James Bible Study - Lesson 14

by Johnathon Valdez on

Bible Studies 2 min read
James 5:19–20

James 5:19-20

Background: Potentially written between 46-48 AD. James addresses a lot of the same themes as the apostle Peter, his contemporary. One of the biggest differences is that the reader will notice the book of James can seemingly function as the “Proverbs” of the New Testament. With plenty of short quips of lifestyle change the book is sometimes difficult to follow but also has an amazing amount of practicality that spans well beyond the original desired audience. Many scholars believe the heart of James’ message is to keep the worldliness of the church out of the church in whatever form it may take.

Lesson: As James concludes his letter to fellow believers, the ending can seem abrupt, but James’ conclusion can be properly understood only within the context of the last chapter as a whole. In James 5:9-16, James has taken the readers from a place of grumbling and frustration to a loving concern for one another’s needs, and concludes with a follower of Jesus coming alongside not just the sick in flesh but also the sick in spirit.

James beautifully allows the reader to arrive at a conclusion that rests on “doing” and not merely consuming. Throughout the book of James we have seen exhortation, prophecy and commands that push the Christian to greater depths of relationship with Jesus, their Lord. We conclude that James, following the command of Jesus, desires the lives of believers to be ones that are lived out in the open and meet the requirements of James 2:8, which is rooted in Leviticus 19:18.          

Main Point/Takeaway: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)

Questions: (These questions are suggestions designed to spur discussion. Feel free to ask others.)

1: Read James 5:13-18 and James 5:19-20.

            1a: How do these passages connect to each other?

2: To whom is James writing? Who are the brothers/sisters?

3: Carefully consider James 5:19-20.

            3a: What does it mean to “wander from the truth”?

            3b: What does it mean to “bring them back”?

            3c: What is the outcome of “bringing back a sinner”?

            3d: If James is talking to Christians (already saved people), what does it mean to “save his soul”? Think critically. Consider James 1:21 and Proverbs 11:19.

About the Author

Johnathon Valdez (MA in Christian Education, Dallas Theological Seminary) served for seven years as the Junior High Pastor at Central Bible Church.