thank you for joining us for tonight's study. Let's begin with a word of prayer. Father, we're thankful for the joy and the privilege of being able to come together this evening and thankful for those who have left the comforts of their homes after likely very busy days and have made their way here this evening. I'm also thankful for those who may not be able to be with us in person, but are able to join us on line for our teaching session this evening. We know that. Oh, your spirit is here with us. Your spirit is with each and every one of us who love Christ and are giving our hearts and lives to you. I pray that you would be our teacher this evening, that you would not merely opener our minds for understanding, but our hearts to receive the truth of your word this evening, that it might accomplish your perfect will and good pleasure in us as you use it. Not only for our benefit, but ultimately. For your glory. And I ask these things in Jesus name, amen. Take your Bibles and turn to James chapter five and just was looking at my notes book. And I don't know that I'm going to be probably going to have at least two more weeks at probably before we finish this up. I don't know that I'm gonna get two more weeks of messages in my. Notebook here. So we'll just have to, to see we're going to be looking tonight at just two verses, but I'm going to read, um, well, let's just read those two verses in chapter five, verse 13 and 14. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing. Praise is anyone among you? Sick. Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him. Anointed him with oil in the name of the Lord. Now this is Paul's that's. That's not the end of, obviously James is thought, but we're going to see how far we can get looking at his verses tonight. Verses 13 through 20, as you see with your Bible in your lap constitute the closing of the letter, what James writes. However, in those closing verses is very important. We almost always must be reminded that every word, every sentence, every section of this letter was inspired by the Holy spirit. Now, with this in mind, We approached the closing with due diligence, because really have some interpretation challenges. And in order to truly glean from the text, what the Lord desires to teach us, you're going to see as we get it, it into this, there have been, and I'll address some of them, various perspectives on these verses that we're going to look at tonight and what we will look at in the next week or so. In verses 13 and 14 that I just read to you. We see what might be considered a triad of questions and then prescribed actions. In fact, look at your verse again, the verses again, and this is the way it is given to us. You have three questions. Is anyone among you suffering? Secondly, Is anyone cheerful? Thirdly, is anyone among you sick then immediately following each of those, you have three prescribed actions. The first prescribed action in regards to the suffering is let him pray. The second prescribed action in regards to anyone being cheerful. Let him sing praise. And then the final prescribed action in regards to is anyone among you sick, let him call for the, the elders of the church. Now we'll address the interpretation of interpretational difficulties with those as we go along, the first question has to do with suffering. The fact that James asked this question is not at all to imply. When he says is any among you suffering, it doesn't mean to imply that suffering was scarce or limited to only a few within the various bodies that will be reading the sophistical. We know better from how he opens the letter in verses two and three of chapter one. It begins by encouraging believers who are as a group. Indeed suffering and they're suffering trials of various kinds that are testing their faith. That's the very opening of this letter. They're suffering persecution. They're suffering isolation. They're suffering separation as dispersed exiles, as well as mistreatment and oppression. And I think I have tried at least the best of my ability over the weeks to lay out each of those ways in which they are facing difficult in suffering. However, not all of their suffering was being caused by their unregenerate surroundings. Some of it. Was actually being perpetrated by people we're in their midst. There were those who were. Maybe professing, but we're not genuine believers who were causing problems. We've spoken to those as we've exposed this text. And then there are some that have come in that maybe even make no profession whatsoever of true saving faith in Christ. Nice. And they've been stirring the pot a little bit as well, causing trouble what we might call false believers for whatever reason. And this is true even a day. There are some, and I've, I've wondered this, my, my few decades of pastoral ministry that come into the church. Um, I, I, if I tell you that it's obvious and you'd be asking me, why is it obvious? And there are some reasons, but in many cases, it's, it becomes increasingly obvious that these people are not truly regenerated people, but they seem to be there every time the door opens. Um, they find they found something. That they like, I don't know whether it's just the comradery, whether it's, I don't know. I mean, I can't speak for them, but they are, they're not, Oh, not all times. Are they troublemakers? In fact, most of the time they are not, but