Be Doers and Not Hearers Only!!
1. Jesus put a premium on action, Lk. 6:46; Jno. 4:34; 9:4; Matt. 7:21, 24.
2. Those that say but do not do are among the hypocrites, Matt. 23:2-3.
3. James 1:21-27: Contrasts hearers (only) & doers (also) of God’s word.
I. THE DOER LAYS ASIDE ALL SIN, 1:21 (Heb. 12:1-2).
-(Put aside, lay apart, cast off, cf. Acts 7:58).
A. The World’s Attitudes about Sin Include:
1. “You can sin & God will still save you” (Rom. 6:1-2; 1 Jno. 2:1-2).
a. Suicide murderers who think paradise awaits them. (1 Jno. 3:15).
b. The good moral person who doesn’t believe the Bible (Heb. 11:6).
2. “You can keep some sins in your life – it’s just human!” (Gen. 2:17; 1 Jno. 2:1)
B. Brethren’s Attitudes about Sin Include:
1. “Some sins will not cause you to be lost.”
a. False doctrine of liberalism (Col. 3:17); etc.
b. Immoral conduct (immodesty, profanity, social drinking).
c. Fellowship with those who do (Eph. 5:8-12).
d. Not doing what we know is right, Jas. 4:17 (worship, stand for truth)
2. “I know I’m not doing what I should, but God understands,” Jas. 4:17.
a. Forsaking assembling (Heb. 10:25).
b. Not giving (1 Cor. 16:2).
c. Not praying…not learning…not growing (Rom. 12:1).
C. The Doer of God’s Word Puts Away All Sin (Rom. 13:12; Eph. 4:22, 25; Col. 3:8; 1 Pet. 2:1).
II. THE DOER MEEKLY ACCEPTS THE WORD OF GOD, 1:21.
A. Our Attitude toward Truth is Crucial to Receiving it & being Saved.
1. Meekness (gentle disposition): Contrasted with man’s wrath (orge, 1:20 – disposition of anger that hinders righteousness).[i]
2. Meekness welcomes (readily receives) word of God, Jno. 7:17; Lk. 8:8.
3. Implant (deeply rooted) in heart – Seed, Lk. 8:15 (Col. 3:16).
4. Why? It is able to save our soul! 1 Pet. 1:22-23 (Rom. 1:16)
a. God’s word saves when we receive it & implant it in our hearts.
b. The doer gives free course to God’s word in his life, Jno. 8:37.
III. THE DOER LOOKS AT HIMSELF IN GOD’S MIRROR OF TRUTH & CHANGES HIMSELF, 1:23-25.
A. The Hearer Sees Himself but does not Improve Himself.
1. Hearer observes himself (1:23) but forgets (1:24-25)!
2. Foolish, Matt. 7:26-27 (Jesus has the words of eternal life, Jno. 6:68).
3. Hearer may blame the messenger &/or the message (Acts 7:51, 54):
a. Some don’t like the plan of salvation, so they refuse it.
b. Some don’t like the punishment of sin (hell), so they deny it.
c. Instead of seeing themselves as God sees them, they reject His gospel of salvation (the message has little value to them).
B. The Doer Examines Himself & Continues in the Perfect Law of Liberty, 1:25; 2 Cor. 13:5.
1. Perfect law of liberty is the “word of truth” (1:18).
2. God’s word is a mirror of the soul, 1:24 (Heb. 4:12-13).
a. The doer looks at himself the way God sees Him (by using the “perfect law of liberty”), & corrects himself…
b. So that he can be a “doer of the work” – cf. Eph. 2:10 (2 Tim. 3:17).
3. Discipline ourselves to do the work of God (1 Cor. 9:27).
4. Blessed by God “in what he does” (1:25; Jno. 13:17; Matt. 7:21).
IV. THE DOER REFUSES TO DECEIVE HIMSELF, 1:26.
A. Hearer is Self-Deceived (cf. Heb. 3:13).
1. Believes he is religious (fearing God) even though he is not obeying God, Matt. 7:22-23; Acts 17:22-23.
2. Hearer uses himself to measure what is right, Gal. 6:3 (Prov. 3:7).
a. Hearer says: “It seems to me…” / “I think…” / “I just don’t believe.”
b. “I don’t have time now” (Acts 24:25) / “You almost persuade me” (Acts 26:28).
3. Doer uses God’s word to measure & control himself, 3:1-2.
B. Hearer is Not Submitting to the Perfect Law of Liberty (God’s will).
1. Unbridled tongue is evidence one does not fear God (is not under the control of God’s word; it is not implanted in the heart), Psa. 34:11-14.
2. Words show who is in charge of our lives; God or self (sin/world), 3:2.
V. THE DOER PRACTICES PURE & UNDEFILED RELIGION, 1:27.
A. Pure & Undefiled:
1. Pure (katharos): Sincere, genuine, free of corruption; untainted.
2. Undefiled (amiantos): Unsoiled, far removed from every kind of contamination.
3. Doer is a Christian due to genuine faith in God; not to please others.
B. Attends to Others: Visits the Needy in their Trouble (Matt. 25:36).
1. “To look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes.”
2. Lk. 10:33; Rom. 13:10; 1 Jno. 3:16-18.
C. Attends to Himself: Keeps Himself Unspotted from the World.
1. Diligence (keeps on keeping himself), Deut. 4:9; Prov. 4:23 (4); 1 Tim. 5:22.
2. Goes back to what is in the heart (1 Jno. 2:15; Jas. 1:21).
1. Faith without works cannot save because it is dead (Jas. 2:14, 17).
2. The doer has faith & is saved; the hearer says he has faith, but his failure to do (obey) shows he does not yet believe – he is lost!
3. Repent & be saved; be a doer of the word (Jas. 1:22).