Serious disciples, committed Christians, victorious believers, don’t just give the Bible a quick glance. We examine it in the way James 1:22-25 describes.
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Study Means Action
- We spent a little time in James on a previous episode
- We’re back in James today to have a closer look
- The word of God contains commands for disciples
- How will those of us who believe respond?
- James 1 tells us
- It will be our focus today on the theme “Study Means Action”
- Serious disciples, committed Christians, victorious believers, don’t just give the Bible a quick glance
- We examine it in the way this passage describes
- And when we do, obedience follows
- What does our text say about it?
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
- It is possible to hear the word, then to deceive ourselves
- To have seen something about ourselves, based on what the scripture says
- Then to simply walk away, failing to internalize and act upon the instruction it has provided
- There are no specifics that are given
- The scriptures could tell us a number of things about ourselves
- All may not be good
- We could have a problematic attitude
- Or a broken relationship
- Or a flawed perspective
- Or a weight that we carry
- Or a sin we continue to commit
- Whatever the case, God’s word is used by the Spirit of God to reveal it
- We can walk away and forget
- But those who are committed to a successful walk with Christ will not…
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
- The first man – the one who walked away – beheld
- He observed, he considered attentively
- But he immediately forgot
- This man stoops to look into the scripture
- He does so carefully and curiously
- He does so as one who would become acquainted with something
- This is a deeper level of consideration
- And he continues in it
- He remains beside it
- He abides in it
- This is something to which he devotes time
- And something that requires work
- When he does this, he doesn’t forget
- Instead, he does
- The study produces action
- It means response
- Whatever the mirror has shown to be the case deserves attention
- And he gives it that attention
- If it is a change, he makes it
- If it is a new direction, he takes it
- If it means eliminating something, he eliminates it
- What it tells him, he does
- But it began with knowing
- With digging deep
- With making a commitment to know
- Caring to know
- Perhaps the man who forgot didn’t care to know?
- That’s why it was so easy for him to forget
- We must not place ourselves in this category
- We are seeking the mind of God in scripture
- In it we find who He is
- We find what He wants
- What He thinks
- What His expectations are for His children
- The God of the Universe!
- How can this be something that is only worth minor, disconnected consideration?
- For the committed disciple, it should not be
- Focus, effort, attention, meditation, discussion, examination should be convened
- With a prior commitment to obey
- Yes, we must come to the word expecting to act
- Never to walk away and forget
- This is the perfect law of liberty
- The ERV puts the passage this way…
“But when you look into God’s perfect law that sets people free, pay attention to it. If you do what it says, you will have God’s blessing. Never just listen to his teaching and forget what you heard.”
- This is a message perfected by God
- And it sets us truly free, eternally free
- The man who looks, almost without care, and forgets remains bound in some ways
- Perhaps he has been set free in salvation
- But he returns to the bondage he should avoid
- For the purposes of this life, he lives as though he hasn’t been made free
- What have we learned?
- Look deeper
- Spend time
- Exert effort in study
- Then do
- Doing will mean freedom and blessing