if you're not careful pastorally, I can tell you this from experience, they will be time consumers. In regards to PEs pastoral energies, but these balloons we're suffering, not only at the hand of their culture that they were in. Remember they had gone back to areas where likely some of them were originally from before coming to Jerusalem for Pentecost, where many of them had come to trust. In Christ after hearing Peter's preaching and the ministry of the church there, now they would disperse. They'd gone back home to the various, some of them likely to their previous locations where they were this now strange S E C T of Jews who believed the Messiah had come. And so people were kind of looking down on them, persecuting them and mistreating them. Now the Greek word interpreted here, suffering Cocopah thigh is an interesting word. The root word as path Thema, which is used in the new Testament to mean undergoing suffering. This is important undergoing suffering mistreatment or even death. Now in James, the word carries a prefix Kaka, but you see the has to do with that, but this word has a, a prefixed Kaka with it, which means the idea of being afflicted by some evil meant to inflict harm. In fact, the King James version actually interprets this Greek word as afflicted, which is a pretty good way of understanding it. So James mentioned suffering first because it has been in a real sense. The theme of this epistle is the way it opened, uh, mentioned in a moment ago, a moment ago in context is suffering. These believers, beleaguered, saints, or enduring was for the most part evil treatment from the hands of others. As I just said, now, some commentators. And this was interesting broaden the scope of those James is addressing, applying it to troubles of all kinds, that a believer experiences. In fact, bringing it down into a more practical application, all types of suffering. For example, I read commentators that suggested that these sufferings very well, I've been personal. They might've been emotional. They may have been, as we'll see in the latter third question then may have been physical or there may even have been spiritual things that they were experiencing. So they may broaden their scope based upon the idea that James Amelie prescribes fixes so that not fixes, but, but remedies to these particular things, I'm not going to argue against. A broadened application, but I will warn that we must be careful in doing so as to not make it more than what was originally intended, which is what happens a lot of times you'll take a text like that and they'll just take the idea of suffering. I've seen this people firsthand, they will say, Oh, there's a, there's a topic I can preach suffering. And so they'll pull out a topical Bible, like a Navy topical Bible or something like that. And they'll look up suffering and they'll just lists all the verses pertaining to suffering. And they'll teach a topical message on suffering now in some ways, yeah, there may be some people that will listen to something like that and will benefit from it. I'm not arguing with that, but I would ask this question, what justice has been done to the text to the context. Remember, this is, this is key key for us to remember if we don't understand what the text really means to the best of our ability with due diligence, we do not truly have the truth of the text. So we have to search it out. Context matters. That's the problem. And I've, I'm not going to get sidetracked here, but that's oftentimes the problem with topical preaching. Not that I'm not, I'm not saying it is. It's not good. I'm just saying that that's all that's ever done. Oftentimes it does not do justice to biblical texts because what happens is I just expressed to you, you pick a topic and then you cherry pick the verses to support your topic and you preach. I've heard people say, Oh, that'll preach. And what they mean is they found a topic that they think they can build something around and they labor constructing these thing around this, this topic that they have now, not all topics about, for example, we're going to see this Sunday morning, we're going to be began to dress on the marriage relationship. The relationship between wife and husband that's topical, but yet we will do justice to the text from which I'm drawing it from. As we look in Ephesians chapter five and continue our study there. Well, let's move on. So with this said, considered the prescribed action. Here's the prescribed action. If any, among you as suffering, here's the first prescribed action. Let him pray and wants you to note. And I'll say this again at this point, from this point to the end of this letter, that's the S that's the subject prayers, the subject. And you're going to see that over the next couple of weeks in times of suffering, especially of intense suffering as a result of evil as a result of ms. Treatment and persecution. Prayer is essential. I might even ask this question when church is prayer, not essential. I. Maybe I'm just becoming more aware of it because I think I have always relied heavily on prayer. I don't think any of us have arrived, but it seems like in the last, at least the last couple of few years, anyway, I just seem to be more cognizant of how I actually, how much I actually am praying, paying more attention to it. But prayer is essential. The believers that call upon the believer is to pray to