James 5:19-20

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Converting the Sinner from the Error of His Way

II Peter 1:19-21 - 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

John 3:16 - 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting (not temporary) life.

John 5:24 - 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed (i.e. has passed or is in a state of having passed) from death unto life.

John 10:27-30 - 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

Romans 8:29-39 - 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth (i.e. judicially declares believers to be righteous). 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

With these verses as a background, let's look at James 5:19-20 . The fact that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation means that there are no contradictions in the Scriptures. We have seen that the Bible clearly teaches that someone who has been genuinely saved cannot lose his salvation; therefore, the Bible does not teach that someone who has been genuinely saved can lose his salvation. So, James 5:19-20 is not teaching that one can lose his salvation. It is not contradicting these verses and others like them.

I. Sometimes believers backslide, and other believers can help them get straightened out with the Lord - 5:19

James 5:19 - 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

Verse 19 introduces the erring brother. James addresses his readers as brethren, i.e. as brothers, fellow believers and members of the family of God.

If any of you is if anyone (anybody, someone, or somebody) among you and suggests any one individual from among James' readers, all of whom are saved people.

Do err means wanders away or deceives himself.

From the truth is away from the truth.

And one convert him means and someone turns him, i.e. stops his wandering away or deception and gets him headed again in the right direction, whether in his lifestyle or in his thinking.

II. The one responsible for the backslider straightening out his life will prevent the backslider's premature death and will also keep him from continuing in his sinful ways - 5:20

James 5:20 - 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.

Let him know, where him is the one who gets the one wandering away (or the person deceiving himself) turned around and headed in the right direction, means he must know or he must understand.

That he which converteth is that the one who converts (or turns).

The one he turns is the sinner, i.e. (a) sinner.

From the error of his way is out of the error (i.e. the delusion, the deceit, or the deception) of his way (i.e. his way of life, his way of action, or his conduct).

Shall save is will save or will deliver and is predictive of something which will definitely happen in the future.

A soul is a life and refers to the individual who has gone astray. It speaks of the seat and center of his inner human life.

From death is out of death. That this is physical death rather than the second death in the lake of fire is clear from at least three things.

First, he is regarded as a saved person by James. In verse 19 James wrote, Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth . . . .

Secondly, the believer is assured that he will never lose his salvation. The verses cited at the beginning of this message make this abundantly clear.

Thirdly, according to I John 5 , he is an overcomer and, therefore, is not subject to the second death, i.e. death in the lake of fire.

I John 5:4-5 - 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:11 - 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

However, if a believer persists in a life of sin, God may kill him.

I Corinthians 11:27-32 - (27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

(28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

(29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

(30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

(31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

(32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

And shall hide (i.e. will hide, will cover, or will conceal) a multitude of sins, i.e. a large number of sins.

The reason he will hide a large number of sins is that the individual who turns from the error of his way will confess and forsake his sins.

The sins he has committed will be hidden under the blood of Christ and will never be remembered again.

Furthermore, the individual will stop committing the sins he has been committing and will not continue to commit the sins he might otherwise have committed if he were to keep going in a wrong direction in his life.