James - Let Everyone

James - Let Everyone

In reading James in the ESV one can see that they used the word 'let' to translate verbs that were 'imperatives' in the Greek text. That simply means these things are commanded of believers. The word 'let' is not part of the word itself, but is an easy and functional way of showing to English readers that these were not just statements of suggestions.

·       'Let steadfastness have its full effect… (vs. 4).

·       Let him ask of God… but let him ask in faith… (vs. 5)

·       Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation.. and [let] the rich [boast] in his humiliation… (vs. 9, 10).

·       Let no one say… (vs. 13).

·       Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger… (vs. 19).

Many read such 'let' statements as a polite request. This use of 'let' is an imperative and is meant to be obeyed. To not do them is disobedience and rebellion against God who revealed them. While doing these things does not bring forgiveness, the not doing of them is sin and brings one into the position of needing forgiveness.

There are other commands that ARE tied to forgiveness. These commands are rather few and are foundational to being right with God. One must believe in God and in Jesus as the Son of God. For example, Jesus said that unless you 'believe that I am He, you will die IN your sins". Confession is said to be 'unto salvation' according to Romans 10:9-10. Repentance is tied to the preaching of the remission of sins in Luke 24:44-47. Baptism in the name of Jesus is 'for the remission of sins'. Those who thus become children of God, find that they later sin. When that happens they are instructed to 'repent of this thy wickedness and pray that the thought of the heart can be forgiven' (Acts 8:22). In praying for such confession, one confesses such sin before God and can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. In seeking forgiveness from God, one must also forgive those who have sinned against him. Jesus in fact said that if one does NOT forgive others, then HE himself cannot be forgiven by God (Matt. 6:14-15).

While we try as best we can to always be obedient unto God, let us be thankful that He has provided for those times of weakness when we have sinned. Let us not then refuse to comply with the very terms of such forgiveness but rather thru them come boldly before the throne of grace and find help in our time of need (cp. Hebrews 4:16). 

Hugh DeLong