Camping out on James 5:16 is a good way to follow up on the previous post. “Healing” is one of those things we hope for when someone has cancer but often only associate with those preachers in white suits on gold thrones on TV. But I don’t think James 5:16 is focused solely on physical healing. It seems more focused on fellowship with 1) Christ and 2) with His Church.
When you look at “confess your sins” it has a meaning behind it of acknowledging openly and joyfully where you have erred or been mistaken. And this is to be done with other believers, not when you are isolated and feeling guilty. There is great humility required to openly praise how you have missed the mark for the purpose of forgiveness and restoration.
The result of this is healing.
It is to be cured or to make whole. It’s the healing that sets you free from errors and sins; it brings about one’s salvation.
To paraphrase so far, James 5:16 is instructing us to openly share with other believers what is broken in our lives. That fellowship together is the result of a desire for a deeper fellowship with Christ. And as our fellowship with Christ deepens, what is broken begins to be restored.
I do believe physical healing has taken place and can take place. But what I see in the Bible is that Jesus is primarily concerned with our hearts. Much of the “healing” has to do with the spiritual condition (Matthew 13:15; Luke 22:51; Hebrews 12:13; 1 Peter 2:24).
Jesus wants your heart.
It’s my understanding that the debris and the barricades that we set up from our brokenness is what Jesus will restore. And James 5:16 shows that an intentional and continual relationship with Jesus and an intentional and continual relationship with His Church is the means by which the healing of our spiritual condition comes about.
Physical healing does happen (Luke 6:17-19) but the emphasis in James and elsewhere is primarily on healing the soul, restoring a right heart, and fostering a consistent relationship with Christ and His Church.