"What To Do For An Erring Christian Brother"
James 5:19, 20
INTRO: people on the church roll of BAB didn't come to
church during the past year! The last verse in James is as true
to life as the needs in those erring church member's lives. The text
is the most practical in the whole letter. There is not a word to
spare in it.
"It is like a naked sword, stripped of its jeweled scabbard, and
presented to us with nothing to note but its keen edge that cuts
We have many erring brothers and church members. They drift
farther and farther away from truth and from God's will for their
Certainly if we pray for the afflicted and pray for the sick, we
must pray for the brother who wanders from the truth!
Err - to wander. Suggests a gradual moving away
from the will of God.
O.T. calls this backsliding. Sad experience found
in our churches, and Christian life!
What was the sin?
First, the context has to do with healing from sickness and
the prayer of faith.
Bitterness because of physical sickness/spirit or
death instead of healing a loved one. So surviving relatives,
Second, a doctrinal truth. Not a mistake upon a
matter. But some vital doctrine fundamental of the faith!
There are some truths which must be believed, they are essential
to salvation, and if not heartily accepted the soul will be ruined.
This man had been professedly orthodox, but he turned aside from the
truth on an essential point. Now, in those days the saints did not say,
as the sham saints do now, "We must be largely charitable, and leave
this brother to his own opinion; he sees truth from a different standpoint,
and has a rather different way of putting it, but his opinions are as good as
our own, and we must not say that he is in error. "That is at present
the fashionable way of trifling with divine truth, and making things
pleasant all round. Thus the gospel is debased and another gospel
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