resort to the one who is his or her source of help and solace. So if a person is suffering, praying is an appeal to the one who is the source of strength and encouragement and comfort and our suffering and place of solace. Second Corinthians one verses three and four, where we read these words blessed, be the God and father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction. Now that's a different Greek word used than suffering and James, but it still carries the idea of affliction. That's why it's interpreted that way so that we might be able to come for those who are in. Any affliction with the comfort, with which we ourselves are comforted. And where does that comfort come from? Paul says ourselves are comforted by God. Now, while the word prayer is not mentioned there, where do we receive our comfort for God? Well, we can say what we receive it obvious in the study of his word, the reading was we're meditating upon his word, but, but I think the thought. In what Paul writes here is the comfort we receive from God is in fellowship, a communion with them, which is the most intimate when we're in times of prayer. First, Peter five, seven cast, all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Where do we do that? We oftentimes do that. In prayer, Eric wing and our pray together every single week, multiple times. And oftentimes in our prayers, Eric would do this. Sometimes he doesn't do it. Sometimes I'll come and I'll, I'll make sure that we have both are keenly aware that we are not informed. I mean, God of anything, God is not waiting for you to get to prayer so that he can find out what's going on. Prayer is prayer is beneficial to him because it is his communion with us. But prayer is extremely more beneficial to us because of our communion with him. It's where we do. In fact, lay those things that bring those anxieties and those cares to him because he cares for us. So where else is the believer to turn? Where else is a believer to turn Psalm 46 verse one. God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Psalm one 21 verses one and two. I lift up my eyes to the Hills from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Where will we go? Church Psalm 18, six in my distress. I called upon the Lord to my God. I cried for help from his temple. He heard my voice and my cry to him reached his ears. How comforting is that? In fact, I love the way the Psalm has often appear. Appeals up to the reality that not only do our prayers reach ears that are inclined to us, metaphorically speaking, God doesn't have physical ears. Like we think of ears, but of course the incarnate Christ glorified does sitting at the father's right hand, but not only do our prayers reach his ears, that his ears are inclined to us, but that his heart is inclined to us as well. Someone 16 verses one through six, and I won't read them all. But the Psalmist writes. I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy because he inclined his ear. To me. There is, he inclined his ear to me. Therefore, I will call on him as long as I live. Wow. Gracious is the Lord and righteous. Our God is merciful. The Lord preserves. The simple, when I was brought low, he saved me. Then we moved to the new Testament for just a Mac. You just go on and on with examples in first Thessalonians, five 17, we were told to do what, you know, this we're told to pray without ceasing. What does that mean? Does that mean I'm supposed to just quit everything I'm doing in a given day. And isolate myself and bury myself in prayer. That's not what it means. That'd be wonderful, nothing wrong with that, but that really applies to a disposition in regards to prayer. We as believers, you've got to understand that the throne of grace is always assessable to us. The only mediator that we need to come to God is already there waiting for us to come. And that's Christ. So you can be in your car. You can be in your home, you can be on your job. You can be doing a variety of things at any given moment, and God can move by his spirit to call you to prayer for a particular need of a particular person or whatever it may be. And you don't want to say, Oh, I got to stop and go home and get in the closet so I can pray. You can pray at that very moment. Do you know your prayers get to the same place they would? If you were home, pray without ceasing. Hebrews 14, I'm sorry. Hebrews four, six. Let us then with confidence draw near the implication is here's prayer to the throne of grace that we may receive and find grace to help in time of need. It's worth noting. That James five 13, the verb translated. Let him pray. As a prescribed action is in the present tense in the Greek. It's an ongoing prayer or plead to God is something that we're to be doing consistently ongoing. In other words, it could be very well translated this way, which really wouldn't sound right if we read it into the Texas way, but it could very well be translated. Let him keep on praying. If any, among you is suffering, let him keep on praying. How that goes against a lot of modern day word of faith teaching, which teaches basically, if you pray one time, that should be sufficient praying any other time. But that once is a lack of faith. No, let him keep on praying. