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Lesson 08

JAMES 5:1-10
Lesson #08


  • Memory verse: Jam 5:8


  • The society in which James lived was a society where there was no middle class. There were the very rich and the very poor. It is for that reason James concerns himself with the wealthy for the second time in this book. We discussed the curse of wealth in James 2 (Lesson #04). James is not against having wealth. Instead he is concerned with one’s attitude toward wealth. Like any other object, money is neither moral or immoral. It is amoral. In other words, it is what man does with his wealth that makes his wealth moral or immoral. Therefore, it is the heart of man that is either moral or immoral.
    • Read 1Tim 6:10
      • Discussion
      • : What do you think this verse means?

  • Thorn #8 Money
  • Read Jam 5:1-10
    • To whom is James speaking?
      • James is speaking to the believers about the non-believers who are wealthy.
    • In what period of time is James’ message relevant?
      • His message is relevant to the time period of James’ day in that this book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans in 70 AD.
        • Remember that James was a Pharisee and the Pharisees were a very wealthy class of people. However, prophetically James sees the day coming in 70 AD when that class of people would lose everything. In the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the religious leaders lost their prestige and power, their wealth and position. After 70 AD there was no more need for priests or Pharisees or for the Sanhedrin.
      • His message is relevant prophetically to the last days just before the second coming of Christ. (3)
        • Read Rev 18:1-9, 17, 24
          • This chapter in Revelation describes a sudden economic collapse of world trade and economics around the world. While this collapse described in Rev 18 occurs during the 7 year tribulation period when the Anti-Christ is ruling this earth, the principles of worldliness, on which the economic system of Rev 18 is built, are with us today. We discussed these attitudes of worldliness in James 4 (Lesson #07).
            • The important point to notice in Rev 18 is verse 4 where Christians are admonished to come out of this economic system of worldliness.
              • Discussion:
              • What do you think it means “to come out of her”?


  • Make a list of sins that James mentions in this chapter.
    • Hoarding wealth and material goods. (3)
      • Read Pro 18:11
    • Gaining wealth by fraud or in a dishonest manner. (4)
    • Spending your money foolishly or in a sinful manner. (5)
      • The two attitudes of a rich fool:
        • =1= Some use wealth to live in luxury now.
        • =2= Some use wealth to hoard it so they can live in luxury when they retire.
      • Both attitudes are foolish and God will judge the believer as to:
        • How he made his money.
        • How he spent his money.
        • What decisions he made regarding the use of his money.
        • What attitude he had about money.
  • Read Luk 16:19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus


  • The Test of Faith #20 is this:
    • What do your habits of getting and spending money tell you about your faith?


