Saving a Soul from Death

Our church has benefited so much from focusing on the Book of James over the last few months.  It was a great day to finish up our “Faith Works” series.

Today’s focus was James 5:19-20:

19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

As we prepared the service, we tried to get this idea all along the way.

Today’s service:

  • Brethren We Have Met to Worship (“brethren, see poor sinners ’round you…can you bear to let them go?”)
  • Welcome and Prayer Time
  • Come Ye Sinners (“if you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all”)
  • What a Savior (“we are longing for that hour when you make your presence known”)
  • Prayer Time – pray over tragedy in Charleston
  • James Recap (a video that took one verse from every sermon in this series read by different members to recap the study)
  • Screen Door (“it’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine, faith without works, it just ain’t happening…”)
  • Message – James 5:19-20
  • Rescue the Perishing (“duty demands it…back to the narrow way patiently win them, tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died”)

Cups and Screen Doors

Since we began the “Faith Works” series, I contemplated using an old Rich Mullins’ classic, “Screen Door.”  It’s a great song from James that Mullins used to do live playing cups.  When I approached guys in the band about doing it, I loved that they were up to the challenge.  They did great even on our first night of practice.  And it was quite the challenge with a few rowdy boys running around and one rowdy boy holding the camera!

And then, the second week, we changed some things up (even though we were missing one of our guys, Jamie jumped in great).

Parents, I apologize if your children raided the cupboards looking for musical instruments after worship today.

Trust me – I have lived in this world for the last two weeks.  Obadiah actually cracked one of our cups the other day!  It’s amazing that my boys could do it with me before worship today.  I could barely do it a couple of weeks ago, but they got it going on.  I loved the idea of singing this message with nothing but cups because it shows you can do good “works” even when you don’t have a lot to “work” with.  We have treasures in vessels (2 Cor. 4:7) and God does good works through us.

You can see Obadiah do all the steps below.  Maybe we should have a worship day with everyone bringing their own cups ;).

“Screen Door” Lyrics

It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine
Faith without works baby, it just ain’t happenin’
One is your left hand ,one is your right
It’ll take two strong arms to hold on tight
Some folks cut off their nose just to spite their face
I think you need some works to show for your alleged faith

Well there’s a difference you know b’tween having faith and playing make believe
One will make you grow, the other one just make you sleep
Talk about it, but I really think you oughtta
Take a leap off of the ship before you claim to walk on water
Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine

Faith comes from God and every word that He breathes
He lets you take it to your heart so you can give it hands and feet
It’s gotta be active if it’s gonna be alive
You gotta put it into practice otherwise….

It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine
Faith without works, baby, it just ain’t happenin’
One is your right hand, one is your left
It’s your light, your guide, your life and your breath

Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine

Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine


The message was so helpful today to remind me to love people enough to confront them with the truth.

I love this thought:

  • Legalism leads us to believe that everything is truth.
  • Liberalism leads us to believe that everything is conviction.

This Scripture teaches us some critical points:

  1. There is such a thing as truth.
  2. Professing believers can stray from the truth (doctrinal stray or behavioral stray).
  3. Wanderers are in real trouble.
  4. The Sovereign God often brings them back through us.

Do I have sufficient faith to do the work of confrontation?

I encouraged Jeff to actually sing “The Lord Knows I’m Drinkin'” instead of just reading the lyrics, but unfortunately he declined.  He also didn’t make me do it and I was thankful.  Here is the actual song for those who want to see how church people feel (and are in error).

I loved hearing Jeff say that whatever he does affects us and whatever we do affects him.

We are family and we are called to confront one another in love when we are in error.

We changed up the song for after the message.  I had planned something else but after talking with Jeff on Thursday I knew that it wasn’t the best fit for the way he was concluding.  He mentioned the hymn, “Rescue the Perishing,” which I was familiar with but couldn’t remember it all.  I was able to convince Ted and Amanda to sing it with me this morning and we just decided to sing it around one mic to get a family feel to it.  They jumped in there great.

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