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Okay. Number two. The second question is of a different nature here. James addresses those who are cheerful, little bit of a change from suffering to cheerful, but they're not too far divorced from each other here. James addresses those who are cheerful, he says, is anyone cheerful? It's a rhetorical question in the sense that there's no negative answer anticipated here. It implies that there indeed are people that are cheerful being cheerful as a city is not necessarily to be seen apart from the first question. The cheerful here may very likely be those in the assemblies. Plural though, they were experiencing suffering over suffering at the time are able to maintain a cheerful disposition. There are people like that in Philippians three, one. Paul exhorts, his beloved flipping fellow believers to rejoice in the Lord. He repeats this in verse four of chapter four, except he adds the addition of the word always. And then he repeats it in many ways. The Philippian believers. Or to suffering for their faith yet joy was Paul's theme in his letter to them, the Jewish believers who were dispersed the James is writing to were suffering indeed, but some were cheerful, cheerful, spider this again, and the Greek word translated cheerful. You threw me. Oh, actually is an interesting word. It means to maintain a joyful attitude. Ethan Mayo is a, is the word a joyful attitude. James prescribes an action for these persons as well. What does he tell them? Let them sing. Praise. The Greek verb here is the one. We get the word, the noun Psalm from James raised. You. Would know, well, the Psalms as would his readers being, they were Jewish and background as well. He knew their context. He knew the purpose Jews employed the Salter on all kinds of occasions. They employed the Psalms to praise. They employed the Psalms to honor and glorify God. They IM they employed the Psalms to, to, to grieve. And they even employed the Psalms to lament prayer and praise church. Our prayer and praise are intricately related. Singing praises is an integral part of Christian worship. I was just asking, I just think about this. I'm not asking you necessarily to answer, but think about. Times that you spend in prayer. Have you oftentimes found yourself in prayer? You've had a great prayer time and all of a sudden, a song of praise comes to your heart and you just begin to sing a song of praise you have done before. I've actually, and I have, I keep one in my office. I have a hymnal and oftentimes a certain him or words of him will come to me. In prayer or in study or something and I'll pull the hymnal and I'll just start. I won't sing. Cause they don't always know the tune to carry all the way, but I'll just begin to read the words of the song and when I can sing it, I sing it. I don't see that I've left God's presence because I've changed from praying to singing. If I've done anything, if you've done anything, you've likely enhanced your intimacy with him. Because now you've wrought your prayer request, your petitions, your, your intersession to him. And now you simply turn your attention to praising him and honoring him. And it's, that's, it's a cheerful thing to do. And not only can the cheerful person further cheer themselves by singing the song. Psalms are a Psalm, but how much of a blessing it is to other people as well? I don't quite, I don't often, but occasionally when I'm listening to the radio station in the mornings, I'll catch Johnny's program, Johnny and friends and Johnny always brings a song. Anybody listen to her, she always brings us. I mean, she's going to teach you a little bit and give you a little bit of a devotion and this is going to sing you a song. And how encouraging the songs often are as you listened to them. So is anyone cheerful? Let him sing, let him sing songs, let him sing the songs, prayer and praise. I call them the dynamic duo. When it comes to strengthening and encouraging the saints. Can you think of anything better? For suffering saints to do than to keep them commit themselves to prayer, and then to commit themselves to praise. Wow. Now that was easy. Now it gets a little bit harder. Now we come to the third question. This question, as well as James has prescribed action has posed a challenge for interpreters and commentators. Over the years. So let's approach them the question and the prescribed action very carefully. Now I hope that we can try to understand this. I, I certainly, I don't. I want to be very careful here. I don't want to upset, uh, anyone's necessary Apple, unnecessary Apple cart or anything like that, but we'll just kind of stick to the text and see if we can move. Look at the third question. He says is any among you sick? Simple enough question, right? Right. Well, not so fast. The first interpretational challenge is seeing in what James means when he says sick now, pay close attention. I know what you're thinking. Come on Mitch. You're splitting hairs here. Sick means watch the problem. Well, let's go back again to do a little bit, yeah. Have a word study. The Greek word translated sick. And this verse is the verb. Ask the Nao, asked the Nao, which while it indeed can address a physical element. Even to be physically feeble and weak, it can also listen very carefully address moral and spiritual weakness. Somebody can be spiritually sick. Okay. Now follow closely. I'm going to move slow, but my time is I'm already halfway through and I've got, got to hurry. MacArthur comments that asked the Neo. Is translated