Saturday, May 20, 2006

James 1:19-27 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; [20] for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. [21] Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. [22] But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. [23] 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. [24] For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. [25] 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. [26] If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. [27] Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

I believe James’s teaching in this passage needs to be proclaimed in every church in America. God is not fooled by people who come to church, listen to the Word of God proclaimed, and yet never act on what they hear. God is not fooled by people who claim to believe His Word when in fact their lives remain unchanged.

Do you know that 60 percent of Americans claim to be “born again” believers? Listen, if this were actually true America would be a different country. The sexual immorality, materialism and selfishness that presently pervade this nation would be greatly diminished. Our politicians and judges would not get away with calling good evil and calling evil good. Over 50 percent of all marriages would not end in divorce. If 60 percent of Americans were truly Doers of the Word righteousness would prevail in America and spill over into uttermost parts of the earth. As it stands today, America’s greatest export is filth and wickedness.

What about you this morning? Are you a Doer of the Word or merely a hearer who has deluded yourself? Are you a person who claims to be believer, but yet your life remains unchanged? Is your faith dead or alive? Folks this is so important! Listen, church goers do not inherit eternal life. Hearers of the Word only do not inherit eternal life. So called believers with dead faith do not inherit eternal life. Only Doers of the Word inherit eternal life! That’s why I am sharing this message. I want each and every one of you to inherit eternal life. My Heavenly Father desires that none should perish but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth! Please hear and respond to His Word this morning.

Now I want you to understand that James is not saying and I am not saying that you earn salvation by doing. Salvation comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have faith in Jesus Christ you will become a “Doer of the Word.” Saving faith changes your life! Dead faith leaves you just as you are!

Christian, are you a Doer of the Word or a forgetful Hearer? Do you cooperate with the Holy Spirit in continually stripping off the old humanity? Are you humbly receiving and submitting to the Word. Is it your “how to guide for life?” Or are you conveniently picking and choosing what you’ll obey and what you’ll ignore. To do so is the height of pride. As James will say later “God gives grace to the humble but He resists the proud.” Do you feel like God is resisting you? Maybe you need to examine your life more closely this morning. If God is resisting you it’s due to the fact you have been to proud to do things His way. Are you abiding in the Word? Is your life marked by self-control, acts of service to meet the needs of others and holiness? Are you a Doer of the Word? Don’t be deceived! Only Doers of the Word inherit eternal life because their faith is genuine!

Folks let me clear up any confusion you might have. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not by works. But if we are truly saved then we shall be Doers of the Word! If you are a Hearer only and not a Doer your lost! If you claim to be believer and there is no fruit or “works” to use James’s words, to verify or prove genuine your faith then you’re lost! So I ask again; are you a Doer of the Word? If not, then the first step in becoming a Doer of the Word is believing in the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. Will you turn away from your sin and believe in Jesus Christ? Will you become a Doer of the Word?

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