Summary: Discussion of Chapter 5 of James, Poor being abused. Rich being arrogant. Watch your mouth.


Intro: Many topics are discussed in this chapter: Trouble of various kinds, poor being deprived of their wages, people physically sick, spiritual backsliding, and prayer. James encourages the believer

through it all by saying, "for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh".


A. Two Aims of the first 6 verses of James Ch. 5

1. To show the Ultimate worthlessness of all earthly riches.

Proverbs 11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the

righteous shall flourish as a branch.

2. To show the detestable character of some of those who possess riches

B. Three Main Sources of Riches

1. Grain

2. Garments

a. Achan died for Babylonish garment in Josh 7:21

Remember Ch. 2:2 -- "in goodly apparel"

b. Gehazi lied to obtain garments and received leprosy

2 Kings 5:5, 22

Elisha and Naaman -- Cleansed

c. Paul declared he had coveted no man's money or apparel

Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.

3. Gold and Silver

C. The Sins of the Rich

1. Hoarding (Not Saving) -- "Ye have heaped treasure together"

It is wrong to store up wealth when you owe money to your


2. Stealing Wages

a. Labourer is worthy of his hire Luke 10:7

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is

just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

b. Payment was to be daily Deut. 24:14-15 Thou shalt not oppress an

hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of

thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land

within thy gates: 15 At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.

The day labourer in Palestine always lived on the very

verge of starvation. His wage was small; it was impossible for him to save

anything; and if the wage was withheld from him, even for a day, then

literally he and his family would not eat. (W. B. pg 139)

Lev. 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob

him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all

night until the morning.

3. Extravagant Luxurious Living (v. 5)

a. Luxury meaning waste, waste being sin.

There is a great difference between enjoying what God has given us

(1 Tim 6:17) and living extravagantly on what we have withheld from others (or from God).

b. James compares them to senseless cattle feeding themselves

without restraint little realizing that they are only

being fattened up for the slaughter.

Means to live in lewdness and wanton riotousness.

It is the condemnation of the selfish rich that they have used their possessions to gratify their own lusts, and they have forgotten all duty

to their fellow-men.

4. Injustice

a. In modern day, often, the Golden Rule is "Those who have

the Gold,make the rules."

b. In Bible days, the same was true, yet without the checks

and balances.

D. What Will Their Riches Do?

1. Material Wealth

a. Grain -- Grows rotten

b. Garments -- Moth eaten

c. Gold and Silver--canker -- to rust over; cover with rust; corroded, value

changes, stocks and markets?

Matt. 6:19-20 Then charged he his disciples that they

should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21From that

time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he

must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders

and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again

the third day.

2. Character-- Often tarnished in greedy exploits.

1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a

snare, and intomany foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men

in destruction and perdition.

3. Soul -- Required

a. Anyone who chooses this pathway has also chosen the end of

it. The end of the specially fattened cattle is that they will be slaughtered for

some feast. The end of their pleasure is grief, and the goal of their

luxury is death. Selfishness always leads to the death of the soul.

To live selfishly is to pierce Christ again. (W. B. pg 141)

b. Judgment is a certainty

-- wages will witness

-- workers will testify

-- Blood will cry out

Jeremiah 17:11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and

hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right,

shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall

be a fool.

4. Within 10 years of the letter of James, Jerusalem fell to Roman conquest.

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