in the new Testament as sick 18 times. I will not have time to read all the texts to you, but I will give you the references very quickly and try to hope that you can write them. But you're welcome to get them from me at the falling of the study. But for example, of those 18 times, Matthew 10, eight, Matthew 25 36 and 39 Mark, six 56, Luke four 40 John, four 46 and acts nine 37. Just some of the illustrations of where it is translated. Literally sick. However, he also notes that the S now that was 18, there was 18 times it's used for that physical sickness. He also knows that the same word as the Nao is used to refer to emotional or spiritual weakness, 14 times. Let me give you some examples. There acts 2035. Romans Fort Romans four 19, Romans eight, three, Romans 14, one and two first Corinthians eight, 11 and 12 second Corinthians where we see at the most 11 second Corinthians 11 verses 21 and 29. Second Corinthians 12 verse 10 and second Corinthians chapter 13, verses three through four, and also verse nine, where it is used for spirit emotional, spiritual weakness, MacArthur, Dem points out that in all, but three of the uses of this Greek word. And in the epistles, it does not refer to physical sickness all, but three times that it's used in the epistles. It does not refer to as physical illness or sickness that we might know. One of the illustrations I gave you in second Corinthians 12, 10, there it is used to express in regards to Paul himself. We is produced by the sufferings of this life. Which may very well fit the context of James's letter as well. James is James. His readers were suffering, weariness exhaustion, perhaps even spiritually, as well as emotionally and mentally because of their suffering. So one view of the meaning, mind this question. One held by dr. MacArthur is James. His use of CIC applies to those who have been made weak by the suffering. They were expecting. Other words had been made weary. They've been exhausted. They're even depressed spiritually in such a state. These people need help. Now with that said, that's merely one view. Alexander's straw who, by the way, I have a lot of respect for I'm looking very much forward the Lord, willing to our courageous church men conference the first of next year, because dr. is going to be there speaking to us, but he's a Bible teacher. And elder and his popular, widely used book called biblical eldership and issues by churches all over the place. It's called biblical eldership and urgent call to restore biblical church leadership, not distraught takes a different approach as do many others. He offers a different interpretation than MacArthur. He writes in chapter 12 of his book. On eldership title James's instruction to the sick, which is a great chapter. The following, he says his quote. Now, quote, strike here. Sickness is a specific kind of suffering that often requires the help and prayers of others. He continues. And this passage, James envisions. Now here's where you see the difference in their interpretation. In this passage, James envisions a bed written Christian who's weakened condition requires spiritual, I'm sorry, special prayer and attention. Hence he urges the sick person to call for the elders of the church. End of quote. So just by listening, listening to strokes. Quote there struck, interprets the word sick, asked the Nao again to mean what a physical element or condition. This is a person who is physically ill. That is sick. So there you see a distinction MacArthur sees it is that person, which is spiritually weakened because of suffering struck, sees it. As a person who is literally suffering a spiritual element or sickness, it appears from what he writes that he does not necessarily distinguish as succinctly as MacArthur the use of the Greek word. In fact, in his chapter, he doesn't even mention the word. Rick ward is used differently, new Testament in his chapter. Struck mentions the Puritan preacher Thomas Manton, who is 16, 22, 1677. And so what I did was I pulled Madden's commentary on James off my shelf. Cause I have one old top shelf is Madeline's commentaries. So I'll pull Madden's commentary and began to read it on this passage of scripture. Manton surprising was not surprising, but like Calvin interpret sick in the physical since as well. So he would agree. I think the reason the straw from Manhattan's commentary, it was that was indeed the way Manton sees it. Even in the 17th century, he saw it that way and mansion writes this in his commentary on. James six, 13 or six, 14. He says Christ worshipers, quote Christ. Worshipers are not exempted from sickness no more than any other affliction. And of course we know that don't we, we get sick. In fact again, I know it. Yeah. I throw these little, these little nuggets out there, but it's amazing to me when I hear some of the, again, some of these word of faith, TV, preachers that will say I hadn't, I hadn't been sick a day since I came to Christ. I've never, I haven't been sick one day since I hadn't had a cold, I had a cough. I haven't been sick one day and you know, I'm just, I wonder how many Pinocchios they would earn if the, if the critics were listening. Matthew Henry, we all know Matthew Henry, most of you probably have his commentary on your shelf at home 1662 to 1714. He was a Puritan Bible commentator. In fact, it was interesting. George Woodville, George Whitfield carried two