So, in James, we've been looking at this idea of fight right? That as Christians, we're not called to some sort of passive life that we are called to actively engage in the life that we live. We are called to actively fight against certain things. And today we're going to look from this passage that Bryant just read for us. We're going to look at how we as Christians ought to be fighting against hypocrisy. Now how many of you, hypocrisy is a new word for? How many of you've heard that word before? How many of you have invited somebody to church only to have them say I don't go to church it's just full of it.
That you can read Janice, okay. Here's the thing the church is not full of hypocrites. We have plenty of room for more.
How to be honest that is not original to me. I stole it from a Facebook post. So in order to not be a hypocrite, I want to attribute my source there. Right hip ocracy is the inevitable result of two things serving a perfect Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not being him. Our call as Christians is to look like Jesus. Our call as Christians is to obey his commands. And yet every single one of us will fall short. So I'm many people's understanding of what hypocrisy is. Yes, the church is full of Hypocrites because we cannot do that. We cannot live up to the standard of Christ because we're sinners. We are not sitting here because we're perfect or at least if you're sitting here because you're perfect. You're in the wrong place. okay, because none of the rest of us are we are hypocrites if we say we have to match up with Jesus. That's a hypocrite in many people's idea. But that's not actually what hypocrisy is. That's not what James would tell us to fight. James would not look at us right in the last week we talked about this that James is the one who refers to himself as the Servants of God here. This is a humble man. This is not a man who is standing up and saying be perfect like I am perfect. That's not James. He recognizes did he fall short of this ideal? He recognizes that we fall short of this ideal. So hypocrisy Is not falling short of perfection. Hypocrisy is not what many people assume it's it's you don't say one thing and do one things wrong and then go and do that thing Megan and I my wife and I we were shortly unless you actually we haven't graduated college with her Junior and Senior year of college. We went and did a church planting internship in a little town called, Frederick, Colorado. Now this was the same year that Ted Haggard from New Life Church in Colorado Springs outspoken an outspoken Evangelical was caught in some pretty bad Sin and so as we are going in and we're trying to share the gospel with people who have no interested all we keep hearing is I don't want to hear about that Christians are just a bunch of Hypocrites like that guy down in Colorado Springs.
Hypocrites are not people who say this is wrong and then turn around and do it though, biblically. Hypocrite, biblically and I I think James will Define it for us this morning that hypocrite is someone who talks the talk without walking the walk but not necessarily just somebody who does the bad thing. They told you not to do they are also those who say this is the thing we ought to do and proceeded to not do it. Will we be perfect? No, are we Hypocrites by that definition? Yes, but but that's not the end of the story. That's not where James leaves us either. Right? So he says as Bryant read inverse night starting at verse 19 know this my beloved Brothers let every person be quick to hear slow to speak slow to anger. For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness.
Okay. Well that sounds like we've got our marching orders, right? The marching order is that we the Christian that the Christ follower the one who submit to the Father of Lights from whom comes every good gift as we looked at last week that we Aren't producing the righteousness of God. with our anger then that we are not furthering the cause of Christ if we're simply talking a good game. That we are not furthering the cause of Christ when we stand up on our soapbox and yell about the evils of the world all the while knowing that that is what is in our hearts. The sin we most loudly condemning others frequently is the sin that has its roots in our own heart. James says look don't don't do that. The world doesn't need Christians who are slow to hear and quick to speak and quick to anger. The world does not need our indignation. How many of you look at the world? And that's about the only word that can sum up your feelings towards of indignation. Now, you know, I'm getting ready to say that we don't need that but
that's where I get sometimes I pull up social media. I watch the news very very very rarely. Because what often is third is just indignation anger. How can they do that? What were they thinking? James says that's not what the world needs the world needs us to be transformed. The world needs us to look more like Jesus. They don't need us to go spouting off at the mouth. They need us to show a different way right hypocrites. That's what we fight. We fight being Hypocrites who just talked a good angry game Who reveal our indignation with sin? That's not what we do. James says don't do that. Don't do that instead instead be transformed if the world is quick to speak you be quick to hear if it's the world is quick to anger you be slow to anger. Shirts, you should look different from the world that preaches a better sermon then all of the yelling and screaming you could ever do about abortion or homosexuality.
Be the change. Right you guys heard that phrase right? We're all we're all woke, right? We're all 21st century people. We all understand Twitter and Facebook outraged. Right? We we we get it will you know, what's going on? We want to be the change and James says, yeah, that's exactly right.
Be different. Don't be mad be different Madeleine l'engle how many of you know that name Madeleine l'engle. Oh my goodness. We have to fix this.
