James 5:11-20

James 5:11 (KJV)
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Happy - Blessed - James 1:12
Patience - Enduring - Job - Job 42:12
Pitiful - Very compassionate
God never allows any of His children to undergo any trials in which He knows would be detrimental for them. All trials are for the benefit of the believer even though they may be seem very harsh and without logical explanation. James is saying that there is a certain blessedness (happiness) that a Christian experiences when they endure any type of hardship. James mentions Job and the trials that he endured. He lost his wealth and his family, plus had to endure the counsel of his three friends. While Job endured all the hardships, the Scripture teaches that he did not sin with his mouth. (Job 1:22 KJV) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
This shows us a mighty principle that during the suffering of Job, he maintained a constancy of his Christian character. Then after all the yammering of Job’s friends, then God intervened with 64 unanswerable Questions. The same thing happens today, we speculate on all kinds of reasons why we may be going through hardship and then someone opens the Bible and gets God’s perspective on the situation. In the book of Job there is a great hope at the end of the book. We see that God restored the riches and family of Job. (Job 42:12-13 KJV) So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. {13} He had also seven sons and three daughters. Now we must realize that if we undergo trials where we lose material goods, God may choose not to restore them. Job 42 cannot be used as any type of proof text for health and wealth. If our material goods get us into trouble, then it may be that God will not restore them, so we will not become ensnared again.
We must also never forget that the Lord is compassionate and when He does something in the life of His children, it is not to hurt them or to play games with them. Compassion is not only mushy or “feely sorry” way of thinking. Compassion sometimes contains things that can initially trouble us but is for our own good. For example, a drunk who goes to detoxification, is it compassionate, to let them scream, vomit, hallucinate, and tear themselves as one who is demon possessed? Yes it is, because after this sequence comes the rebuilding of the body and then the rebuilding of the relationships that alcohol helped destroy. An uninformed person may think it is uncompassionate to allow this but once it is known why this happens, then we look beyond the process and see a new life springing forth.


James 5:12 (KJV)
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.
Condemnation - Hypocrisy - Matthew 23:16-22
James returns to the speech of the believer. He is warning them that they are never to invoke the name of God or anything in the creation with an oath. It seems dishonesty was playing a large role in their lives to the point they had to make oaths to get people to believe them. (Mat 5:37 KJV) But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Hypocrisy is a heinous sin. It is a person saying something and doing another. This is a good example of a double minded person. James is telling them they should never make oaths but they should be honest enough that their word was good enough in whatever situation they found themselves. The problem is when you continue to ramble on, you will eventually lead yourself into sinful speech, which is always achieved by embellishing the core thought or situation. (Prov 10:19 KJV) In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. Speak only enough words that is necessary to get your point across.
James 5:13 (KJV)
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Now James turns to personal matters and to some of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. If a believer is afflicted (suffering a hardship) then it is better to pray through the situation than complain or try to fix the blame on someone else. If a believer is happy, then let them sing joyfully unto the Lord. (Acts 16:25 KJV) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. It does not point to a specific hardship because the believer is to pray through every situation they face.
James 5:14 (KJV)
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:
Sick - Astheneo - to be without strength - Weak spiritually
These verses are continually abused by those in the health and wealth movement. What is in view here is not a physical sickness. The reason that is obvious is because first of all, the word “sick” carries with it the meaning of being without strength and spiritually weak. If one was sick, would they call for the elders of the church or the doctor? Elders of the Church deal with spiritual matters not medical matters. When the elders go to the person who is spiritually weak, they are prayed over and anointed with oil. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and when someone is anointed, they are consecrated or ordained to salvation. (1 John 2:27 KJV) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
When we speak of the sick, the primary message of the Gospel is the healing of the sin sick soul and not the body. The miracles that Christ did and those of the Apostles were confirming the word that was spoken plus they gave a visible message showing the difference between someone who is afflicted with sin versus someone who has been healed. It was the picture of salvation. The sick ones were the picture of the unsaved and the healed ones were the picture of the saved. (1 Pet 2:24 KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Notice that salvation is linked with the healing by the stripes of Christ. If the central message of the Gospel was physical healing, we would not need cemeteries, but we do. The body dies but the redeemed spirit goes to be with the Lord immediately on the separation which is called death.
