1. This A.M. we continue our series on "OA Passages" of NT.
2. Read James 5:13-16.
a. Questions that come from reading this passage.
b. Three (3) things this passage does NOT say.
c. Some reasons why we should "confess our sins to each other."
I. QUESTIONS COMING OUT OF THIS PASSAGE.
A. Physical sickness or emotionally/spiritually weak?
1. Verse 13 (trouble/afflicted)....... kakopatheo (2 Tim. 2:3, 9; 4:5).
2. Verse 14 (sick)......................... astheneo (Mt. 25:36; John 11:1).
3. Verse 15 (sick/sick person)..... kamnonta (Heb. 12:3).
B. Were these elders miraculously gifted for healing or not? (14).
C. Is the oil for symbolic or medicinal use?
1. Oil used symbolically in OT for annointing kings.
2. Used medicinally by Good Samaritan ("wine and oil").
D. "Prayer ... will make well" (15a)--Why don't we feel same confidence?
E. What is the connection between sin and suffering? (15b).
1. Not all suffering is due to sin (Story of Job).
2. But there does appear to be a connection in some cases (John 5:14).
II. WHAT THIS PASSAGE DOES NOT SAY.
A. Not talking about "coming forward" before the church (not directly).
1. Context is not the assembly--if anything, a hospital room!
2. Not wrong to "go forward"--doesn't exhaust truth of passage.
3. Must not limit James 5:16 to "going forward."
B. Not talking about confessing sins to a particular person.
1. Catholic practice of confession to priest not in view here!
a. No priest here! All priests! (1 Pt. 2:9).
b. If priests in view they must confess sins in return! (OA text).
2. Not talking about being assigned a "prayer partner" at baptism.
a. Practice of some Churches of Christ.
b. Linked with older bro./sis. in Lord and confess innermost thots.
c. Great idea ............. if done voluntarily!
III. THREE (3) REASONS WHY WE SHOULD "CONFESS OUR SINS TO EACH OTHER."
A. To Cut Through Pride.
1. Christians often in habit of comparing themselves to others.
a. Much better off than people in world--"got it together."
b. Do that for a while & start standing on own righteousness.
2. Confession reminds us of our weakness & dependence on God.
a. No room for pride when I come to you and say:
b. "I have this problem and I need you to pray for me."
B. To Help In Overcoming Sin.
1. Confession a starting point--gets sin out in open where it belongs.
a. 1 John 1:5-10.
b. Need to "own up" to sin before deal with it (cf. AA philosophy).
2. Confession in and of itself is not enough!
a. Illust . Cartoon of young Geo. Washington w/ hatchet in hand, standing beside felled cherry tree. Father is there and George has obviously uttered those immortal words... FATHER: "Alright, Alright, you always admit it, but when are you going to stop chopping down my cherry trees!"
b. Illust . Saul in 1 Sam. 26. David spared Saul's life for 2nd time--Saul: "I have sinned, surely I have acted like a fool and have erred greatly." Sincere ....... but did he change?
C. To Alert Others to Our Need for Help.
1. This is one of the most important things confession does.
a. Illust . Picture a man swimming in Frances Lake. Suddenly he starts drowning. People on shore. He needs help....but doesn't call! Gets madder all the time--"Why doesn't someone help me?!" But no one knows he's drowning! Last Thought: "Why didn't they help me?"
b. This happens in church--assume people know we're having trouble.
2. Person you confess to now becomes your ally as you struggle w/ sin.
a. Sin is deceptive & hard to deal with alone.....we need help!
b. Illust . Suppose you have trouble with anger/temper. Confess your sin to a bro./sis. Out riding somewhere. Get caught in a
traffic jam. Lose cool. This bro./sis. knows it's O.K. to remind you the world isn't going to stop turning!
1. There are really only three (3) basic types of confession:
a. They are:
1) PERSONAL confession before God.
2) PUBLIC confession before the Church.
3) "ONE ANOTHER" confession to a close bro./sis. in Christ.
b. This is the type of confession James 5:16 talks about.
2. Do you have someone in this church you can confide in?
a. Someone you can tell "deepest darkest secrets" & still be loved?
b. If not .......... there certainly needs to be!
3. One reason confession so difficult is because we usually:
a. See church more as "fellowship of saints" vs. "hosp. for sinners."
1) Everyone else has advanced far down road to holiness.
2) I am left here alone struggling with sin.
b. Reality is we've all got a long way to go!