Being A Doer of the Word

Book of James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The importance of being a doer of the Word.



We have been hanging out in the first chapter of James’s letter to the church. Last Sunday, we shared James’s urging to the church to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. This is so necessary in the current climate that we live in today; with this pandemic, protesting of civil injustice and when leadership in a high authority is so quick to say or tweet what they feel; we must be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
Now my brothers and sisters, James lifts up the importance of being a doer of what you heard.
James 1:22 KJV 1900
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
When we become doers of God’s Word it shows a powerful attribute of the believer: Obedience
James gives us an image of what an only-hearer looks like:
James 1:23–24 KJV 1900
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: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
In obedience, we show that, what we heard requires us to act on it. But one who is not a doer sees himself in a mirror; goes his way and before you know it, has forgotten what he looks like.
This gives us a disappointing view of when it comes to hearing the word of God, whether reading the word, hearing it in Sunday School, Bible Study or Sunday but the old phrase is shown that it goes in one ear and out the other.
That’s what a teacher would say to a student who ignored her instructions and didn’t do well on an assignment or test; or a coach would say to a player who went left when he should have went right; or a parent would say to a disobedient child.
James says that when we are only hearers, we deceive our own selves.
You know how we do when we only hear; we’ll nod and even say Amen but after the message has been preached, we won’t do anything.
Jesus shared in the Sermon on the Mount that whoever hears these saying and does them, is liken unto a wise man that built his house upon a rock. When the rain came and flood came and the winds blew and beat upon that house; but it did not fall because it was founded on a rock.
But those that hear these sayings and is not a doer, then Jesus likened him to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came, the flood came and the winds blew and beat the house and it fell and the fall was great.
The foolish man deceived himself, thinking the house could stand but Jesus had said earlier that not every one that says Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; only those that does the will of the Father.

What are you doing?

James describes the non-doer as being a man that looks at himself in the mirror; walks away and after a period of time forgets who he is and what he looks like.
Looking in the mirror is like hearing the Word of God; you can see how you really look and what areas in your life need attention to.
The saying in the days of James was this: Not the expounding of the law is the chief thing, but the doing of it.
Apostle Paul said that it is not the hearers of the law that are righteous but the doers who are justified.
Yes the Lord has opened up doors - yes the Lord has made a way out of no way - but in the words of Janet Jackson -

What have you done for Him lately?

In response to the question: I can hear many of those who claim to have a relationship with God. I have done some things: I go to church regularly or I’m at the parking lot services and I watch service online; I’m on the prayer conference call and Bible study conference call; I read the Bible every now and then
But if their is no obedience with your hearing then Houston we have a problem.
The theologian John Calvin stated that Obedience is the mother of true knowledge of God
When we don’t put into practice what we have heard; we misrepresent the Church, the Kingdom and things of God.

What have you done for Him lately?

James gives us an example of how a doer looks like:
James 1:25 KJV 1900
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.
There is a blessing in your doing. Here we see James gives us another image of one looking into the perfect law of liberty just like a mirror but this man sees into the perfect law of liberty.
You remember what Jesus said: And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Jesus said the truth makes us free rather than sets us free because when I am made free; I am free from the inside out; so even if I’m quarantined, I’m free. Even if I’m the hospital, I’m free; even if I’m incarcerated, I’m free.
There is nothing that can hold you, when you are free in the Lord!
This man that looks into the perfect law of liberty is not a forgetful hearer but he is a doer of the work.
As the old saying goes: Action speaks louder than words.

What have you done for Him lately?

What makes this man become a doer of the work

He is not a forgetful hearer

In other words, he didn’t forget what he use to be and he didn’t forget the one who changed his life.
As the old songwriter declared: Jesus I never forget, what you’ve done for me; Jesus I never forget, how you set me free; Jesus I never forget, how you brought me out; Jesus I never forget, no never
The only hearer forgets what manner he was but the doer says How can I forget; what you’ve done for me and he continues in what he sees; that is the liberating law of God and becomes a doer of the work

What have you done for Him lately?

The Image of a Doer

James 1:26 KJV 1900
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
James begins to shed light on a part of our body that always gets us in trouble. He goes into detail later on in the 3rd chapter. He talks about our tongue. Remember he instructed us to be slow to speak. In other words, we have to learn to keep our tongue in park.
We were told in school that “loose lips, sink ships”. Someone who goes around talking as if he is religious but has no filter. The reason why is because he deceives his own heart.
Deception is defined as the intentional misleading of another. So when we talk about self-deception then one believes the lie that they say is the truth.
Pastors more concern how many members they have but not feeding the flock
Preachers more concern about what they know but never put what they know into practice
Trustees more concern about money but you can’t trust them with ministry
Deacons want to flex their position but never make themselves available for anyone
Missionaries more concern about a meeting but never want to do missions
They hear what the word says what they should but never do but they believe and say that they are religious.
Like a dull knife, just ain’t cutting; Talking loud and saying nothing. Just blowing hot air; this man’s religion is vain.
The sad part of this my brother and sisters is that instead of following the truth of God, they mimic the ways of the deceiver.

As I close, James defines what pure religion and being undefiled before God looks like

What we do to others
And what we do with ourselves
He is not trying to give a complete view but he shows how one must do if he is a child of God
How we should act in this world should mirror our big brother Jesus Christ; who said what the greatest commandment is:
To love God with all your mind, heart and soul
When we give God our all, we reject a spotted and dirty relationship with this mean and cruel world
That love is what keeps us unspotted
In others our life basically says that “I rather have the Father more than anything”
Why because He is my everything
Then Jesus said that the second is likened unto the first
To love your neighbor as yourself
James said that should look like one who visits the fatherless or orphans and widows in their affliction
The orphans & widows are the most vulnerable
The support required for them is more than average
Whether we realize it or not, we were vulnerable in this world. We were sinking deep in sin - far from the peaceful shore - buried deeply stained within - sinking to rise no more - but the master of the sea - heard our despairing cry - from the waters - we can say - he lifted me - now so safe am i
love lifted me - when nothing else could help - love lifted me
so i don’t know why - jesus loved me
i don’t know why - he cared
i don’t know why - he sacrificed his life
oh but i’m glad - so glad he did
In other words - he was just not a hearer but a doer
what did he do?
He went to calvary - yes he did
he died for you and me - yes he did
but that ain’t all - early - sunday morning
he arose - he arose - he arose - from the grave
Just like he said he would
And I’m so glad - what I heard - that’s what He did
And because He lives in us - we can be hearers and doers
because he lives - what can we do - we can face tomorrow
because he lives - all fear is gone
because we know - he holds the future - our life is worth living - all because he lives-
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