James 5: 14-16 Prayer for the Sick
What is James’ next imperative?
What is James interpretation of the word “sick”? Can we interpret this literally?
James is speaking of illness, weak and feeble. This could imply a kind of spiritual illness or weakness as well. For the early church in 65 AD illness was a major problem and concern. For today, we need to consider that any thing that one does to harm the body is a sin. Such things can lead to sickness and disease. Smoking leads to cancer and lung disease. Promiscuity can lead to venereal disease.
Does James give us an all-inclusive formula for healing?
In this church body alone, we have seen evidence of God miraculous healing. We have seen evidence of God not choosing to heal.
What are the special characteristics of this case that James is describing?
James 15:15b-16 – The person is sick because of sin. Greek text says “if he has been constantly sinning.”
I Corinthians 11:27-30
I Cor. 5 – Paul instructed the church assembly to expel an immoral person.
The sick person is a church member who is sick because God is disciplining him. The church elders are called and make a visit rather than the sick person going to church to confess his sins. The person confesses his sins (vs.16).
The person is healed by the “Prayer of faith” (vs.15)
What is the “prayer of faith” (vs. 15) that heals the sick?
I John 5:14-15 - a confidence we have in Christ – a prayer offered knowing that God’s will is to be done.
How should we pray for the sick?
Rom 8:26 – Paul did not always know.
“If it is Your will, heal Your Child”. (Warren Wiersbe)
What are some practical lessons from this portion of scripture?
Disobedience to God can lead to sickness. (David’s experience)
Sin affects the whole church
There is healing (physical and spiritual) when sin is dealt with.
“Private sin requires private confession; Public sin requires public confession. It is wrong for Christians to hand dirty wash in public for such confessing might do more harm than the original sin”. (Warren Wiersbe)