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Featured James 5:16-healing question

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by W2L, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Do all sinners get sick? How about those who dont sin, do they ever get sick? Is it possible that James 5:16 is actually referring to sin as an illness? Jesus refers to sin as an illness (Matthew 9:12) and Isaiah seems to do the same thing. (Isaiah 58:8)


    James 5:16 Confess your trespasses[e] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
     
  2. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Sin IS an illness. It is a sickness of the soul, a sickness of the world.

    However, we canNOT assume that personal sin is the cause of physical illness, nor that a pious person will always be physically healthy.

    Sin correlates to sickness of the SOUL ... not necessarily (not usually) of the physical body.


    In fact, the base word for save - as in salvation, (sozo/σῴζω) is the same word in the Greek scriptures as the word for heal. Considering that when reading the Scriptures translated into English yields a richer understanding.
     
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  3. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    I agree, thank you.
     
  4. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    This is profound...

    gotta munch on this a while
     
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  5. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    I have been doing that for a long time. :)
     
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  6. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Short Timer Here!

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    Yes, all people, not just sinners, get sick. Why? Because of the curse introduced into this world through Adam's actions. The penalty for sin was death... a process (of decay) that leads to death. Even though messiah has done what was needed to be done, it hasn't all yet been applied. We still get disease, we still decay, and we still die. One day that all won't be part of our lives, but it still is at this point so getting sick is not necessarily of sign that anyone did anything wrong. It is sign that we are awaiting our perfected bodies. :)
     
  7. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    hahaaa me too
     
  8. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    I agree. What you say reminds me of the Lords teaching on storing wealth on earth. It will rust, get eaten by moths, and will get stolen. The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. Thankfully however we were raised with Christ in heaven, and our true life is hidden there.
     
  9. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    :)
     
  10. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor It's My Birthday!

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    Some illness seems to be sin related but some does not...John 9:2-3

    When I studied the passage in James it seemed to me to be talking about both the one being prayed for and the one's doing the praying need to confess and repent because remember, it is the fervent prayer of a righteous man that avails much....how can our prayers "avail much" if we have unforgiven sins standing in the way of our prayers? Seems to me that the prayer of the sick is about everyone confessing and repenting so that nothing stands in the way of the prayer.

    Just a thought for what it's worth.
     
  11. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your thoughts razzelflabben.
     
  12. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, as the passage in James suggests, the general assumption during both Old and New Testament times was that if a person was sick then it was indeed probably because he had sinned.

    The general teaching here was found in Deuteronomy 28:15-22. This appears to be the same mentality James was operating under in writing James 5. His answer btw was for a righteous man (i.e. one whom God would be listening to) to pray for that sick person's healing. This is why he said to call for the elders of the church (ie. the most righteous among them) and why he also brought up Elijah, whom God not only heard the prayers of to stop the Heavens from raining but who also once raised a boy back to life from the dead:

    "Is anyone suffering hardships? Let him pray. Is anyone encouraged? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of the faith shall save the sick, the Lord shall raise him up. And if he may have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. Confess, therefore, your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great influence, and comes to realization. Elijah was a man of sufferings similar to us, and while in prayer he prayed for it not to rain and it did not rain upon the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth caused its fruit to sprout. My brothers, if any one among you goes astray from the truth and anyone brings him back, know that the one having brought a sinner back from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and cover over a multitude of sins." (James 5:13-20)

    However there were exceptions to the rule, as Jesus Himself pointed out (John 9:2-3), just as there were exceptions among those who were poor yet nevertheless righteous, a seeming contradiction of Deuteronomy 28:16-19.

    The answer was to not judge by appearances but judge righteous judgment.

    As for the question of was James referring to sin itself as an illness here? No, that would be over-spiritualizing the passage when the Greek words used here all suggest that the sickness was literal not figurative. Neither was Jesus referring to sin as sickness in Matthew 9:12. He was merely using the analogy to teach the need for Him as the Great Physician spiritually. Isaiah 58:8 is in fact primarily a reference to physical healing, but only as a result of correcting spiritual sin. He was not making sin out to be sickness itself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  13. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    I believe you meant matthew 9:12, and Jesus is referring to sin as an illness.
     
  14. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, my apologies. Matthew 9:12. The passage was about spiritual sickness, not literal sickness. The question they were asking Him was about publicans and sinners, not the sick. Context dictates the terms of proper interpretation.
     
  15. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    The context doesn't change the meaning. Its obvious that the Lord is referring to sin, which is the cause of spiritual sickness
     
  16. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh! In your OP you were equating sin with physical illness and then brought up the question is sin itself an illness, so I was assuming you were spiritualizing the sickness referred to in James 5 over into being spiritual sickness rather than physical.

    Yes, sin is the cause of spiritual sickness.
     
  17. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me but im having a hard time understanding your post.
     
  18. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ha Ha! Nevermind. It appears I was confused about what you were asking from the very outset, lol. I think I need break from being overly involved in threads these days. Ha Ha! :wave:
     
  19. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    You're ok bro.
     
  20. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can be starkly serious sometimes, but I think everybody prefers my goofball side a little more, LoL.

    Thanks. :)
     
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