Text: James 1:21-27
Last week, we’ve talked about the qualities needed in facing trials. It was mentioned that we need to be swift hearers of God’s words, which means putting to actions, what we have heard. Today, we will be discussing the primary things in becoming “doers of the Word”
Becoming Doers of the Word
1.Laying aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness (v21). Hebrews 12:1 already have spoken to us about getting rid of all sins. We have to do this in order to run easily and win the race. In here, the same thing is being suggested to us, to lay aside all filthiness.
Getting rid of means that it is as if putting off dirty clothes. And we are to receive with meekness the implanted word. The implanted word mentioned here is the the Word of God. Sometimes, it is so hard to accept the word of truth because it can definitely hurt us if we have been disobedient to the word of God.
In worst case scenario, the pastor is blamed for being so harsh even if the passage of the Bible has been read to which the words does not came from the pastor but was recorded in the Bible. And by this, our passage last week told us to be a “swift hearer” of the word.
Brethrens, we can only lay aside all the filthiness by accepting meekly or humbly the Word of Truth.
2.Not forgetful of the perfect law of liberty (v.25). The perfect law of liberty refers to the Word of God. It is not something that we should easily forget for we are to apply and use it in our daily lives.
Verse 22 tells us that “But be doers of the word…” which means we are to “keep on becoming”. The phrase is in imperative and present tense, which tells us to be consistent in a form of command. Furthermore, becoming only hearers tells us that it is only a deception of ourselves.
Verses 23-24 tells us a perfect illustration of a man who is merely a hearer but not a doer. He just want to see himself but totally forgets what he looks like. What are we to do then? To look at the perfect law of liberty and continue to do it. The law which is the word of God that gives freedom.
3.Bridles his tongue (v.26)– Doers of the Word bridle their tongue. As doers of the word, our tounge is very important to be controlled. As what we have discussed last week, it is very important that we need to be watchful on the things that we say.
The idea here is that we are to bridle our own tongue rather than bridling the tongues of others. To bridle is to put a device intended for the mouth so as to the entire head as if the bridle for the horse which allows us to control the horse where to go.
Thus, the passage is telling us to have control over our tongues, allowing God to control it and directing us where to go.
Psalm 54:3 “They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows.” The context of this passage of is the mockings of Israel’s enemies against them.
Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright, but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness”.
Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from trouble.”
Proverbs 25:23 “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a back biting tongue.”
Furthermore, a man even though he seems religious, yet not bridle his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is in vain (v.26)
4.Taking care of the needy (v.27). The author of the book concluded the first chapter in stating what it means to have a true religion. To make this clear, the religion mentioned here does not pertain to a particular religion, or a definition of what religion is, but an illustration of the right spirit of religion that leads to these acts.
To look after the needy is a proper attitude that we should posses as Christians and a better response to the word of God than doing nothing. The phrase “to visit” is in present tense form which tells us to have the habit of looking after them. Widows and the fathherless are the usual object of compassion and charity.
The final phrase “to keep himself unspotted from the world” is a very important phrase in here. This just tells us that this is still the best thing that we can do yet the most difficult thing to execute. To keep unspotted is to continue living under the grace of God.
Our religion is not only confined by what we believe nor by our doctrines, but in how we live and apply the things we believe.
God’s word today is very clear in telling us that we need to be doers and not merely hearers of the word.