of [m]old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [n]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
5:13-15: The sick person is to call for the elders – (Presbyters) for prayer … Salvation deals with the whole person, for each of human being is a unity, body, and soul … This sacrament has a double purpose: Not just for healing but also for forgiveness as well … The presbyter – (shorten from: “priest”) is given certain gifts of the ministry at ordination, the laying of the hands – (see, also 1Timothy 4:14) … Prayer is combined with OLIVE OIL – not only the primary medicine of ancient times, but also a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Church – in a single sacrament that effects a healing for the whole person … So, the elements of the sacraments of healing include (1) THE PRESBYTER OR PRIEST (v. 13); (2): THE PRAYER OF (the) FAITH THAT WILL SAVE – (v. 15), connected with (3): THE WORK OF CHRIST HIMSELF, FOR THE LORD WILL RAISE UP, and (4): THE HOLY SPIRIT, manifested in the oil; and (5): CONFESSION OF SINS just prior to the anointing with oil, which explains why James writes IF HE HAS COMMITTED SINS, HE WILL BE FORGIVEN – (v. 15) … In the Orthodox Church, this sacrament is granted anyone who is sick, whether in danger of dying or not …
1Timothy 4:14: Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
5:16-18: Some allege that confessing sins to God before God is not biblical … The ancient Christian custom was to CONFESS YOUR TRESPASSES TO ONE ANOTHER – (v. 16) … When a Christian was guilty of sin, the matter was confessed before the whole Church as act of repentance … As the Church grew, and those not part of the community came to observe, the pressure in such public confession became so great that the priest, instead of the entire community, heard th confession, representing the people … What is not taught in Scripture is a private confession only to God, which refuses to acknowledge sin to the community – (1John 1:8-10) … So, the Church has affected healing through such works of faith as confession of sins and the power of intercessory prayer …
1 John 1:8-10: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
5:19-20: The work of faith in restoring the apostate:
PSALM 148-151 STUDY & BREAKDOWN, and will finish up our study in Proverbs 16, Humility, Discernment and Righteousness – Readings and discussions over Proverbs 16 – vv. 29-31 … To hear this study please refer to video content that is always posted daily along with my write ups … Be blessed, and stand before the Lord thankful for all we have …
In Christ – Love Jared W. Campbell