The Book Of James, Chapter #5 Notes

Vs 1-6 – James refers to the “rich” as a class of people. The Apostle James, writes to encourage and strengthen poor and oppressed Christians.  James writes regarding the wicked manner in which many have obtained and used their riches.                                               In about 4 years from the time James writes this Letter, Jerusalem would be destroyed.

Vs 1 (the miseries that would come upon them). These Jewish Christians had wealth and were more concerned about pleasures.     They lived in pleasure, they were selfish.

Vs 5 and wonton =  they indulged all their sinful and sensual appetites to the uttermost; and their lives were scandalous.

Vs 5 – “…as in a day of slaughter.”  They lived only to eat and drink, and to enjoy life. They were preparing for slaughter just as cattle are prepared to be killed by being fed in the stall (they are fattened before their slaughter).  These people had put themselves and the pleasures of this world before serving the Lord.  They spent their money on life’s pleasures over and above the work of the Lord, and soon, they would loose all they had.

It would have been better to serve the Lord with their lives and money instead of being selfish.

Vs 7 – Be patient = don’t rush the Second Coming of Christ.           “husbandman” = the farmer, tiller of the soil; patiently waits for the harvest. You can’t rush the harvest; it comes in its own time just as Christ comes back on His own timetable.

Here, it refers to the harvest of souls. Sow the seed and have patience, waiting for the harvest.  Early & latter rain = The early rain fell at sowing time, about November or December; the         latter rain, about March or April, to mature the grain for harvest.    The latter rain that shall precede the coming spiritual harvest.

Vs 8 – “stablish your hearts” = Take courage; do not sink under your trials.  Just as the farmer expects the rain for relief from heat; draught etc. Rain to grow the crops; the Christian can expect relief from our trials in due time.

Vs 9 – “grudge not” = murmur; groan; complain. We reap what we sow, so if you murmur, gripe, hold grudges etc. it will come back to you and we answer to the Lord for it.

Vs 10 – Matthew 5:12 – James encourages the Christians to have patience, especially while going through sufferings, troubles and attacks. Prophets of old were persecuted, yet, they were faithful unto the Lord.

They were an example to us: in patience;  and how to handle and get through such troubles.

Vs 11 – Ye heard of Job: Job 1:21-22; Job 2:10; Job 42:10; Matthew 5:10-11

Example of Job: he was stripped of all his worldly possessions:

             In one stroke, he lost all of his children;

             He was tortured in body, given sores & disease;

             He was tempted by the devil, harassed by his wife.

             Job was falsely accused of sin by his friends.

Through it all, Job held fast his integrity, was faithful to the Lord and did not blame God for his troubles.

Vs 12-  The Jews, in this time, split hairs in their use of profanity.

They believed that by avoiding using God’s name in vain, they were not really guilty of  the sin of swearing.  

The Jews would swear, not by using God’s name in vain, but by using God’s creation.

Some would use profane words but not believing them to be swearing because they were not using God’s name in vain. Some would swear an oath and the Apostle forbids that also.

James is teaching that swearing is swearing and is not for the Christian.

Vs 13 –  “afflicted” = going through a hardship; suffering or having troubles.; pray

“merry” = of good cheer or happy; sing Psalms

Vs 14 – “elders” = pastors.

Here is an Rx for sickness; call the pastor to come over. The pastor(s) are to pray over you; anoint you with oil. Remember, James writes to Jews who became Christians. He uses a Jewish maxim       of the Rabbi’s.   What should a man do who goes to visit the sick?  The answer is:

He who studies to restore the health of the body, should first lay the foundation in the health of the soul. The wise men have said, “No healing is equal to that which comes from the word of God and prayer.”

“anoint with oil” =  Mark 6:13. The use of olive oil was one of the best remedies known to the ancients; they used it internally and externally.  Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit; prayer is the key.

 Vs 15 – “The prayer of faith” =  this is an exercise of confidence in God.   “save the sick” = save  = deliver, protect, heal, preserve, do well, make whole.

There is no implication that by going through this exercise, that the sick person will certainly recover; but there is to be unwavering confidence in God, a belief that he will do what is best, and a cheerful committing of the situation into his hands.   

Sins and their forgiveness =  sometimes a persons sin will bring them to be sick.

Sin can cause high blood pressure; ulcers; and a host of other illness. For one to have the weight of their sin lifted off them can help restore them to health.  

Vs 16 – Confession of sins is a humbling experience to the soul.

Sometimes is could be a sin against another church member = a grudge, jealousy, hatred,  gossip, bad attitude, etc.

Confession is for his comfort, and the encouragement of others to do likewise.

Hebrews 12:1-2 =  getting rid of your sin will allow the Lord to “lift” the weight of your sin off you. That weight holds you back; hinders your forward progress as a Christian.

“effectual fervent” = the prayer that will be effective and has power and is mighty, is the prayer that God will use to do mighty things.

Vs 17 – He was excitable or irritable. He was capable of suffering the same things, or being affected in the same manner. In other words, he was a mere man, subject to the same weaknesses and infirmities as other men.

Vs 18 – Elijah believed what he prayed and then he let God do His perfect work. It was God that held back the rain and then it was God who brought the rain and then the fruit of the harvest. Elijah was the tool God used as Elijah prayed and believed in the power of God.

Vs 19-20 – the conversion refers to a Christian (if any of you) who sins; and you bring him back or restore him to follow the Lord again.

When a Christian turns back to the Lord, his sins are hidden as he does them no more.  That person comes back from death = a spiritual death.

Unsaved people are dead in trespasses and sins. When we are saved, those sins are now forgiven us and they are washed away by the blood of Jesus.

When the saved goes back and live in sin, their spiritual life is one of death as they have chosen to live against God. Their spiritual life suffers; they are not useful to God, as a servant, while they are in that state of sin. They do not have God’s power in their life.            The one who restores the person from sin does a great work.            Galatians 6:1-3

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