Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

Practical Christianity

A Crimson Flow

James 5.19-20

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[In diligently and honestly considering this passage, at the end of James, there seems to be two possible exhortations drawn from these two verses.  There is the exhortation for godly spiritual Christians to edify and exhort one another to stay away from sin and walk near to our Heavenly Father.  This is the action of one Christian holding another Christian accountable for their actions and sternly challenging their brethren to walk in purity and integrity toward their Heavenly Father.  In this sense the word convert in this text would imply a restoration from presumptuous sin in a born again Christians life and a challenge for him to turn back again in the way of the sanctified life.  Hence, these verses could easily be preached from a position dealing with accountability and mentoring.] 

[However, it is equally possible to preach and teach this passage from a position of evangelism, which would focus on winning the lost through the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The word convert used twice in this passage is best explained by Zodhiates as follows,] 

[Convert - ἐπιστρέψῃ (Gk) – with mid. meaning, from epí (1909), to, and stréphō (4762), to turn. To turn upon, toward.]

[(I) Trans., in a moral sense, to turn upon or convert unto (Luke 1:16, 17; Sept.: Ezra 6:22 [cf. Mal. 4:5 where is found the verb apokatasté̄sei {the fut. of apokathístēmi (600), to restore}]). In the sense of to turn back again upon, to cause to return from error, with epí (1909) and the acc. implied (James 5:19, 20; Sept.: 1 Kgs. 13:18–20).]

 [(III) The word commonly translated “convert” and “conversion” in the NT occurs as follows: the noun epistrophé̄ only occurs once (Acts 15:3), but the verb is comparatively frequent as in Acts 3:19; 9:35; 26:18; 2 Cor. 3:16; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Pet. 2:25. The aor. tense is used most often characterizing the action as definite and punctiliar (though in no way denying the continuity of the action Acts 14:15; 15:19; Gal. 4:9 in contrast to Acts 3:19; 26:18; 2 Cor. 3:16; James 5:19). The verb is used once in Gal. 4:9 and twice in single passages (2 Pet. 2:21, 22 quoting Prov. 26:11) of perversion. The question that arises is whether man turns to God or God turns man to Himself. Where the verb is not trans., the subj. is a man (James 5:19, 20, and perhaps Acts 26:18). But it is impossible to deny the action of God in the process (Rom. 11:30; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13; Titus 3:5; Heb. 10:32; 1 Pet. 1:3) or the connection between conversion and salvation (Rom. 10:13; 1 Cor. 1:21). The relationship of the action of God and of man in conversion is not a case of “either / or.” Regeneration is wholly an act of God whereby the principle of spiritual life is imparted to man bringing him under the dominion of righteousness. Conversion is the human response of faith and repentance issuing forth from this new condition. Thus, conversion is both an act of God and man. Man cooperates because he has been made willing and able by divine grace. Exhorting the sinner, the preacher will say, “Turn to God”; looking back on the act, the sinner will say, “God turned me to Himself.” Conversion and repentance are mentioned together twice (Acts 3:19; 26:20). Repentance comes first in both cases.[1]] 

[Perhaps the best way to fully understand what James is trying to express is to combine the ideas of both positions into one centralized idea or proposition.  The result of this unified central thought expresses what ought to be a central thought for every Christian in every relationship they will have throughout their life.  It is the proposition that a practical Christian, a spiritually mature Christian, an ambassador for our Lord’s Kingdom is at war with sin, sinfulness, and the devastating affects of sin in all of its forms.] 

[Evangelism in our Text  - When God’s people deal rightly with sin in lost people Evangelism is the tool to be used and all who respond to the evangelistic efforts of our Lord’s people in this world, and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will be Born Again, saved from eternal damnation and destruction, their sins (all of them) are washed away by the precious blood of the eternal Lamb of God.  Oh, what a multitude of sin there is that has been washed away by our Lord’s cleansing blood.] 

[Sanctification in our Text – When God’s people deal rightly with sin in our brothers and sisters in Christ then Ministry is the tool to be used and exhortation, edification, and even rebuke and correction are required.  The result of such ministry is the spiritual growth, unification, and purity of the Church body and it members.  The end is the correction, confession and cleansing of sin from God’s people and the glorious manifestation of the character of God will be clearly seen through the Church of our Lord.  The people of God become purified, the presence of God is manifest among us and again a multitude of sin is washed away by the precious blood of our Lord and Savior.] 

[In either case the crimson flow of our Savior blood floods over sinful mankind and a multitude of sins are washed eternally away.] 

