6
August
2017

JAMES 5:19-20 RESTORING STRAYING SAINTS

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  1. As James comes to the close of his epistle, he stresses the importance of restoring those who wander from the truth:
  2. Restoring straying saints is a responsibility given to ALL who are truly the children of God

1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

Yet, it is a responsibility that is so easy to neglect, and in most cases IS neglected!

The purpose of this lesson is two-fold:

To impress upon our minds the importance of engaging in this work of restoring straying saints

To suggest how we should carry out this important work

THE CONDITION OF SAINTS WHO HAVE STRAYED FROM THE TRUTH

They are in danger of physical DEATH! - Ja 5:20

1John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death.

RESTORING STRAYING SAINTS REQUIRES SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES...

PEOPLE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL

Ga 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

  1. Unqualified personnel need not apply for this work

1) They might best work on themselves first, so they can help others Mt 7:3-5

  • A SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS - Ga 6:1
  • A CONSTANT SENSE OF SELF-EXAMINATION - Ga 6:1
  • If we are not careful, we can easily fall into the same fault!
  • A WILLINGNESS TO BEAR ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS - Ga 6:2
  • Which involves an expense of time and energy to help the weak to overcome their faults
  • Our responsibility is not fulfilled by simply pointing out our brother's faults!
  • HUMILITY

2Ti 2:24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

  • BROAD KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WORD - 2Ti 2:24
  • We must be able to teach and apply God's Word to the situation
  • For it is important that they respond to GOD'S word, and not just to OUR views or opinions!
  • PATIENCE (longsuffering) - 2Ti 2:24
  • The same kind that we receive from God for our faults
  • And Paul showed towards the church at Corinth 2Co 1:23-2:3
  • Of course, if repentance is not forthcoming, we can wait for only so long 2Co 13:1-2 his will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established."

2  I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare——

  • A SINCERE DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE
  • Both at the time of rebuke - cf. 2Co 2:4
  • And at the time of repentance - cf. 2Co 2:6-8
  • IT REQUIRES THE PROPER PROCEDURE...
  • The proper procedure is outlined by Jesus in Mt 18:15-17

1) Go to the person first

2) Then take others, if necessary

3) Then tell it to the church, if necessary

If he won't hear the church, withdraw any association that might appear to give approval to their behavior cf. 1Co 5:1-13; 2Th 3:6-15;

Ro 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

CONCLUSION

  1. The work of restoring or correcting saints may be unpleasant at times, but it has the potential for great joy!
  2. Both in heaven: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Lk 15:7)
  3. And in our hearts: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 Jo 4)
  4. It comes down to this...
  5. Do we really love God?
  6. Do we really love our straying brethren?