In our last visit we considered the topic of consistency as presented in James 5:12.Now let’s look at what he says in the last two verses of his book about compassion.
We should always be looking out for fellow Christians so we can affirm positive steps they’re taking and lovingly confront them if they’re slipping or deliberately moving away from Christ.James says, “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
The “saving from death” is about premature death, not eternal damnation.Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 5:4 how to discipline an immoral brother by handing him “over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.”In 1 Corinthians he says this about participating in the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner: “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep,” that is died.
There’s another promised reward: a multitude of sins will be covered.This saves the church from a lot of gossip, which is self-defeating.It also diminishes some of the effect of the sins.Healing of relationships will take place.And the person who has been restored can again become an effective contributor to the cause of Christ.
Far too often the church is careless, or worse, asleep, regarding this teaching. May we seriously heed this admonition in James 5:12.