It Says What It Means! Does It Mean What It Says?
James 5:13-15

(13) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.   {14} Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; {15} and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

INTRODUCTION
I have a long introduction, and a long sermon. In order for me to make a point let me ask you to turn to these verses, and answer the question; What do these verses mean? I will make a comment about each of them.

(Isa 40:31 NASB) Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

(Luke 14:26 NASB) "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

(John 10:7 NASB) Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

(John 10:9 NASB) "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

You see we have to understand the parts of speech and the type of language used to make a correct interpretation of all the parts of the text. I want to bring the following observations to your mind about the most controversial part of the verses which make up our text.

What I believe about this passage of scripture. The bottom line is I believe God Heals. I do not believe we have here a command for a practice in our worship services. What ever your preference for a personal interpretation please consider the following thoughts.

As all passages; It needs careful interpretation.

These facts need to be kept in mind.

    1.    Most scholars believe James was the first book written in the New Testament.

    2.    Paul never mentions this practice of anointing with oil.

    3.    Simon Peter never mentions this practice of anointing with oil.

    4.    John never mentions this practice of anointing with oil.

    5.    No other New Testament writer mentions this practice.

    6.    If this is a practice for all sick people why didn't Paul advise Timothy to have himself anointed
            with oil for his stomach problems?
            1 Tim 5:23 No longer drink water {exclusively,} but use a little wine for the sake of your
            stomach and your frequent ailments. (NAS)
                a.    Why didn't Paul anoint Trophimus with oil.
                         2 Tim 4:20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus

    7.    The GREEK word for anoint here is Strongs word #218 aleipho (al-i'-fo);   from 1 (as particle of
             union) and the base of 3045; to oil (with perfume): The Greek word for anoint in Luke 4:18 is
            Strongs # 5548 chrio (khree'-o);   probably akin to 5530 through the idea of contact; to smear or
            rub with oil, i.e. (by implication) to consecrate to an office or religious service:
            a.    A. T. Robertson further states "It is by no means certain that |aleiphô| here and in #Mr 6:13
                    means "anoint" in a ceremonial fashion rather than "rub" as it commonly does in medical
                    treatises.
            b.    Trench (N.T. Synonyms) says: "|Aleiphein| is the mundane and profane, |chriein|  the sacred
                    and religious, word."

The bottom line is this, in James we have God and the oil as medicine, and that is precisely where we are today. The best physicians believe in God and want the help of prayer.

I will place oil on a person who calls and asks for it. I believe the prayer of faith is the calling upon the sovereignty of God to heal. Some times He does and some times He does not. I believe our faith is important, but not the all determining ingredient in healing. James who wrote these words died, and so will you and  I.

This will happen regardless of the amount of faith you have.    How will people die if all diseases can be healed? Our bodies are wearing out, and there are many ways for this life to end. Dying from disease is better than some ways a person can die.

Sin has originally caused disease to be in this world. God allows it,   and I know He allows some of His children to die by the cause of diseases.

The bottom line is I believe God Heals. I do not believe we have here a command for a practice in our worship services. What ever your preference for a personal interpretation please consider the following thoughts. It Says What It Means! Does It Mean What It Says?

1. Yes for the . . Afflicted.

2. Yes for the . . Cheerful.

3. Yes with Caution with the . . Sick.
 
 

1.    It Says What It Means! Does It Mean What It Says?   Yes for the . . Afflicted. v 13 a 


        v 13 a Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. . . . "

EXPLANATION

A.    Relationship . . of Suffering and Prayer. v 13 a

    1.    This suffering has to do with hardship, and difficulty.

    2.    Prayer helps us understand what God is doing in the situation.

            a. Paul learned in such a situation. 2 Cor 12:7-9
7 And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-- to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (NAS)

B.    Release . . of Suffering through prayer. v 13 a
 

ILLUSTRATION
On one occasion a pastor walked down the hospital hallway, and as he did he saw one of the church members in a bed. He entered and said "I did not know you were here why are you here." She responded "it is my nerves. "

This minister knew this lady very well, and told her to go home and begin reading the Psalms and praying for a calmness from God. She soon did and she got better. Many people need to simply pray earnestly for the peace of mind they so desperately need. (This does not say some do need a doctor's help.)

