Correct and Save
James 5:19-20
Loving correction of our brothers and sisters in Christ is neither minor nor optional.
Published December 20th, 2016
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Loving correction of our brothers and sisters in Christ is neither minor nor optional.
James 5:19-20
My brothers, f if anyone among you wanders from the truth
Ἀδελφοί μου, ἐάν τις ἐν ὑμῖν πλανηθῇ ἀπὸ τῆς ἀληθείας
and someone g brings him back,
καὶ ἐπιστρέψῃ τις αὐτόν,
let him know
that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering
ὅτι ὁ ἐπιστρέψας ἁμαρτωλὸν ἐκ πλάνης ὁδοῦ αὐτοῦ
h will save his soul from death
σώσει ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἐκ θανάτου
and i will cover a multitude of sins.
καὶ καλύψει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν.
Our culture is big on not being judgmental. "Who are you to judge me?" "Who are you to correct me?" We are, perhaps, a little better when we recognize that God is correcting us. But God through Scripture only, not God through a brother or sister in Christ. "Don't judge me." "You are no better." "God is my judge, not you." But, as many people have pointed out in many places, God often uses means. God using (ordinary, sinful) people to voice His corrections, rebukes and judgments is about as new as the Old Testament. In fact, there was a whole category of people whose whole job was to be God's judgmental voice on earth and they were called the prophets. And they too were faced often times with people's refusal to humble themselves before God couched in the excuses of "who are you to tell me what to do?" But God does speak, judge, rebuke, correct and encourage through people. A lot. It takes courage to correct a brother and humility to receive correction, but the result is LIFE. "...whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. " Stop. Read that again. A person wandering away from the faith and being deceived into sin, if he/she is not brought back will conceivably continue in that way until death, proving their faith false and their destination Hell. But if someone else confronts them, convicts them, points them back to Jesus, and, by God's grace, they listen? They have been rescued from death and their sins are covered. Nathan the prophet convicted King David about Bathsheba, and David repented and turned back. Though there were serious consequences to David's sin, he was forgiven and his lineage to the Messiah preserved. What would have happened if Nathan had not had the courage to rebuke the King? Jonah the prophet (begrudgingly) declared God's judgment on Ninevah. They listened, repented and were spared. What would have happened if they had pulled a "You're a sinner too Jonah, you need to deal with your own issues and stop judging us!" Do you love your brothers and sisters in Messiah? True love takes a stern voice when it sees the person it loves walking toward destruction. Let's be courageous. Are you still living in flesh that is tempted toward sin? If we are honest, each of us starts wandering at different times and desperately needs a loving slap in the face. Let's be humble.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.