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Doing the Word (5 of 11)
Here's a spiritual evaluation question: How much of God's word do you practice? Consider that we are commanded to pray (1 Thess. 5:17); to study (2 Tim. 2:15); to love (Jn. 13:35); to forgive (Eph. 4:32); to imitate God (Eph. 5:1); to hunger for righteousness (Matt. 5:6); and to abide in Christ (Jn. 15:4), just to name a few things. How are you doing? Are you a doer of the word?
Doing the word begins first with hearing the word properly (i.e., quickly, quietly, and calmly, v.19). This kind of hearing allows the word of God to be planted within our lives (v.21) so that we "naturally" become "doers of the word." In our passage, James cautions us to make sure that we don't stop with just hearing of the word. James says, "But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (v.22).
1. The Command (1:22)
Doing the word is stated as a command (v.22). James says it is possible for us to hear the word of God and feel as if we are doing the word. But in reality, he says that we are only "deceiving ourselves." It's possible for believers to be deceived into thinking that they are doing the word when actually they might be disobeying the word of God. We are "deceiving ourselves" if we believe that listening to sermons and attending Bible studies is the sum of what we are to do as Christians. We are "deceiving ourselves" if we believe that our talking about ministry constitutes the same thing as doing ministry, or that our giving of our finances is a substitute for the giving of our selves. We are "deceiving ourselves" if we think that increased knowledge about God is all that God requires. We are "deceiving ourselves" if we believe God is pleased more with ritual than obedience.
The command is quite clear, "be doers of the word and not hearers only." After the command, James provides . . .
2. The Illustration (1:23-25)
(1) The Hearer Only (1:23-24)
The one who hears the word ...
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