FAITH WORKS OBEDIENTLY

 

James 1:22-25

FAITH WORKS OBEDIENTLY, PM 11/20/05

FAITH WORKS #6

 

 

Obedience – We all like it when those who should obey us, do.  Actually, we even like it when those who shouldn’t obey us, do!

 

Obedience is something we like to receive, but not always something we like to give.

 

This week James continues his thoughts on the Word of God by telling us that FAITH WORKS OBEDIENTLY

 

Those who have been regenerated by the Word of God are not only to respond being “swift to hear, slow to, speak and slow to wrath, and by receiving with meekness the engrafted word”.

 

They are to respond in obedience to the Word of God.

If you think about it, the most important thing we can ever do is obey God.

That’s the only way we could have been saved.

God said, “You’re not good enough to save yourself!”

God said, “I’ll send my sinless son to die for your sins!”

God said, “I’ll resurrect my Son from the dead!”

God said, “And to whoever obeys me by simply trusting Jesus Christ by faith, I will give that person eternal life.”

Salvation is a matter of obedience! John 3:16

 

John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

And if you are saved, by faith you said something like this, “Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner who doesn’t deserve Heaven, but I believe you died for me, were buried, and have risen again. I trust you alone for forgiveness and eternal life. I accept you as my Savior!”

   

Trusting Christ as Savior was the first step you made in obeying God. It is by no means to be your last. Tonight in James we see that Faith works obediently. We see that:

 

OBEDIENCE IS COMMANDED – Vs. 22a

 

James 1:22a - But be ye doers of the word,

 

Not only are we to confess our sins and humbly receive what God has to say according to verse 21, we are also to do what the Word of God says!   

It takes more than listening intently to please God.

It takes more than accepting what God has to say.

We must become obedient to God, doers of the Word.

 

You say that you love the Lord Jesus because of what He has done for you to give you eternal life.  Listen to what Jesus has to say:

 

John 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.

 

John 14:21 - He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

 

Obedience has always been important to God. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

   

To be a “doer of the word” should be a personality trait.

In other words, obeying God’s Word should be our purpose in life.

A “doer of the word” should be part of my identity.

 

We should not obey what we see or hear in the Word of God just when it suits our fancy. We should obedient to the Word of God whether we like it or not, whether we agree or not.   

 

One of my favorite Old Testament characters is King Hezekiah.  Hezekiah was a “doer of the word”.

2 Kings 18:3-7a, 2 Chronicles 31:20-21

 

I see a decision to be made here.  Am I, once and for all, going to be a “doer of the word”?

If I am, obedience is to God is to be my goal, and my lifestyle.  Not just obedience when I feel like it.

 

DISOBEDIENCE IS CONDEMNED – Vss. 22b-24

 

James 1:22 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 

There’s nothing wrong with being a “hearer” of the word.

We should hear the word by listening to sermons, Sunday School Lessons, radio messages and Bible Studies.  We should hear the Word when we read it and study it.  In fact we are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

We already heard James say in James 1:21, Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

 

But we are to be more than just hearers of the Word.

We are to be doers of the Word.

Someone who is only a hearer is deceiving, deluding, fooling himself!

   

I believe that there will be many people at the Judgment Seat of Christ who are going to be shocked.  They were deceived into thinking that just because they made a profession of faith and/or walked an aisle, they were going to Heaven.   

   

If a person experiences no change in his life, no desire to obey, no desire to live differently because Christ has saved him, that person is in big trouble at Judgment Time.

There are many Christians who study the Word profusely, who wouldn’t go to a church unless it had sound Bible preaching, who know the Bible well, but will be in big trouble when they face their Lord.

 

If you think that listening to good preaching and studying your Bible are enough, you are sadly mistaken. You are fooling yourself. Obedience is required.

 

You may think that I mention coming judgment all too often.  However, coming judgment for the Christian and non-Christian alike are coming. 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

  

James 1:23-24 - 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.

 

In Bible times they did have mirrors.  They were not made of glass but off shiny metal.  Some were even made of silver or gold.  By careful study you could get an idea of what you looked like. 

Imagine someone looking in a mirror, going his way, and promptly forgetting what he looked like. He was forgetful.   

 

A person who hears the word without doing it is like that forgetful person who looks in a mirror.

 

His mirror is the Word of God. As he looks in it he will find the truth about God, about mankind in general, and about himself in particular.

 

He hears what God has to say and promptly forgets or ignores it.

 

Don’t listen to a sermon or read the Bible just to be entertained or inspired and then go your merry way.

Instead, the response of obedience is required.

Do what the word of God says!

 

OBEDIENCE IS COMMENDED – Vs. 25

 

James 1:25 - 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 person in this verse is studying the mirror as well.

But this person is a more avid student.

He takes his studies a step further.

He continues in what he reads. 

He doesn’t forget.

He obeys!

 

Here the Word of God is called the “Law of liberty”.

It is in obeying the principals of the Word of God that one is set free from the bondage of sin.

John 8:31-32, 36, Romans 8:1-4

 

Obedience leads to freedom.

Freedom from worry

Freedom from unforgiveness

Freedom from doubt and fear

Freedom from bondage to habits

Freedom from insecurity

Freedom from anger

And freedom from a host of other things

These are just a few of the blessings that come when we become doers of the word and not just hearers.

 

I want to close by reading you some verses from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  These verses underscore just how important being a doer of the Word is. Matthew 7:21-27

 

Faith works obediently. We see that:

 

OBEDIENCE IS COMMANDED – Vs. 22a

DISOBEDIENCE IS CONDEMNED – Vss. 22b-24

OBEDIENCE IS COMMENDED – Vs. 25   

 

 

 

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