APPLICATION

Prayer does change things. We are instructed to pray in times of suffering.
 
 

2.    Yes for the . . Cheerful. v 13 b 



v 13 b Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.

EXPLANATION

A.    Cheerful.

Strongs # 2114 euthumeo (yoo-thoo-meh'-o);
from 2115; to cheer up, i.e. (intransitively) be cheerful; neuter comparative (adverbially) more cheerfully: KJV-- be of good cheer (merry).

2115 euthumos (yoo'-thoo-mos);
from 2095 and 2372; in fine spirits, i.e. cheerful: KJV-- of good cheer, the more cheerfully.

B.    Sing Praises.

Strongs# 5567 psallo (psal'-lo);
probably strengthened from psao (to rub or touch the surface; compare 5597); to twitch or twang, i.e. to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes): KJV-- make melody, sing (psalms).

5597 psocho (pso'-kho);
prolongation from the same base as 5567; to triturate, i.e. (by analogy) to rub out (kernels from husks with the fingers or hand): KJV-- rub.

5567 psallo (psal'-lo);
probably strengthened from psao (to rub or touch the surface; compare 5597); to twitch or twang, i.e. to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes): KJV-- make melody, sing (psalms).

1 Cor 14:15
15 What is {the outcome} then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also. (NAS)

Eph 5:19
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (NAS)

ILLUSTRATION
Can you remember the great old popular song titled "Without a Song"? It says without a song the day would never end. Let me ask you to see in your life how you feel and how it relates to singing.

We have a chorus "It's amazing what praising can do" That is very true

Application

If you are down in the dumps or depressed try singing praises. It will have an affect on you. But it is interesting to notice this verse says if you are cheerful sing praises.

So choir, and solist make sure your cheerful before you sing.
 
 

3.    Yes but with Caution with the . . Sick. v 14-15 


{14} Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; {15} and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

Introduction: Variety of interpretations from this verse.

Catholic Error; Last rites.
I heard of a Methodist who saw a Catholic Priest praying over a race horse. He rushed to the betting window and place a large bet on that horse to win the race. The horse dropped dead just before he got to the finish line.

Later he saw the priest, and told him what he had done. The priest said "you Protestants need to learn the difference between the last rites and a blessing.

Pentecostal Error. This is for any and all sickness, and is to be done in the church service.
(Acts 19:11 KJV) And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
    a. Holy Laughter. As Seen on the TV the other night. Man frozen stiff in a trance.
    b.    Lady in Calif. Your Husband is coming back and your both going to serve God. The man was
            dead. The anointing with oil was misused.

Remember:

James the first book in the New Testament

No record of Simon Peter anointing with Oil.

No record of Paul anointing with Oil.

No record of John anointing with Oil.

(Phil 2:26-27 KJV) For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. {27} For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

(2 Tim 4:20 KJV) Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

The Text James 5:14-15
{14} Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them  pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;    {15} and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will  raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

A.    Let the sick person call. Initiative from the sick.

        1.    Not a part of public worship service.
        2.    Not a minister going around with oil to anoint the sick.

B.    Let the Elders pray, anoint with oil and both be done in the name of the Lord.

        1.    Elders equal pastors and deacons.

C.    The prayer of faith will:

        1.    Restore,   The Lord will raise him up.
        2.    Sins will be forgiven.
        3.    God heals as he wills. The cross heals spiritually and eternally.

(Isa 53:5 NASB) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

(1 Pet 2:24 NASB) and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

(Mat 8:17 NASB) in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES."

(Isa 53:4 NASB) Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

Illustration
Many of you know the former pastor's son in law Duke Talbert. You also know he died recently after a long battle with Lupus. He had been prayed for by many great Christians. He was a fine minister but he was not healed.

On his death bed he called for his wife and told her "I have been healed I have been healed" then he talked more about heaven. The message was clear he had been eternally healed. He received an eternal healing.

I have heard E. V. Hill the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Los Angeles say the same thing
about the healing of his wife. She got eternal healing.

You may recall I had on my Weekly Local TV program the pastor of the Assembly of God Church,  and the pastor of the Christian Heritage Church (Called Full Gospel).  We discussed healing,  and the anointing with oil,  and many matters of healing.