In This Battle For The Souls Of Mankind We Note, 

A.    Our Purposed Cause (vs 19) [– Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; - I have mentioned time and again as we have studied our way through this book of James that this was likely the first book of the New Testament to be written.  In this text our Lord, through James, has been dealing with Practical Christian living.  James has dealt with many of the difficult issues that were being faced by the early Christians of his day, which we often still face in our contemporary Christian lives.  Now, as James comes to these last two verses of this text, James gives simply and succinctly the why for everything he has addressed throughout his discourse.] 

[Why should Christians struggle against temptation and sin (Chapter 1)?] 

[Why should Christians be doers of the Word and not just hearers of the Word (Chapter 1)?  ]

[Why should Christians perform true religion ministering to the helpless (Chapter 1)?]

[Why should Christians be honest and show integrity toward all people (Chapter 2)?]

[Why should Christians control their tongues and watch what they say (Chapter 3)?]

[Why Should Christians be sacrificial and avoid covetousness (Chapter 4)?]

[Why Should Christians be compassionate, loving, and forgiving (Chapters 3-4)?]

[Why should Christians be Persistent and powerfully persuasive in Prayer (Chapter 5)?] 

[Why?  Because eternal human souls are in the balance.  Every human being you come into contact with possesses an eternal soul.  Whether you are facing a lost sinner, spiritually blind and undone without Christ or a wayward Born Again child of God they all need to see Jesus in all His glory and purity through you.  Your life’s testimony and your purposeful proclamation must be the needed catalyst that will bring the people you meet into the cleansing crimson flow of our Saviors precious blood.] 

1.      Your Persuasion Matters (vs 19; Eph 3.20-21) [– Brethern . . . – Too many Christians are convinced that they could not possibly make a difference in our world.  I hear people say, “What can one person do?”  Actually, one person can do exponentially more than they could ever imagine.  Perhaps, what we really need to ask ourselves is what can God do through me if I let Him?  The Bible says,] 

[Ephesians 3:20-21 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.]

[What can God do through you?  What can’t God do through you?] 

·         [God used an eighty year old man named Moses to lead a nation out of bondage.] 

·         [God used a young virgin in Galilee to bring His blessed Son into this world and save a multitude of people.] 

·         [God used fisherman and publicans to spread the Gospel message throughout the known world in their day.] 

·         [God has used ordinary people, just like you and I to proclaim the Word of God throughout a lost and dying world.  God can and will use you.] 

[James says, “Brethern . . .”  that’s you.  You and I are the difference for multitudes all around us.  You matter!  Your life and the way you live it matters!  Your home and family and the way your home and family live in this world matter!  This Church and its reputation and influence in our community matter!] 

[Are you persuaded that you matter?  You are the difference between whether a multitude of sins will be washed away in the glorious crimson tide of Jesus blood or not.  The choices you make, the temptations you resist, the convictions you live out all matter.] 

[You are the brethren of James 5.19.] 

2.      Your Passion Matters (vs 19) [- . . . if any of you do err from the truth, . . . – Three things seem evident in this phrase.] 

a.       [Temptation - First there is the reminder of James chapter 1 and the stand we Christians must take when we are faced with the temptation to sin.  We must be passionately aware of the damage that sin, any sin will do to our Heavenly Fathers kingdom cause.  Sin in the lives of Christians will destroy their personal testimony, it will damage the Churches testimony, and it will damage the reputation and testimony of our Heavenly Father himself.] 

b.      [Confrontation - Secondly, there is our passionate diligence in admonishing and edifying those who have sinned in our midst.  Christians do still commit sin and the Church of our Lord must recognize and properly deal with those sins that find their way into our fellowship.  We must deal with sin in our midst with compassion, mercy, grace and forgiveness; but we must recognize and deal with sin in the Church.] 

c.       [Proclamation - Thirdly, we must never forget those lost sinners that are all around us.  We must see the unredeemed in our community and world and must diligently and passionately reach out to them with the Gospel.  This is an important part of why we need to live out the many practical realities that James dealt with throughout his text.  The way we live our lives matters when it comes to reaching the lost world around us.] 

[Are you Passionate about the purity of your life, the reputation of our Lord’s Church and Kingdom, and the eternal souls of those around us.] 

3.      Your Preparation Matters (vs 19; 1 Pet 3.15; Col 4.6) [-Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; - If there is one thing that I have discovered throughout the years about converting others, whether challenging Christians to face their sin, or bringing the lost to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, neither of these just happen by chance.  One must prepare diligently to reach the lost and wayward.  A preparation must be made.  Are you prepared my Christian friend?] 

