James 1:22-25 – A Hearer and a Doer of God’s Word

INTRO: Consider (and assess as to which group you belong)—

  • There are those who cannot understand the Word of God, as they are blinded or are spiritually dead (See 1 Cor. 1:18, Eph 2:1-4, John 10:10, John 14:6)
  • There are those who understand God’s Word but do not obey
  • There are those who understand AND obey.
  1. The Call to Live Out God’s Word —Stay consistently obedient to God’s Word, even in the midst of trials and persecution.“Keep on becoming”- believers are to continue to apply the truth of God’s Word on a day to day basis— that is, to walk in wisdom!
  2. The Contrast between doers of the Word and hearers only (See Matthew 7:24-27). James uses the “mirror” to refer to God’s Word that allows us to “see” our condition. As a mirror allows us to see what our outward appearance looks like, the Word of God allows us to see what our inner appearance looks like. (1) The one who is a hearer only does nothing after he has “seen” what needs to be done, according to God’s Word. He neglects to practice what he knows to be true. He does not obey; (2) The doer of the Word, in contrast, does not neglect to do what he is commanded and does not forget what he has “seen” to be true. He acts upon what he has heard and learned; and, is blessed in his doing. 
  3. The “perfect law”—this law does not refer to the Mosaic law, as this “perfect law” is described as the “law of liberty.” See Rom. 7:5-6 where it is explained that one is “bound” by the Mosaic law because of sin and is in contrast to the law of liberty mentioned in James 1:25. See also Rom. 7:13 where it is explained that the Mosaic law is unable to make a sinner complete before God; rather, it reveals our condition as sinners before a holy God. See Rom. 8:2 where it is said that, In contrast to the Mosaic law, “the law of the Spirit of life has set [the believer] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
  4. The promise to the doer of the Word, to the one who “perseveres”— he will be blessed in his doing. Therefore, prove yourselves to be doers of the Word, for you would only be deceiving or betraying yourself if you were a hearer only. How foolish to deceive yourself!

Which are we? Are we hearers only? Or are we hearers AND doers of the Word? Are we genuine in our profession of being followers of Christ?

Listen to the sermon here.

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