I’ve always felt the book of James ends abruptly, like it’s missing the conclusion or the wrap-up or even a “good bye” that are seen in so of Paul’s writings.
Today, though, it kind of made sense.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
It implies two things to me:
1. God intends us to live in community, and 2. we need each other.
If a brother (a believer) wanders from the truth (the Word of God) and doesn’t live in a fellowship of other believers, how far off course will he/she wander? Jim Jones? David Koresh? I don’t know much about them, but I wonder if they had any accountability in their lives? I wonder if they had anyone who loved them enough to say, “Whoa dude, that’s wacked! You’re way off base on that!”
I need you. You need me. We need to make sure that what we think – what we interpret the Word of God to be – is accurate.
Chapter 1 of James opens with the progress to sin and the result if it is left unchecked (death).
Chapter 5 of James states how to be healed from our sin. By confession and prayer with EACH OTHER.
The last two verses just summarize the beginning and end of the book.
I need you. You need me. We need each other to be healed of our sin.
Chapters 2-4 deal with how to live life and how to live with each other.
I need you. You need me. We need each other to grow. “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov 27:17) The premise of this whole blogsite.
Father, thank you for your design. Thank you for faithful men who will live in community with me. May we be ever aware of Your presence and true to Your Word as we sharpen each other. Thank you for my friends and brothers.