things in his saddlebags, uh, as he preach his Bible and Matthew Henry commentary. And so obviously the great evangelistic preacher of the 18th century gave it a lot of. Credibility, but he holds Matthew Henry holds the same view that indeed James means those who are physically ill. So you have stroke, you have Manton, you have, you have Henry and I'm sure the list goes on. And just time doesn't allow me in a given week or few weeks to simply dig up every single source. I it'd be great if I had assistants working with me, said, Oh, read this, read that I don't have that privilege. Well, it goes, Majesta thought James was writing earlier than Paul. So Paul's use of the word might be broader than James is intended. Meaning I don't doubt that Paul uses that Greek word to address multiple times. Those who are spiritually weary. I'm not. Persuaded personally that at the time of his writing, James is using it. That probably. So let me say this as somebody who's going to probably get your eyebrows raised a little bit here while it goes, without saying that I highly regard dr. MacArthur, exposition and scholarship, and almost always stand in agreement with him on interpretation of matters here. I do not fully agree. And I say this. With all fear, trembling and respect while I acknowledge as the Nao can be and is used to speak of spiritual and emotional awareness and weakness, the result of suffering and hardship. There's no reason to necessarily to dismiss the probability that James is using it to mean literal physical sickness. As Manton words and writing in his Puritan way, listen to his English. He says him that laborer under a disease that's who Manton sees that as the sick person following the question, or this question were given the prescribed action. What is the prescribed action here? Look what he says. Let him call for the elders of the church. Now the first part of the prescription is clear. It involves two parties. Him who is at the sick person and the elders of the church. Those who are ministers in the church. So first let's look at him. Matthew Henry comments, quote, it lies upon sick people. This is an interesting concept. I can tell you this firsthand. Quote, it lies upon sick people as a duty to send for ministers and to desire their assistance and their prayers and of quote I have. It's been amazing over the years for people to be at homesick, let nobody know that they're sick. And when you finally somehow learn that they are, they're amazed that you didn't know it. Did you let anybody know? Well now what am I supposed to stick my finger in the air and wonder what's going on? Or do I, do I open some kind of source and say, okay, God, show me who's sick. No. So Matthew and you brings out the point. That indeed. It is the duty of the one who is sick. I'm going to promise you this. And we all listen to a certain measure in tears, looking at me, really funny to a certain measure. We all have pride in when we're sick. We're not always wanting the first thing. When we get sick to pick up a phone and call somebody, you know, she'll often send me, call the doctor, get something or call somebody and get some I'll be okay. I'll be okay. None of us are like that. Right? Most of us are probably like that. But the reality of the matters. If we are really that ill, if we're really sick, what should we do as those who are sick, we should employ help. We should get help. I don't mean just calling a physician to treat our illness, but our first call, even beyond, above and beyond, our physician should be to call the church to pray for us in this case, we're going to see specifically what that means. So is the duty of the person who's sick to ask for the assistance of prayers. So the sick person is to initiate the summoning of help. And in this case, the help he is, the summon is the elders. Now, secondly, look at that word, call prosecutor Lao in the gray should sound familiar to you. It means to call alongside in our text, James five 14. It is an, and it is an error imperative that implies an urgent action. So when a person is this ill, or it is sick, they should urgently and immediately call for something, one or ones to come alongside them to help them. Who was the sick one to call? Well, James says the elders of the church while it is first the duty. Listen, it is first the duty of the sick to summon help. It is also subsequently the duty of elders to come notice plural elders to come. Matthew Henry wants again, comments. It is the duty of ministers, plural to pray over the sick when thus desired or called and called for end of quote, it appears that even in the first decade of the Christian Church, the various assemblies or churches had designated leadership synagogues had leaders. The early believers had leaders in their congregations, a group of men who were responsible for overseeing, which by the way, is literally one of the words that's used synonymously with an elder overseeing the welfare of the congregation. James uses James. His use of the portal was, speaking of elders is no doubt or no doubt implies a plurality of such men. He doesn't say, let him call for the senior pastor. Let him call for the elders, a plurality of man. It appears here in James's pistol, that one of the duties of the elders was to attend to the sick when called upon with prayer. In fact, if you go all the way back to acts, when in the early church, there