What does it mean to the ”Doer of the Word” in James 1:22?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

Alright, so the first question is from Harold and Harold is asking in your opinion, in your own opinion, what does it mean in James 1:22? What is a quote? Doer of the Word?

Speaker 2

I love the question and I think this could be a good little group topic if you’re able to join in too, but you might be working on a mic. Okay, great. Maybe we could have Wendy first read it for us, maybe starting at James 121.

Speaker 1

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive the meekness, the implanted word which is able to save your souls, but be doers of the Word and not hears only deceiving yourself.

Speaker 2

Here. What’s the word we’re talking about?

Speaker 3

The word of God.

Speaker 2

Yeah, right. Yeah. It’s got to be the word of God, imparted word because it says which is able to save your souls and that’s only the Gospel that saves us. So talk about the Gospel and more we’ll see the Gospel includes something else and we got to be doers of it, not just curious. So don’t just be someone who reads the Bible or just hears it on audiobook, but you got to be doing something, right? So maybe let’s read now verse 23.

Speaker 1

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.

Speaker 2

And then next person, for he observes.

Speaker 1

Himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

Speaker 2

And then verse 25.

Speaker 1

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.

Speaker 2

Right? So maybe this is a good one. We don’t have vain women here. Maybe I spend more time in front of the mirror than you guys do. But what does it talk about here? About if you’re a hearer of the word but not do? Or you’re like someone who’s just looking into a mirror and you forget what you saw. But what does that seem to mean?

Speaker 3

Well, do you want my thoughts or.

Speaker 2

Do you want to I know your thoughts. Go ahead and translate that.

Speaker 3

Let me hear this. I love this verse, by the way. Honestly, being a here, not just a here, but a doer of the Word is so important. I absolutely love this. First, because I agree it was good to go ahead, burst 24 25. It talks about looking in a mirror because the thing is, like so many people, I think, know about the Gospel. They know about Jesus. They’ve heard the Bible stories, they’ve heard things, they know what to do. As far as what it means to be a Christian, a lot of people know the Ten Commandments like you shouldn’t steal, you shouldn’t lie, you shouldn’t kill, you should honor your parents. People know these things. But how many people actually do them. And I think that’s really the true sign of a sincere Christian is that you desire to please God. Like, I think about Jesus when it talks about Him in the Book of Psalms, he says, I delight to do Your will, O God, your law is within my heart. And so he delights to do God’s will, not just know about it, but to actually take it into action, because that is really where the rubber meets the road.

Speaker 3

And I think so much of our relationship with God we can see in other relationships here on earth. So just like my husband, if he says, honey, I would really like you to be faithful to me, and if I’m like, yeah, that’s a good idea. I agree with being faithful to you. But then I’m like, maybe not, and I just do something else. That’s not what he wanted me to do. I’m really not showing Him that my devotion, my love, my care. And so I think it’s very much the same way with God, is that when we know Him and we know what his will is by His Word, which he makes very clear, I think it’s only when we put it into practice that we can have a healthy relationship with God because we know that we’re right with Him.

Speaker 2

Yeah. And I do really love this metaphor of the mirror, and I think a lot of people struggle with it, but it’s like, why do you look in the mirror in the morning? You wake up or you’re getting ready, you’re looking into the mirror, you just look at it and say, oh man, my hair is a mess, my face is messed, but I’m just going to walk away not doing anything about it. The mirror is there so that you can see what you need to change, and then you clean up and you fix it. So James here saying that if you read the Bible, you read the Gospel, you read God’s law and it doesn’t prompt you to change yet again. You’re just like that person. You see you’re a complete mess and then don’t bother to fix yourself. And he keeps going. Verse 26 if anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceased his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. So if you have a religion and you’re not being changed and it’s not making you a better person, your whole religion is useless. Your Gospel is useless.

Speaker 1

You know what I find this verse particularly interesting? The word choice. And he thinks he’s religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart. There’s a lot in that right there. How many people claim to be Christians but are then literally like cursing people and using God’s name in vain and speaking things that are totally against what God is teaching and calling us on how to communicate and how to treat other people to me. It’s so interesting that the specific thing that he’s pointing to right here is what people are speaking and saying.

