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 (James & 1, 2 Peter)
Helping One Another
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9: Helping One Another (Jas 5:13-20)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

From our studies of the epistle, we have noticed that it is full of strong admonitions and warnings. James has effectively corrected the misconceptions and misconduct among the believers by pointing out the meaning of true faith. Now, as the epistle draws to a close, he provides an assuring guidance to the community of believers. Like the opening of the epistle, the tone of this final passage is comforting and greatly encouraging. A message of faith, hope, and love pervades these closing exhortations.

B.     Key Verse

            “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (5:16).

C.     Did You Know…?

Elders (5:14): These were men who were appointed to be shepherds and overseers in the church (Ac 20;17,28; 1Pet 5:1-2).

Anointing with oil (5:14): Oil was used in Biblical times as medicine (cf. Isa 1:6; Lk 10:34). But James may be using this expression in a symbolic sense.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline





III. Key Words/Phrases

A.     General Analysis

1.      Record what the passage teaches about

2.      Prayer

3.      Sin

4.      Brothers and sisters in the church

5.      Based on this passage, what are some practical ways for us to put our faith to work?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     5:13

6.      What can we learn from verse 13 about our relationship with the Lord in our daily lives?

7.      How does prayer help us in our suffering? Recall your own experience.

B.     5:14-15

8.      Explain the significance of the following in terms of praying over the sick:

9.      Call for the elders of the church

10.  Anoint with oil

11.  In the name of the Lord

12.  According to James, what is the key to an effective prayer? Why?

13.  Why do you think James also mentions the forgiveness of sins here?

14.  Have you ever prayed for someone who was sick? Have you requested others to pray for you? Did you learn anything from your experience?

C.     5:16-18

15.  What is the purpose of confessing our sins to one another if only the Lord Jesus Christ can forgive us of our trespasses?

16.  How do we confess our trespasses to one another?

17.  Why is it important for the members of Christ’s body to pray for one another?

18.  What does verse 16 teach about prayer?

19.  Why does James remind us that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours”? What lessons can we learn from Elijah’s prayer?

D.     5:19-20

20.  What does it mean to wander from the truth? How do you know if a brother has wandered from the truth?

21.  How do you turn back such a brother or sister?

22.  What effects result from turning them back from error?

23.  What does it mean to cover a multitude of sins? What does this tell us about what we need to have in ourselves in order to turn back a sinner?

24.  How does this paragraph relate to the passage as a whole?


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