1. Subjects previously covered in our study of James include:
a. "facing temptations" (1:2-18)
b. "hearing and doing the Word" (1:19-27)
c. "respect of persons" (2:1-13)
d. "faith and works" (2:14-26)
e. "a warning for teachers" (3:1)
f. "use of the tongue" (3:2-12)
g. "true and false wisdom" (3:13-18)
h. "strife among Christians" (4:1-10)
i. "speaking evil of others" (4:11-12)
j. "self-sufficiency" (4:13-17)
k. "words of warning and reproof for the rich" (5:1-6)
l. "patience" (5:7-11)
m. "swearing" (5:12)
n. "calling upon God" (5:13-15)
o. "prayer" (5:16-18).
2. Another important subject is addressed in 5:19-20: "the salvation of erring brethren."
a. Christians receive forgiveness through confession and prayer (James 5:16; 1 John 1:9).
b. In the final verses of his letter James showed how faithful brethren are responsible for
converting erring brethren.
I. A CHILD OF GOD CAN FALL
A. These verses are addressed to "brethren" ("if any of you").
B. It is possible for a brother to "err" [wander, go astray] from the truth.
1. A child of God can err from the truth by believing or teaching false doctrine
(2 Timothy 2:16-18).
2. A child of God can also err from the truth through sinful living (James 3:14).
C. A child of God who errs from the truth:
1. is a sinner
2. needs to be converted
3. is in danger of losing his soul (2 Peter 2:20-22).
D. The fact that a child of God can fall is also declared in Galatians 5:4.
II. A FALLEN CHILD OF GOD CAN RETURN TO THE LORD
A. A fallen brother:
1. can be converted from the error of his way
2. can have his soul saved from death
3. can have his sins forgiven.
B. However, as long as a child of God continues in his rebellious state he cannot receive
forgiveness (Hebrews 6:4-6).
C. The good news is that a person can undergo a change of heart and have his relationship
with the Lord restored (Luke 15:17-24).
III. FAITHFUL BRETHREN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR RESTORING FALLEN BRETHREN
A. Faithful brethren are responsible for converting those who have erred from the truth, saving their
souls from death, and hiding a multitude of sins (Galatians 6:1).
B. Some men who have restored fallen brethren include:
1. Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-13)
2. Peter (Acts 8:12-24).