A fitting conclusion.
Jam 5:19-20 is a summons to action on behalf of others.
James writes from an Old Testament viewpoint.
God forgave (covered) the sins of His people when they turned back to Him (repented).
The Two Ways:
Psalm 1 talks about the two ways.
Psalm 1 speaks of
In Jam 5:19-20, James calls these two ways
James exhorts the brethren to turn the man away from his error back to the truth. Or in a word, to repent.
This 180 degree turn away from the bad toward the good, or repenting, occurs in the heart.
James tells us that the errant way ends in death.
How can a man tell if he is heading down the path of error?
A man whose ways are in error is double-minded (Jam 1:8, Jam 4:8).
He is slow to hear, quick to speak, and quick to get angry (Jam 1:19-20).
He is not a doer of the word (Jam 1:22).
He does not bridle his tongue (Jam 1:26).
He deceives his own heart.
The man who favors the rich, and dishonors the poor, is proceeding down the path of the wicked (Jam 2:1-7).
James also describes the man who is heading up the path of the righteous.
A man on the wrong path will tell a brother in need to be warm and be filled,…
…but won’t lift a finger to give him the clothing or food that he needs (Jam 2:15).
I hope you can see that Jam 5:19-20 is a fitting conclusion to the entire letter.
But you see, this is his pastor’s heart:
Paul had a pastor’s heart too.
And our Lord Jesus Christ of course has that heart. He was teaching repentance and he told a story about His Father…
Wisdom from above versus
We can observe deeds, whether good or bad. But they are a byproduct of what’s in a person’s heart.
We also see that call to repentance: Submit yourselves to God. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord.
Then we come to that horrible indictment and condemnation of the wicked rich in Jam 5:1-6.
Paul also speaks of the two ways that believers can take.
Finally we arrive at Jam 5:7-20. We have our final description of the way of the righteous.
It is marked by patience and prayer. The person who works to restore a brother who has strayed from the truth.
Look out for one another.
Restore the brother who is on the wrong road.