Practical Holiness as a Corporate Reality

James 5:16

As we think back on FUEL Weekend, I want us to think about the idea of corporate holiness. We as Christians are known as the people of God. We have been adopted into his family. We are brothers and sisters in this redeemed family. For many of us whose families are strained, difficult, or even absent, this new family is a beautiful blessing.

Since we all have been given the charge to grow in Christlikeness, it makes sense that we would grow together. Just as siblings in a family learn from one another, enjoy shared experiences, and embody family resemblances, so too will the family of God begin to look like their great Elder Brother, Jesus.

James clues us in to this corporate reality – as the church of Jesus Christ, we are collectively being transformed from one degree of glory to the next. After giving some practical “family rules,” James writes in chapter 5:

[16] Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

I highlight this verse to show a powerful biblical truth: we need one another. Our sins confessed to God are sins forgiven. But confessing sin to our brothers and sisters allows them to come alongside us for encouragement, accountability, and love. But James goes even further, saying that our prayers for one another will lead to the healing of our brothers and sisters!

The Word says that the prayer of a righteous person has great power. Is it because his prayers get to the front of the line before the throne of God? I don’t think so. I think James says this because the prayers of righteous men and women will be in lockstep with the revealed will of God, and God loves to answer prayers that align with his will.

So let’s confess our sins. Let’s pray for one another. Let’s run towards our great God, our Holy King, our Loving Father. Let’s ask the Spirit to give us eyes to see to the needs of those around us in our family of faith. Let’s lean in to God’s Word together and behold him as he works powerfully among us.

Questions

1. If God answered all of your prayers for the people in your church today, how much difference would it make?
2. Are there people in your life that you are walking with towards holiness? If so, pray for them now. If not, ask a leader to help you.
3. What gifts has the Spirit given you? How are you using them for the sake of the family of God?