Sunday, January 24, 2010

Test of obedience

James 1:22-25 (New King James Version)

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.

Faith Shows in Our Actions:

Don't be merely listeners to God's Word, but put the gospel into practice. What is the good of people saying they have faith if they do not prove it by actions? We must not be satisfied with only "hearing." We must go on "doing" (James 1:22). People who are hearers and not doers are like those looking at themselves in a mirror and then going away and forgetting how they looked (1:24).

James says we must keep looking into the mirror of God's Word to remember how we look, to find out the sin in our lives. Those who look carefully into the Scriptures and practice them well be blessed in what they do. Those who think they are religious and don't control their tongues, these people's religion is vain. The religion that does not influence the tongue is not a true or vital one. An uncontrolled tongue in a Christian is a terrible thing, guard it. Control your temper. It is dangerous. Under trial, be slow to speak.

What shall we do with the Word?

Receive it - 1:21

Hear it - 1:23

Do it - 1:22

Examine it - 1:25

Works do not save us, but they are a pretty good evidence that we are saved. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40) is not a "saving" text, but a "sign" text. What He has done is our salvation; what "ye have done" is the proof of it. Keep faith and works in their proper place.

Because of all this, James says in effect, "The faith you have is the faith you show."

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