The final words of James Part One
The Apostle James starts out by saying for all practical purposes in this article above all do not swear by heaven or earth or by any other oath. He gets right to the point by saying let your yes be yes and your no be no. We should keep our conversation simple and earnest before God and to other people.
The Apostle changes the subject by writing if any among you is afflicted let him pray or if any is merry let him sing Psalms. If there is any sick among you they should call for the elders of the church and let them pray over this person but with oil in the name of the Lord. James then proceeds deeper with the subject writing this prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up.
If this particular individual has committed sins they shall be forgiven. It just goes to show us how highly God regards a group of elders gathering together with the right attitude to help someone who is helpless. If you are the leader a suggestion that I can give you is to go all the way in the back so if God does heal in the way He desires, glory will be given to the Lord as opposed to you. This way no misunderstandings will take place regarding who gets the praise.
The Apostle then urges us to confess our faults to one another and also pray for that person. You would be surprised what sins your brothers or sisters are struggling with and just as encouraged to how God answers prayer in these situations. It takes a lot of courage to confess our faults to one another but this does not mean we throw away discretion. It may not be proper to engage in this practice with certain people in the church or outside so just pray for wisdom. We, a brother or sister in Christ might need the effectual prayer of a righteous person so we can be healed which in this context is either a sin or a sickness. If the prayer is effectual and fervent this is highly effective before God and the results are healing in one way or another.
The Apostle James once again goes to an example in the Old Testament reminding his readers that Elijah was a man subject to like passions so he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. God answered his intercession and sure enough earth did not get rain for three years and six months. That sounds like an exact time frame. He prayed again and the Bible says heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit.
James says if any of you err from the truth and one does convert him it is good because the wayward person is changing from sin to righteousness. This individual just spent some time with a confused mind and troubled spirit but the result is a multitude of sins are being forgiven.
Look at the last biblical principle. We sometimes look at the big Bible teacher and let us just give this man the benefit of the doubt. He is obeying God and in His will. If a person helps another person in need this is the same cup as the well meaning teacher of the Bible preaching to thousands of people. We should never forget this biblical precept because one is no more spiritual than the other. Let me just quote the original text so you can read this passage and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(12) "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. (13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. (14) 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: (15) 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. (16) 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. (17) Elijah 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. (18) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (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: 12 -20.