[Are you prepared to,] 

[1 Peter 3:15 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:]

[Colossians 4:6 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.]

[In the light of our text I would ask you,]

[Have you prepared your Soul Winners plan so that you know how you would lead a lost enquiring soul to Christ?  Have you marked out your plan in your Bible so that it will be easy for you to share with any lost soul God might bring across your path?  If you are not prepared then how will you bring them under the precious and cleansing crimson flow of Jesus’ blood?]

[Have your prepared your Cleansing answers so that when a wayward Christian asks you about sin in our culture and potentially sin their life you can give them a Scriptural answer?  Have you prepared and thought through how you would answer such issues as alcohol and drugs use, sexual promiscuity, and many other issues your brothers and sisters might face.]

[Have you made a preparation to make a difference?  If not why not?] 

B.     Our Profound Confidence (vs 20) [– Let him know, . . . – There’s an old saying, “You may be the only Jesus some may ever see.”  It is God’s plan that He would work in this world through His people.  James emphasizes again just how important you are to the effectiveness of the gospel message in our World.] 

1.      Preaching Persuades (1 Cor 1.21) [- God’s plan is that lost and wayward people would come under the sound of the Word of God through the preaching and witnessing of the people of God.  The Bible states,] 

[1 Corinthians 1:21 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. ]

[For many people you are their only hope to ever hear the Word of God.  You are the one that must bring them to that cleansing crimson flow of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  You are instrumental in God’s plan of the ages.] 

2.      Procrastination Pervades (Heb 5.10-6.3) [- I believe that most Bible believing, Church attending Christians already know that they ought to be, need to be, sharing their faith.  They know that they need to live the kind of life that will lead others to see Jesus in them.  They know that they ought to be testifying for Jesus and telling others about Jesus.  So why don’t they?  Procrastination.  It’s just easier to put off the necessary preparations.  It’s less intimidating to not think about talking to our family members about Jesus.  It’s just our natural human tendency.  Paul wrote it this way,] 

[Hebrews 5:10-6:3 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. ]

[But James redirects us when he says, Let him know . . . You are and must be the difference for many with whom you will come into contact.  Avoid the tendency of thinking that you can’t make a difference.  You are the difference and you must be persuaded that you, your life, and your testimony matters.] 

C.    Our Providential Cleansing (vs 20) [- . . . that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. – We now come face to face with the means of our providential cleansing.  We are cleansed by nothing less than the precious blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The Bible states,] 

1.      Our Conversion (vs 20) [- . . . that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, . . . – Conversion in our text literally means to turn toward.  To quote Zodhiates again,] 

[Convert - ἐπιστρέψῃ (Gk) – with mid. meaning, from epí (1909), to, and stréphō (4762), to turn. To turn upon, toward.] 

[This sounds a lot like our understanding of repentance.  I think many in our day think of conversion more in terms of a dynamic change or a transformation, which is the outward appearance of conversion.  However the inward reality of conversion is a renewed inward focus.  Conversion is that process of getting our eyes and focus off of worldly stuff and worldliness and getting our focus placed upon God and godliness.]   

[This works for the lost and their salvation and it works for wayward Christians and their rededication.  Hence, our purpose and process is to get peoples eyes and affections off of worldly sinfulness and stuff and to get their eyes upon our glorious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The result of this inward refocusing will be an evident outward transformation which we often recognize as a conversion.] 

2.      Our Cleansing (vs 20; 1 John 1.7) [- . . . and shall hide a multitude of sins. – Once you get your eyes off of this world and its stuff and get your eyes on Christ and His glory you will quickly realize your greatest hope and advancement in life is bound up in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Those who turn to Christ from this world’s sinfulness will come under the cleansing crimson tide of the blood of Christ and will know the hope and joy of his eternal forgiveness and cleansing.  James says that a multitude of sins will be hidden.  How?  Through the cleansing power of Jesus blood.  The Bible says,] 

[1 John 1:7 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.]

[What an incredible providential cleansing our Lord provides for those who turn to him confessing their sins and seeking His forgiveness.  But how can they know if they are not told.  How can they see if they do not see Jesus in us.  My brethren let us never loose sight of the importance of our lives and our testimony is the sight of the lost and wayward around us.  Let us live the practical Christian life James preaches in this book of the Bible being fully persuaded of the importance of our godly lives is a lost world.] 



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