We had some disagreement in these matters,  but we agreed on these points we can not demand healing from God,  and God is sovereign.
 

Illustration
This happened on one occasion when I pastored in West Virginia. When I became pastor their was a lady with very serious case of cancer. A deacon took me to visit her, and she ask me if I would anoint her with oil if she asked me to do so. I told her "I will get that deacon and any other of her choice and we would do just as the scripture said." She asked me to give my explanation of that scripture, and I did. I told her I did not believe it was a blanket promise to heal any and every disease, and I thought it did encourage us to get the best of prayer, and medicine. I told her God had used Luke the physician to write a gospel, and I thought that confirmed our use of doctors. She said I agree, and I may call you at another time.

A few months later she was in the hospital. I visited her, and she ask if I would still be willing to get some deacons, and come by and anoint her with oil, and pray. I said "yes". That night about 9:00 P.M. two deacons and I went by. I took the oil and made the sign of the cross on her forehead the deacons and I held hands with her, and we prayed for her, we asked for healing.

The next morning I got back to the hospital early. I expected a physical miracle. I went in to her room, and she was sitting up in very good spirits. A s I was visiting with her the cancer doctor came in to make his rounds. In his first words to her he said "well what has happened to you". I stepped out of the room. When I got back in she told me what the doctor said. Then she said "I feel much better mentally, and psychologically. I believe the Lord has healed me but not with a physical healing.

For the next several weeks that lady was a different lady. Death was not a burden or a problem for her. The Lord had given her a spiritual, and psychological healing.

Application

In recent days I have had two Pentecostal pastors in conversations say to me "don't call me a charismatic." I asked why, and they said because of the excesses being done under that umbrella. I asked then what do you prefer I call you and they said "Spirit Filled Christians." I then said trying to be humorous "I could just call you Baptist." (They laughed only with kindness).

I respect those who will not agree with my interpretation. I ask you who do not agree to simply consider all I have suggested.

I do believe the Lord heals. I believe he has given to me His healing, directly, and through medical means.

PRAISE HIS DEAR NAME.
 

Addendum

Recently in a study of the word confess in James 5:16, I gleaned an interesting truth. The word here in not HOMOLOGEO as occurs in 1 John 1:9. We know the above word means to say the same thing. There is an interesting difference in the word translated confess in James 5:16. The word EXOMOLOGEO caries an additional idea of public confession. As I researched this further, I found more interesting observations. Note Strongs definitions and the different verses that use these two GREEK words.

Strong's # 3670 homologeo (hom-ol-og-eh'-o); from a compound of the base of 3674 and 3056; to assent, i.e.  covenant, acknowledge: KJV--con- (pro-) fess, confession is made, give thanks, promise.

Strong's # 3674 homou (hom-oo'); genitive case of homos (the same; akin to 260) as adverb; at the same place or time: KJV-- together. (DIC)

Strong's # 3056 logos (log'-os); from 3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e.Christ): KJV--

Matt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (KJV)

Luke 12:8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also
confess before the angels of God: (KJV)

John 9:22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. (KJV)

John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: (KJV)

Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. (KJV)

Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: (KJV)

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (KJV)

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. (KJV)

1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (KJV)

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. (KJV)

Strong's # 1843 exomologeo (ex-om-ol-og-eh'-o); from 1537 and 3670; to acknowledge or (by implication of assent)   agree fully: KJV-- confess, profess,

Strong's # 1537 ek (ek) or ex (ex); a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds),   from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote):

For the word #3670 See above

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall  confess to God. (KJV)

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. (KJV)

Phil 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. KJV

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual  fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (KJV)

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name
out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (KJV)
 


From the verses listed, I make the following observations:

1. A person can confess Christ privately. Rom 10:9-10

2. If one confesses privately they will later make it public. (John 20:38)

3. Christ will confess privately and publicly those who confess Him. Matt.10:32, Rev 3:5

4. Someday all lost people will confess Christ publicly but it will be too late for salvation. Phil 2:11

5. The confessing of sins mentioned in James 5:16 is public so; this verse does not support the
    confession of sin to a preacher or priest.
 
 



 


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