were needs arising that needed to be taken care of. In regards to physical provision, they assigned other men to do those things so that they could commit themselves what to the word and prayer elders are to pray. They are to pray. It appears that that's how James means that they did this particular act employee morality, the elders more than one went when summoned or called to the sick, this duty performed by the plurality of elders is an essential element of this biblical instruction according to struck. And I believe these absolutely right. In fact, he comments quote, visiting the sick and praying for healing, our essential responsibilities of the shepherding task. End of quote, there was a, not too many years ago. Many of you, Margaret, Margaret. So many of you, others, Terry, others, James, Jim, and Sue others. We remember it seemed like we were spending a lot of time. You spend a lot of time in hospital anyway, Margaret, but a lot of us were spending a lot of time there. We had a lot of people that weren't doing well, and they're not with us now. We're there for about two years. It was never ending. This is what James goes on to say. This is what James goes on to say. He said, and let them pray over him again. Notice the plural pronoun them, let them pray over him. Prayer is a subject of this whole passage. And here James is clear. Let's look at the phrase over him. What does that mean? You, and I'm breaking these down in these phrases because these are bones of contention in certain places. In the old Testament, for example, over him would have meant to literally lay physically over the sick body. They would literally lay on the sick person and pray. That's not what we're talking about here. Okay. So let's clarify that over him. Also presents a question in, in the simplest and I'm going to make it easy as I can in the simplest sense, this likely means to be literally in the presence of the sick person. It doesn't mean this. They call pastors elders. I'm sick. Can you come pray for me? Well, let's just pray right now while we're on the phone. Well, that's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes what we do immediately. But it should be followed up literally so that we can go and in that person's presence and that's what over them literally means in their presence. You go and pray with him. There's no prescribed pose or position here. No worries. There's no, it doesn't say kneel beside the bed, even though there's nothing wrong with that. He doesn't even say lay hands on them, even though there's not necessarily anything wrong with that or whatever other poses or positions we might take, these are not excluded by the texts, but not prescribed either. It's just that you're there with the person to pray. Inter the imperative is very simple. The imperative is one word. Pray. So what falls next though, is yet another source of interpretation of difficulty and debate. We read this, anointed him with oil in the name of the Lord. Some of us might very well have been raised in church settings as a young boy, I was, and some of you likely were too. Where on the pulpit or in the wooden lectern where the pastor was, there was oftentimes a small bottle of oil and at different times, and in different instances for different occasions, they would bring up that oil and line people up and begin to anoint them, lay hands on him and pray for them. Roman Catholicism has grossly corrupted. This passage by using it to support their heretical doctrine of extreme unction, which according to them should be administered only to such as are at the very point of death. Again, in his commentary, Matthew Henry in Calvin's Institute, he deals explicitly with the whole diabolical notion. Of, um, extreme unction and you know, that he's writing as would be any of the reformers reformers, and I real perspective, but back to the anointing with oil MacArthur, again, dismisses the idea of anointing with literal oil, which was. Which was carried out to help those who suffered physical injuries to their bodies. In fact, you'd be looking at the new Testament, the new Testament application of it prior to the church in the gospels, for example, and in prior to the coming of Christ and the writing of the gospels, I mean, Anointing with oil was basically in the sense that they would take oils and they would, would take injured or wounded or sick people, and literally rubbed them down in oils in that day where they were medicinal and function. And so some have tended to argue that the oil is mud, that that was used at that time was medicinal. They were right. Literally rubbed with oil. But MacArthur sees it in this context as a metaphor for strengthening the weak and refreshing them. Now, again, I go back to others like Manton and Henry who see it as a literal annointing with oil now, not rubbing the whole body. Not pouring a pitcher on any once had, but using it time, being careful to avoid any Roman ish overtones, they even believed in fact Manton. Even believe. In fact, Henry, I think it's suggested his commentary too. They believe that the practice, even though that's what they believe it was in the new Testament context, that that practice was only temporary. And we see it begin to fate throughout church history. I had this conversation with someone this week during the study, and of course the, the. The conversation turned immediately, as you