James 5:15 (KJV)
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.
Sick - “Kamno” - To labour, suffer from fatigue
And if - Even though or even if
Raise - The Greek word behind this word is used 73 times in reference to
The only way sins are forgiven, is if a person becomes saved. This has nothing to do with any medical healing. If the prayer of faith shall cause a physically sick person to be healed, then there will never be a death. How many times have we prayed for people to become well only to realize that it was the Lord’s will that they die. What is in view in this verse are those who are so weakened by being in spiritual battles or just living the Christian life and facing many temptations. These things can cause spiritual fatigue. We pray for these people that God would strengthen them. We also see that the forgiveness of sins is in view here and it is only the Christian that the Lord will raise up. If the Christian sins, this verse tells us that they will be forgiven. We see that principle in the life of David. When he sinned with Bathsheba, Nathan came to him a year later and pronounced the woes on his life but he also said that God put away his sin. (2 Sam 12:13 KJV) And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. If I look at this verse as one that is physically sick, then if I have a prayer of faith, then the physically sick will be raised to health. Again, there would be no need for cemeteries.
James 5:16 (KJV)
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.
Confess - Fully Acknowledge
Faults - Offences, Misdeeds, Trespasses
Healed - Restored or cured
The righteous man prays in accord with the will of God and this is why some people seem to always see an answer to their prayers. In the modern versions, the word “faults” is changed to sins to give credence to the Roman Catholic practice of Confession to a Priest. The problem is the Priest would have to confess his sins to the other person. This, of course, is very erroneous. We never confess our sins to some earthly cleric to gain forgiveness. The key to this verse is found in one word, “accountability.” We confess our faults to each other and pray for each other, so that we can be restored to full spiritual potential and relationship. If there is strife between Christians, then to confess the strife and to forsake it, will engender a healing of the relationship. (Eph 4:27 KJV) Neither give place to the devil. Satan loves it when Christians war with each other because it keeps both parties weak and vulnerable for more of his incitements.
(Psa 66:18 KJV) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: Full acknowledgement and prayer for each other will bring healing and strength to relationships. The Christian who begins to pray for restoration and reconciliation, is considered a righteous man and his prayer, being in concert with God’s principles, will avail much in that situation. Those who have been hurt and those who did the hurting should pray and that shows that there is a spark of righteousness in both parties and the result is the healing of the situation. Remember James 4:17 and resisting the devil and he will flee? Well once his plans are made public, they can be thwarted and the parties strengthened in the Lord.
James 5:17 (KJV)
Elias 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.
(1 Ki 17:1 KJV) And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. Here James gives a good example for the believers to continue in prayer showing Elijah was a man of passions or feelings like any other person. He prayed in accord with God’s will and God answered mightily. The like passions are, in one moment he is victorious over the prophets of Baal but the next moment he is running in fear from Jezebel. So the fact that we are in frail flesh should never disconcert us about praying for anything.
James 5:18 (KJV)
And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
(1 Ki 18:1 KJV) And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. This means we do not stop praying until the matter we are praying about is completed to the glory of God.
James 5:19 (KJV)
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Err - Go Astray
Convert - Turn Him back or return him
Here James winds down his epistle with some good advice which is closely related to the problem Paul had at Galatia. (Gal 6:1 KJV) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. James says that if any strays from the truth and there be one that brings that brother or sister back into the path of truth and there may be some in the church who only profess salvation and not possess salvation.
James 5:20 (KJV)
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.
Error - Wandering from the truth
Hide - Cover the sins - Like an atonement
Since no one who is truly saved can ever lose their salvation, the group in focus here are those in the church who have professed salvation but not possessed it. The person that brings a sinner to salvation will save their soul from eternal damnation. James has in view those that are unsaved since the Bible never refers to the Christian as a sinner. Once these people become saved, their sins are gone and are hidden. Where are they hidden? (Isa 38:17 KJV) Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. If you can find the back of God, then you can find your sins! What a great way to end up the book of James. It starts out with trials and ends with salvation, for that is what saving a soul from death is all about. In other words, instead of allowing Satan to cause fighting among the brethren, we need to be out trying to evangelize the world, to bring in God’s Elect from the fields of sin.