Summary: The title of the message reminds me so much of what Dwight L. Moody did some years ago as he filled a pew full of boys and girls from the streets.
The title of the message reminds me so much of what Dwight L. Moody did some years ago as he filled a pew full of boys and girls from the streets.
The presence of these children that Dwight L. Moody had brought into the church, so disturbed the sophisticated members of the church that when Moody was presented for membership in the church the board suggested he think it over and pray about it for a month.
The next month Moody came before the church board again. "Did you follow our suggestions? the board members ask. "I did," Mr. Moody responded.
"And what did the Lord say?" responded one of the board members.
"He told me not to feel bad about it because He has been trying to get into this church Himself for the last 25 years’.
That is the way so many people today see our churches, cold, dead, exclusive, spiritual country clubs whose flame burned out years ago.
That is not what the New Testament church was all about.
I.WE OUGHT TO BE A PARTICIPATING CHURCH.
Verse 13a "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray."
(a). We Should Participate If We See The Condition......
"Is any among you afflicted?"
AFFLICTED = "suffering trouble" (afflicted, ill treated, suffering evil, in trouble, evil and suffer).
It becomes obvious that although suffering affliction, of which James speaks here, may include "physical suffering", it goes very much beyond that, and includes (pressure, pain or problems of many kinds.)
AMONG YOU = "that is among you Christians" (it is an assumption that the situation exists) There are many different afflictions.
There are natural afflictions, mental afflictions, and spiritual afflictions, every Christian is in a battle and, if I may say so very carefully, the Christian worker is in the forefront of that battle.
(b). We Should Participate With Concern.
....."let him pray."
II. WE OUGHT TO BE A PRAISING CHURCH.
Verse #13b "Is any merry? let him sing psalms".
A New Testament church will also be a singing church. Singing is often mentioned in the Bible, I Cor 14:15,26. Eph 5:19, Col 3:16.
1 Cor. 14:15
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
1 Cor. 14:26
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
God’s people have a pardoned past, a present peace, and a future that is promised, we have something to sing about.
One of the marks of the ungodly is, he does not have a song of praise to God. That is why we ought to sing praises to God, it identifies that we are Christians.
III. IT OUGHT TO BE A PRAYING CHURCH.
(a). We Notice The Complaint.
Verse #14....."Is any sick among you"
SICK = "without strength" (not functioning properly,) We can be sure that James is not speaking of a minor sickness such as a headache, or feeling a little down and out.
This is made clear by the fact the sick person calls the elders for help, the sick person is not well enough to go and see them.
(b). We Notice The Call.
Verse #14 ..."let him call for the elders of the church;"
The elders were ordinary laymen, ordained of God and recognized by the local church as being in positions of spiritual and practical leadership.
We notice that the request comes from the sick patient for the elders to come to him.
This is not a Scripture for preachers and deacons to run around with bottles of oil healing anyone and everyone.
The responsibility rest first upon the sick person.
(c). We Notice The Command.
Verse #14 .."and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in
the name of the Lord"
(d). We Notice The Consequences.
Verse #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"
(e). We Notice The Conditions.
Verse # 15, "...in the name of the Lord," and Verse 14 .."the prayer of faith".
IV. IT OUGHT TO BE A PASSIONATE CHURCH.
(a). There Is A Danger We Should Be Aware Of.
Verse #19 "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth."