Life is a Test Series – James 1:21-25
Intro: The Nike Product Motto: “Just Do It!” The equipment can make all the difference. This is exactly what James is offering the church, the right equipment! “For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.” Romans 2:13 (NLT)
“Swift to hear” reminds us of how the Christian should hear and obey God’s Word! Text: James 1:21-25 (NKJV)
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Do the Word of God; do not be a hearer only, we must live and do the Word of God. vs. 21
Application: Must do more than just hear, YOU MUST DO!
The person who only hears and knows the Word deceives himself:
1. DECEIVES: vs. 22
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
If a person thinks that he can hear and learn the Word of God and then go out and live like he wants, he deceives himself. There are many who sit under the Word of God week after week, and they learn and know as much of the Word as anyone. They think that their listening and learning makes them acceptable to God, that it makes them safe and secure. When they slip into sin, they feel that they can ask God for forgiveness and that He will forgive them. They just feel that God would never reject them. God does not accept us because we hear and know the Word nor because we confess our sins. Each of these are necessary and very important, but they are not enough. God accepts us because we confess and repent. Repentance means that we turn away from our sins and turn to God. God accepts us because we turn to Him and live for Him. When we believe God—really believe Him—then it is that we trust and follow Him and do exactly what He says. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only!” BE A DOER, DO IT!
The person who only hears and knows the Word soon forgets what he has heard:
2. FORGETS: vs. 23-24
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”
If a person does not practice what he learns, it soon fades from memory. It is just forgotten, and it never becomes a part of the person's life. He is like the person who looks in a mirror to see if he needs to do anything to his appearance, then walks away and thinks of something else and forgets the pimple or rustled hair that needed to be cared for. We hear the Word and are convicted of some defect, some shortcoming, some failure that we need to clean up. But as soon as we walk out from under the Word, we are distracted by the world and its affairs and we soon forget to do what the Word of God told us to do.
The Word of God reveals what we are on the inside, just as a mirror reveals how we appear on the outside. When Christians look into the Word, they see themselves as God sees them and thus are able to examine their hearts and confess their sins. But it is not enough merely to look into the Word and read it; we must obey what we read. A person who merely hears the Word but does not obey it is like a man who glances casually into the mirror, sees that his face is dirty, and goes on his way without doing anything about it. Such a man thinks he has bettered himself spiritually when he has actually harmed himself.
The person who hears and does the Word of god is blessed:
3. BLESSED: vs. 25
“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
The Word of God is called the perfect law of liberty. This means that the Word of God will set a person free from the bondages of sin and death. The Word of God will free a person from all the temptations of this life and give him the full and victorious life for which his soul longs, a life that will continue on and on eternally with God. A person who does and lives the Word of God will find that they are freed from all that has enslaves their soul upon earth. He will discover love, joy, and peace, a soul that just soars with a sense of freedom and purpose. He will be blessed with security, safety and you can’t forget victory over temptation, and deliverance from sin.
We must gaze carefully (not glance casually) into the Word, study it, and through it see ourselves. We must then obey what the Word says. If we do, we will be happy (blessed). It is not reading the Bible that makes a person happy; it is obeying what it says. He calls the Word "the perfect law of liberty" because obedience to the Word produces spiritual liberty. Living the Christian life is not bondage, it is wonderful liberty! “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:30-32
We must continue in the Word of God. We must continue to live just like it says. If we do, then we shall be blessed! God's perfect law and God's perfect work is His purpose to mature us; His perfect gift is His goodness to us in times of testing; and His perfect law is the Word that strengthens and sustains us.
CONCLUSION: In verse 21 when James talks about "firstfruits" and "the implanted [engrafted] Word” He refers to the heart which is compared to soil and the Word to seed. If believers are going to receive the Word and get strength from it in trials, then they must pull out the weeds! “Filthiness and an overflow of wickedness” is weeds! Pull out the weeds: “DO IT!” The soil of the heart must be prepared to receive the Word. If we have unconfessed sin in our hearts, and bitterness against God because of our trials, then we cannot receive the Word and be blessed by it.
“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:17
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3
Life is a Test Series – James 1:21-25
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