Speaker 2

Yeah, words and deeds. And definitely there’s a time where like, words don’t matter, they’re just effort present. But words have impact, actions have impacted. Before this, we were talking about the whole Chris Rock and Will Smith thing. Don’t approve of what either of them did, right? But even the words can have purple effects on people. And so if you’re going to come in contact with the gospel and you’re not going to be changed by it, and you’re still going to keep saying the things you used to say, do the things, you have a useless religion. And James goes on in chapter two where he talks about, so speak and do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. Speak and do as if you’ll be judged by the law of liberty. This is what I’m saying. Your words and deeds matter. James 217 says Thus also, faith by itself, if it does not have work, is dead. And we’ve talked about this before, but if you want a real faith and actual genuine faith, you have to be living out what you’re learning in the Bible. And I’m not saying it’s to be saved, but you don’t have the faith.

Speaker 2

That really does show you’ve been saved if you’re acting just like everybody else, if you’re not being a transformed person. And James goes on verse 28, but someone will say, you have faith and I have works. He says, Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. And then we get to James 219 20. Say you believe that there is one God, you do well. And this is saying, some people think all I just have to do is believe God exists. And here he takes it on directly. You believe there is one God, you do well. Even the demons believe in trouble. Do you think Satan doesn’t know there’s a God? Satan knows. The demons know that’s not what faith is. He says, Show me your faith without your works. I’ll show it by my works. 20 but do you want to know a foolish man that faith without works is dead? This isn’t just James by himself. A lot of people wanted to take the Book of James out of the Bible, say this is not biblical, but let’s look at how it relates to what Jesus said.

Speaker 2

And this really comes into John 14. So John, chapter 14. This is one of my favorite verses. John 14, verse 15 says, if you love me, this is Jesus speaking. If you love me, keep my commandments. So Jesus said, if you really do love me, you will show that by keeping my commandment. And then John 14 23 24 says, jesus answered them and said, if anyone loves me, if someone loves me, he will keep my word. We’re just talking about what’s this word says. You will keep my word, God’s word, Jesus Word, and my Father will love Him, and we will come to Him and make our home with Him. He who does not love me and e does not keep my words and the word which you hear is not mine, but the fathers who sent me. So if you don’t do what Jesus says, what Jesus has commanded, what he has taught, what he desires of you to do, you’re demonstrating you actually don’t love it. Again, it’s not necessarily a guilt trip thing. What Jesus is saying is if you’re actually going to keep his word, you need to focus on getting to love Him first and make sure you get that love that really will prompt you to desire and want to keep his law.

Speaker 2

Like you said that first earlier, right, about desiring to keep the law, David. It’s a delight to keep the law. So that’s what the state that God wants you to be in. That’s when you have the real faith of the Bible.

Speaker 3

Amen. I want to reiterate, we’re not saying that we’re saved by works because we know we’re saved by grace through faith, not a works less than Amen to boast. And so we’re not saying that you’re saved by work, but rather the works just show that you are saved or in a saving relationship with God. I just want to make sure that’s very clear, because I know sometimes people are like, oh, this is legalism. You’re saying I have to work for my salvation. It’s like, I don’t know exactly. And your actions tell what’s in your heart. You know what I mean? Just like, really the example of being in a relationship, it’s like, I can tell my husband all day, I love you, I think you’re great. I’ll be faithful to you. But if my actions don’t reflect that, then they mean nothing. Breaks my heart when I see so many people who are Christians and they don’t act that way, act the way that a Christian should. And I think of people like Mahatma Gandhi who said, something that broke my heart when I read it, was that these Christians don’t act like they’re Christ, and that killed me, because there’s so much truth to that.

Speaker 3

If we’re calling the name of God to ourselves as Christians, we need to uphold that name by the things we do and the words we say. Just want to throw that in there.

Speaker 1

We often come to the point of realizing in our walk and in our understanding that, okay, our salvation isn’t by our works. And so then we’re just like, oh, well, I just don’t need to work anymore. I don’t need to do but that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Now, the salvation is a gift to know God’s love, so that we will want to follow Him, so that we will understand what set Him and his ways apart from the other way. And we will want to follow in those footsteps and we will want to share that love with other people and be as much like Christ as we can be in sharing that love with other people. Now, obviously, we’re all going to fall short of that. We can’t expect ourselves to be as perfect as Christ, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work at continuing to improve ourselves so that that we are more Christ like in how we operate and how we interact with people.

Speaker 3

Amen. Amen.

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