    • Jesus talked a lot about money and the use of it. Why? There is a definite relationship between money and your spiritual level of faith.
      • Money represents your whole life.
        • Your paycheck represents the number of hours you spend in a day, in a week, or in a year doing a job.
        • Your expenses represent the priorities you place on different aspects of life. They reveal what is really important to you.
        • Your pattern of giving represents your generosity and compassion.
      • Therefore, your economic balance sheet is a barometer of the faith that is in your heart. This barometer reveals your attitude toward God and His kingdom, your attitude toward your family, and your attitude toward others.
  • The Lord of Sabaoth (4) (Isa 5:9)
    • Jesus Christ is the Lord of everything and everyone and He will judge everything and everyone in the end. He will battle against injustice in the end.
  • Read Jam 5:11-20 James’ Eternal Perspective
    • The believer who has an attitude based on an eternal perspective will discover that he lives more comfortably.
      • An eternal perspective is:
        • Knowing that this life on earth is not the end.
        • Knowing that God created man to live eternally.
        • Knowing that Christ’s kingdom to come has a greater promise.
        • Knowing that Christ’s kingdom to come has a greater value.
        • Knowing that Christ’s kingdom to come has perfect justice.
      • Why will the believer with an eternal perspective live more comfortably?
        • The believer does not need to worry or become anxious over situations in this life.
        • The believer does not need to struggle with injustices in this life.
    • When Jesus Christ returns to earth, justice will reign.
      • What is meant by the “former and the latter rains”?
        • Joe 2:21-27
        • Israel was an agricultural society in an area of the world where rainfall was very important to survival. God promised abundant rain to Israel if his people would obey him. (Deu 11:13-14)
        • The rainy season in Israel began in September to October. These early rains were called “the former rains”. They brought refreshing coolness after a long hot summer.
        • The rainy season in Israel ended in March to April. These late rains were called “the latter rains”. They came at a time when crops were coming to maturity.
      • If we consider these rains literally, then the prophetic fulfillment will be in the millennium when an increase in rainfall will water the land of Israel and make it like the garden of Eden.
      • Read Isa 44:3 and Hos 6:3
        • Hosea uses this phrase, “the latter and the former rains” symbolically to refer to something spiritual, other than physical rain.
          • The passage indicates that the Messiah will come to the earth twice similar to the pattern of the rainfall:
            • Once in the fall and again in the spring.
              • Therefore, there will be 2 comings of the Messiah.
      • Read Joel 2:23-30
        • Joel uses this phrase symbolically to refer to something spiritual.
          • He refers to an abundance of material harvest and then extends it to a spiritual harvest.
            • He talks prophetically about the giving of the Holy Spirit that will come on the day of Pentecost to produce a harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.
              • Read Act 2:16-17
                • Acts 2 is the first fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy about the latter and former rains that occurred on the day of Pentecost.
                • A second fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy will occur at the second coming of Christ when the Holy Spirit will produce a final and greater harvest including the salvation of the Jews.
          • Therefore, there will be 2 out-pourings of the Holy Spirit just as there are the latter and the former rains.
    • Therefore, James encourages us to patience as he looks forward in time to Christ’s Millennial kingdom when Christ will be the great equalizer for rich and poor when justice and abundance will fill the earth.
      • James mentions the “patience of Job”. (11)
        • In reality if you study the book of Job, he was not patient. He wanted quick answers from God and relief from his problems. However, he learned patience through the things he suffered. This is what James taught us in chapter 1. We learned that trials produce patience. (Jam 1:3 Lesson #02)


  • James makes many commands to believers in this chapter that pertain to a believer’s relationships with other believers.
    • Be sorry for the way you misuse your wealth. (1)
    • This is a reference back to James 2 (Lesson #04).
    • Be patient for the second coming of Christ. (8)
    • Don’t hold a grudge. (9)
    • Be careful in making oaths. (12)
      • James said the same thing as Jesus.
        • Read Mat 5:34-37
      • When you promise something, you should consider it as though you are saying it in a courtroom.
        • James is again talking about the tongue that he discussed in detail in Jam 3 (Lesson #06).
    • Confess your faults. (16)
      • We are to confess our faults to one another.
      • We are to confess our sins to God.
    • Pray. (16)
      • Prayer for the sick.(14-16)
        • Ask for the elders of the church to pray for you when you are sick.
          • What is in view here is a terminal illness or a very serious illness where the elders must go the sick patient.
        • Anoint with oil.
          • Jesus taught his disciples to anoint with oil those who were sick. (Mar 6:12-13)
          • Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
            • The anointing has the purpose of dedicating a person to the Lord.
            • The anointing has the purpose of setting a person apart for God’s favor.
          • Get medical help.
          • The anointing with oil does not preclude medical treatment.
        • Ask for forgiveness from any sins.
          • Sometimes
          • illness is caused by personal sin. James indicates that the whole man should receive ministry.

    • The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
      • There is power in the prayer of a person who is close to the Lord. (righteous). However, healing is not guaranteed in this passage. All is according to the will of God for some illnesses are a sickness unto death. We all eventually die, unless the Lord comes first.
  • James ends his book with two very important verses that put everything he taught us into a nut shell. (19-20)
    • Believers are supposed to look out for each other in order to keep each other on the straight and narrow path. In doing so we are to avoid judging others. Instead we are to cover sin with love. This is the part Christians usually forget.

The End
God Bless you.
May you pass the ultimate test of faith for an eternity with Christ!.

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About Joyce

I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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