can see, so posed to a, Hey Mitch, how do you see this as a pastor? How do you see this? Well, I take the whole thing. For example, the sick calling on the elders. I certainly believe that a person who is physically ill is right to summon the elders of the church. To come and pray in their presence to pray for them. When it comes to oil, I, I'm not going to take, or the anointing with oil. I'm not going to take a hard line position either way. I don't want, because if you're not careful, I'll say this in closing. I'm just about there anyway. If you're not careful, if it can be come something it's never meant to be the bottom line is this James doesn't explain to his readers exactly what he meant likely, because what do you think when in the new Testament context, a writer would not explain something to his readers? Could it possibly be, they already understood. And so then for us is to search it out and find out I really do appreciate strucks comments on this as well. He writes, and again, I quote him. It is likely listen very carefully. It is likely that the anointing with oil was meant to aid the prayer for the sick. But tangibly dedicating the sick person to the Lord, special attention and care. So let me go back to myself. Just a moment. If a sick person summons me and the elders to pray, and that person reaches in their purse or over to their bedside table and says, I have. A vial of oil. Would you mind anointed me and praying for me, I'm not going to give them a theological lesson on anointed with oil. I might explain that. I, yes, I will be glad to do that because I want you to understand that in doing so we're dedicating you and your sickness to the Lord. Tangibly dedicating the sick person to the Lord, special attention and care. You have a person doesn't want that. That's okay. So he goes on to suggest that the anointing with oil in the name of the Lord AIDS, the prayers of the elders by visibly. Visually, I'm sorry, visually and physically dedicating the sick person to the Lord's care and healing. In fact, Manton Thomas Manton in the 17th century agreed that he, if you anoint someone with oil, that's what you are doing. You get a visual, a visual might, you might say of the dedication is taking place to the sick person. So it, by knowing them with oil and praying for them. Here's the point though. And the warning, the anointing with oil is not to anyway, take away from the most important imperative imperative, subscribed. What really matters here? The prayer, you may have nothing, but you've got prayer. If there's no oil, they held her still pray. Yeah, there's nothing. The oldest praying the oil and the use of the name of the Lord. And this is where people find themselves in trouble, the oil and the use of the name of the Lord. They somehow begin to believe is some type of magical formula, which perpetuates their healing, some magical formula to guarantee their hair. Well, we can't pray. We don't have any oil. No, the challenges of proper interpretation continue in verse 15, but we'll have to address those next time, the Lord willing. So minus say, you'll have to come back next time. For part two, when we deal with the rest of these verses, I hope I, I wrestled this afternoon for you. I have to be honest with, into wrestled. I w I really, I, I don't want to stand here and I don't, I know that I'm not, I don't want to bore you with something that perhaps you deemed unimportant or insignificant, but I think. It is important that we understand a text that we truly understand the text and that good Bible believing people that we love and respect may not always agree on everything concerning the text. Um, one thing we did agree on and we would all agree on is simply this. When someone is in whatever, a bad situation, whatever it might be. I don't care if its spiritual, weariness. I don't care if it's physical sickness, the impaired, your remains, the same call on help and prayer. Amen. And we can all benefit from that. Let's pray. Father again. Um, thank you for this evening together and thank you for this wonderful text of scripture that is before us, how it challenges our thinking, and yet how clear it really is to us, the importance of prayer, the importance of praise, the importance of employing the help of others to come alongside us, to. Comfort us to strengthen us, to encourage us, whether we be mentally, emotionally, spiritually weary from whatever, or whether we literally are, as many are in our day right now experiencing tremendous physical illness. We must at all times in all situations, be most ready to pray, help us to lay aside our pride. And when we need prayer, be quick to employ it, to employ the help of others, especially the ministries of our church that you have called to serve and to lead, to pray for one another, pray for each other so that we, um, would not only be an obedience to the mandate of the scripture, but that we can reap the benefits of our obedience. And doing so as well. Thank you father for this evening. Bless us now. As we leave this place and return to our respective homes, we look forward with eager anticipation to gathering together this coming Lord's day, where we will welcome four new members into our church family, and also perform a baptism, which is always an exciting time. So we look forward with great anticipation to the weekend and we pray all these things in Jesus name. Amen.