Doers, Not Hearers Only

James 1:21-25 ESV

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

Whenever I read something like this, and I think of how much the New Testament Scriptures teach on this subject of putting off sin and walking in obedience to our Lord, I am continually amazed at how many people professing faith in Jesus Christ can just pretend these messages do not exist. How can they act as though God’s Word does not teach this when it is all throughout the New Testament? Jesus taught it. Paul taught it. Obviously James did and John and Peter did, too.

The other thing that strikes me about this passage of Scripture is how it says that we are to receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our souls. Now James is talking to people who profess faith in Jesus Christ. But he is telling them that the implanted word is able to save their souls, but only if they are doers of the word and not hearers only. And this is another message that gets largely ignored, too, because so many people want to believe their salvation is already a done deal. But is it?

What the Scriptures teach is progressive salvation. Yes, we are saved when we believe in Jesus, and heaven is guaranteed us, but provided that our faith is genuine God-given faith, and not of the flesh, and provided that we now walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and that God’s word is what we obey, and that sin is not our practice. And provided that we continue in those walks of faith and in obedience to our Lord until the end. And those are not my words. You can read them in these Scriptures:

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

But there are many people professing faith in Jesus Christ today who are convinced that a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ secures heaven for them regardless of how they live. And even if they are shown the truth, and even if they are convicted of their sins, and they are shown who they really are, they will walk away, and they will willfully forget what they just saw and read and heard, and they will continue deceiving and being deceived willfully, because they want to continue in their sin.

But we need to be those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, the gospel of our salvation. For Jesus died on that cross to put our sins to death with him so that we would now die to sin and live to his righteousness, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, in the power of God, for the glory of God. And we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. We don’t have to obey all the Old Covenant ceremonial and dietary laws and restrictions, but we do have to obey God’s moral laws, which have remained.

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For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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