Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It Is Finished - Part 7

"As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. 

You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. 

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." James 5:10-20 NASB

Job saw the 'outcome of the Lord' (or end of the Lord) and Elijah was just a person like you and i.
Why bring the elders of the Church to the sick person? Doesn't it say in the next verse that we can pray for one another and there will be healing also?

Is it because the elders have authority? Yes. They do have it. They have the authority given in a structure that is based on knowledge of the 'outcome of the Lord'. If they are anointed and God appointed elders then they are well versed in forgiveness. They aren't going to stop at oil and prayer because they love and see with discernment. These elders are well versed in forgiveness based counseling.

But, Anyone who sees the finished work can turn someone back. Grace words wake the sleeper and provide a way back to someone wandering, lingering or lost.

"I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." 1 John 2:12-14 ESV

"Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17 KJV

Amen to that. But not because it is about the men themselves. It is about Jesus. It is about the message. It is about faithfulness to proclaim the outcome of the cross and the Lord of compassion and mercy. Don't muzzle that ox.

The Gospel of Grace belongs to every believer. The young freshly forgiven one and the old one who has learned the value of forgiveness again and again.

If we walk by sight the outcome may not look very promising at times. When the finished work of Christ is our frame of reference then our moments can be filled with faith and the miraculous can happen at any time.

A short prayer is a potent prayer when you believe.

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