Friday, November 4, 2011

Digging Deeper (James1:22-25 )

 Digging Deeper 8       James 1:22-25

This week I am praying that we will be encouraged to move forward. I used to use the phrase “do something, even if it’s wrong, do something” but of course that statement is so wrong, at least that last little bit is and so I say to you do something because it is right do something right. A quick look at the triumphs of faith in Hebrews chapter 11 reveals examples of faith in action. Abel offered, Enoch witnessed, Noah built, Abraham went out, Isaac blessed, Jacob blessed, Joseph gave orders, Moses refused to be called an Egyptian the scripture is full of examples of folks living out there faith. Knowing all scripture, believing all scripture but never doing all scripture is only fooling ourselves that we are living for Christ.
Let’s dig a little deeper in the Word. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22 two words we must understand: doers and word. What is a doer? Well how about this for a profound definition, a doer is somebody that does something. It is not to be confused with someone who knows something, or listens to something. Seriously, a doer is someone who takes action. James’ instruction is to be someone who takes action on the word. Now what is the word? The Greek word is “logos” and it means intelligence and the expression of that intelligence. So there we have it, take action on the intelligence that has been expressed to you in this case the knowledge of God given by inspiration directed by the Holy Spirit.
Notice that this is not a condemnation of hearers but instructions not to be hearers only. Hearing or listening is an important step to becoming a doer. The point that James is making is that if you are just a listener and never carry out the action demanded by the Word of God then you are just fooling yourself. Receiving instruction is worthless if the instructions are never carried out.
In verse 23 and 24  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. The comparison is the wisdom and instruction of the word verses what man sees in himself. Once a man looks at himself and sees his own natural ways he forgets who he really is, a sinner in need of grace.  When man’s focus is who he is instead of who the word says that he is he will naturally walk contrary to the word trying to fulfill his own ideas of who he should be.
Verse 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed In what he does. The word perfect here translates well as complete, the word law here is a divine truth so one who looks intently at the complete divine truth and abides by it will be blessed, blessed the Greek word “makarrios” possessing the characteristics of deity. The one who does not just hear the word but does the word lives, out the character of God!
The life of a doer is a life filled with peace and joy. There are easier ways to live than living in the precepts of God’s Word but there are no other ways to enjoy the liberty found in a life for Christ. There is no idle in the life of a believer we are either moving forward according to the word or we are falling away chasing our own agenda.
Now having dug a little deeper what do we believe?
What do we believe about God?
1.      God gives faith to action.
2.      God gives direction through His Word.
3.      God’s law (word) is complete and is the law of liberty.
4.      God blesses the doer of His Word with His character.
What do we believe about ourselves?
1.      Not doing the word only deludes, or fools ourselves that we are living for Christ.
2.      Doing what is natural is contrary to the direction of the word.
3.      Living out, doing, the word exhibits the characteristics of God in our lives.
4.      Although not always easy, a doer of the word enjoys peace, joy and liberty in Christ.

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