In light of passages like James 5:19-20, it amazes me that anyone could believe the Calvinistic teaching that once salvation is obtained it could never be lost regardless of one’s obedience and faithfulness to God. He’s writing to Christians, and in doing so clearly gives the possibility that “any among you” could “stray from the truth.” It is a Christian whom James describes as a “sinner.” It is a Christian whom James says needs to be turned “from the error of his way.” It is a Christian of whom James says other Christians need to “save his soul from death.” It is a Christian who, as implied by James, needs to repent and thus “cover a multitude of sins.” If it is true that once one is saved, one will always be saved no matter what, then why is this passage in the New Testament?… Read More James: Restoring Christians Who Stray
Hospitals didn’t exist back then. When someone got sick, it was customary for friends or loved ones to visit and treat them. This is a possible meaning of the directive for elders to “anoint” the sick brother “with oil in the name of the Lord” (5:14b).… Read More James: Elders Anointing With Oil and More…
If we want to let someone know that we’re being honest, we might say something like,“Hey man, I didn’t take the money! Really! I swear!” as opposed to simply saying, “No, I didn’t take the money.” We think that adding “I swear!” will communicate to the hearer this idea: “You can trust me this time, because this time I’m swearing that it’s true.” Both Jesus and James denounced the hypocrisy behind this fallacious thinking by condemning this type of arbitrary swearing (Matt. 5:34-36; James 5:12a).… Read More James: Keep Your Word
The Christians to whom James had been originally writing were likely impoverished Christians of Jewish ethnicity who were being oppressed by fellow Jews who were wealthy and were withholding wages from them, as well as killing them (5:1-6). Yet the instruction which God inspired James to give to these persecuted Christians is note-worthy. Do we react to hardship and oppression in the same ways God instructed them to react?… Read More James: How Should We React to Hardship?
It is not an inherent sin to be wealthy. With that said, the Bible also teaches that it is difficult for the rich to find salvation (Matt. 19:16-26; cf. 13:22; 1 Cor. 1:26). One reason for this is due to how easy it is for the rich to focus on their wealth instead of God and His will (Lk. 12:13-21; 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17). Another reason, closely related to this, is the fact that many wealthy people give in to the temptation to do sinful things to others in the name of obtaining more wealth. Such was the case with the rich people to whom James was speaking in chapter 5. … Read More James: The Excoriating Condemnation of the Rich
How many families who sat down to supper together while traveling across the North Atlantic on the RMS Titanic on the evening of April 14, 1912 knew that they were eating their last meal together and that within hours their husbands and fathers would drown or die of hypothermia? Did they know they would meet the dawn of the new day as newly made widows and orphans? Of course not…and yet it still happened with no warning.… Read More James: Do The Right Thing, Today
It is impossible for anyone to overcome sin in their lives if they do not give serious thought as to why they commit that sin in the first place. Thus, God gives us the reason we fight amongst ourselves. The “source of quarrels and conflicts among you” is “your pleasures that wage war in your members” (4:1). We want things that please US, which give US pleasure, which make US happy. SELF is our highest priority. When we care most about SELF, what happens?… Read More James: The Source of Quarrels and Conflicts
Let’s “examine ourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5). How do we react to what’s on the news? How do we interact with those with whom we disagree? Is it in ways which we would consider appropriate if our children or grandchildren said and did the same things? How gentle are we? How humble? Do we feel we have to “weigh in” with our thoughts on everything? If someone disagrees with us, do we feel the need to put them in their place? Are we bitter? Can we find nothing good in our life, our country, or the world because all we focus on is the negative? Is how we want things to be in our home, our job, and the nation the most important thing, with everything else taking a distant second? Are we prideful, thinking that we have it all figured out? Is it inconceivable that we would be wrong in any way about what we see going on in the world today?… Read More James: Who Among You Is Wise and Understanding?