Summary: We are to help one another in not wandering from truth
We finish today our study of the Letter by James. God spoke through James to give Christians practical instructions. Do you and I want to know how to live on earth while we wait for the return of Jesus Christ? This letter by James tells us how to handle trials, how to deal with temptations and evil, how to communicate, loving our neighbor, having faith and wisdom, dealing with conflicts at church, truly grasping God’s amazing love, having patience, dealing with money, and having the power of prayer!
Does anyone need encouragement and directions in life, we all do don’t we? Read James and Ephesians over and over again till you know each chapter of these letters! Trust and obey for there’s no other way, to be happy, in Jesus, is to trust and obey!
And so, let us conclude our study of James for now. Open your Bibles to James 5…. read with me v19-20…
I read from the NIV, a good English translation for us from the original Greek. Occasionally, it is helpful to look at other English translation (from a different group of godly people); this is the case this morning.. of course it is still God speaking to us and we must yield to the Holy Spirit in explaining to us God’s Word…. Quietly pray and yield for a moment…
How do the other English Translations differ from the New International Version? Actually, most have similar translations except for the KJV…
The King James Bible states in James 5:19-20 as. 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;20 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. (KJV)
What does this all mean? Let’s first of all define truth in this passage. The original Greek word for truth here is aletheia (truth) = opposite of illusion.
What does this imply? Simply, There are people in church who are living in fantasy, not reality!
What is reality? What is this truth? We can note the same Greek word truth in 2 familiar verses:
John 14:6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
and Ephesians 6:14 - Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist….
And so, simply,
If anyone in church is living a life without Jesus Christ, they are in error! This is a challenge for all of us everyday isn't it? Are you and I really doing everything with Christ?
Now, before moving on, let us make sure we have a clear grasp of who Jesus Christ is. Who is Jesus Christ??
• God – Creator
• Savior – only one who died and rose again!
• Teacher - disciples
• Lord – will be the judge of everyone!
And so, a person in church can live a life without Jesus Christ, not really living with the truths that Christ is God, Only Savior, Master Teacher, and Lord; and this person would be living in error! Who is this person in church living in error?
It seems that God is speaking to all in church: Anyone in church can fall into error and be disillusioned! Again, if we are truly honest with ourselves, this is true for each one of us personally!
Now, because the passage talks about conversion and being saved from death, the likely audience who wanders from the truth is a non-believer in Christ who goes to church.
However, the passage also calls on brothers and sisters, an indication of Christians as the audience.
Obviously, those who do not trust Jesus Christ as their only God and Savior are in error and are dead with God! But it seems that Christians are also warned about wandering from truth even though they have professed a faith in Jesus Christ. Can this happen to a Christian?
When a Christian does not involve Christ in what they are doing, they are wandering from the truth. When Christians do not accept exactly what God says in the Bible, they are wandering from the truth! We must all be alert about allowing ourselves to wander from the truth!
Anyone can wander from the truth! What’s the solution? The passage is clear, when someone at church wanders from the truth, someone should bring that person back! Who is that someone?
This someone in James 5:19 is someone in church like you and me!!
And so, let us close by highlighting the main applications for us.
1. All of us must always be alert of wandering from the truth (know what this means)!
2. Be concerned with one another at church (get to know and pray for one another)!
3. Speak the truth in love! (Ephesians 4:15) How do we do this??