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FRAMEWORKS: The Letter of James

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Frameworks: James 5


v.1-6 Warnings to Rich Oppressors

v.7-12 Having Patience in Suffering

v.13-20 Praying in Faith


[Chapter 5 Synopsis: A challenge to the affluent who may be uncaring of their needier brothers and sisters [this is addressed to the scattered church] and for those who are suffering a call to patience and prayer.]



v.1-6 Warnings to Rich Oppressors


[Passage Synopsis: A challenge to the rich and uncaring of society.)


v.1 (addressed to the uncaring rich) Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you.

v.2 (what you have isn't lasting) Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.

v.3 (this will testify against your lack of caring) Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

v.4 (your failure to properly pay your labourers will stand against you) Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

v.5 (you have become affluent) You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

v.6 (you have trodden down the needy) You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.



v.7-12 Having Patience in Suffering


[Passage Synopsis: In the face of such oppression, patiently wait for the Lord, maintaining good attitudes towards one another, being honest and straight forward at all times.]


v.7,8 (oppressed believers, be patient and wait for the Lord to act on your behalf) Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

v.9 (don't turn on one another, let God be judge) Don't grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

v.10 (remember how the prophets coped in similar circumstances) Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

v.11 (remember those who were praised for their perseverance) As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

v.12 (don't make oaths, trust God with a simple yes or no) Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.



v.13-20 Praying in Faith


[Passage Synopsis: In the face of your struggles, be prayerful, calling on the elders to pray against illness, being open, honest and repenting in your prayers to open the way for God to move.]


v.13 (in trouble, pray) Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

v.14,15 (if sick send for the elders to pray) Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

v.16 (as you need to confess your sins to one another in prayer) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

v.17,18 (remember Elijah as an example) Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

v.19,20 (if one drifts away bring them back through repentance that brings forgiveness and cleansing) My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.