So each one of you upon leaving this place today ought to go to your favorite book store and ask for a copy of A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine l'engle don't watch the movie. I agree. Either of them. If not yet done a good job with it. Madeleine l'engle is a very successful. I would argue author she writes fiction she writes essays, but what a lot of people don't realize is Madeleine l'engle is a Christian a strong Christian and I want you to hear how she says this is listen to what she says. We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are. But by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.
Church the world does not need our anger our indignation the world needs our transformation. Great. Fantastic. Everybody go do good stuff is not where this message in. You can't do that there what I said, you can't live up to the righteousness of Christ. You cannot meet the standards you for all your good intentions cannot be the change that the world needs to see. And that's why we need to finish reading verse 21. He doesn't just say hey be be slow to anger be be be quick to hear be slow to speak put away filthiness put away the rampant wickedness pervasive wickedness or prevalent. I really like tell Bryant's translation said that the wickedness that is so prevalent, right put all that away. But he says there's a very specific way that that happens. Look at the end of verse 21. Universe 21 says receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls. Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul. How do you be the change? How do you take your work this and impact the world? Well, the first thing you do is shut up. The second thing you do is submit to God and let him do the work that only he can do which is to put his word inside you how many of you have ever been confused reading the Bible? If you are into Sunday school class, I taught this morning. You should be raising your hand. Because I confuse myself teaching that lesson. Write the word is not always crystal clear. Does that mean we toss the whole thing? Now it says we receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. That's how the transformation takes place when instead of it being my good idea to put away filthiness and rampant wickedness. When instead of being my good idea to keep my mouth shut when it said of being my good idea to not get angry when I recognized bass work God's going to have to do inside of me. I'm going to have to fundamentally change the way I view the world if this is going to be true and that comes to the word of God taking root that word implanted is very very very significant here. Right when we say we want to be the change we want to be transformed. It's not that we grit our teeth and try harder as a brother shared with me this week is that we submit to God and we say Lord come do this work that only you can do change my mind fill me with this not with my own good ideas. Receive with meekness the implanted word that that word implanted. Guess what it means. Implanted that's what it means. What left this isn't some Greek study we're going to do it's going to blow your mind then planted. I actually was looking for something like that this week when I was studying this passage. I'm like, oh, there's got to be some really cool Greek behind this and it just means implanted.
What is something that is implanted? It's something that is outside of me that nonetheless becomes a part of me think about a field right? We're coming into that time. It's almost Mother's Day. The snow is almost off the mountain. You can almost plant your garden right almost because guarantee it'll snow II you do. All right. When you plant your garden, what you are doing is taking something that is foreign to that soil say the tomatoes that you want to enjoy later on in the summer and you are putting it in there. You are putting it in there. The word is the same way you put yourself in a position of humility. And you say Okay, Lord, you come do the work that only you can do and the spirit of God takes that word and he planted in you you could read the Bible from sunup to sundown for the next 365 days and you would accomplish a lot of reading. But if you are doing so out of a pride that says I'm going to get through as much of the Bible as I can so I can prove everybody else how smart I am. You're not going to have the word implanted in you. You have to approach it with humility. Say Lord, you do this Lord change my way of thinking plant. This word in me like that tomato plant does not naturally grow in the garden, but naturally goat's grows in the garden weeds weeds grow naturally in a garden tomato plants, not so much. The change that James is saying not to be in you that's not going to be natural. Weeds are what's natural to you? But the fruit that's something that the spirit of God in Plants the word and it begins. It's it's it's not you it's not you it's God doing this and you have to have the humility to say God you got to do this work in plant this in me, right? But you have to go to the word the word is the source of transformation. Paul says in Romans be transformed by the renewing of your mind, right the spirit inside of us changes the way we approach the word of God from being something we used to win arguments. How many of you guys did Bible drill sword drill? Right. I love it. I love what we as Christians do with the word of God. Hey, let's take this thing. It's all about God and let's turn it into a competition and let's get some eight and nine-year-olds to start beating each other over the head because one of them was slightly faster to find John 3:16. You're not familiar with the sword drill that reference makes no sense to you whatsoever. Georgia elected leader would call out of her ass and everybody has to flip to it first and the first one to stand up and read the verses wins, whatever only Americans could turn the Bible into a competitive sport. I tell you what
But now I know where to receive with meekness this word when we come to the word we submit ourselves to God. Hey, that's what changes us. That's what is what allows us to impact the world with something other than just indignation with something other than just anger. That's what allows us to go to the world and instead of saying you be different we say look what God did to me. He made me difference as Madeline. Engel said we become show them a light. That is so lovely. They want with all their hearts to know the source of it. That's our call Christian not to be cultural Crusaders not to be the Moral Majority our call is to be different and that only happens when we submit ourselves to the word of God when when we submit ourselves to the word of God what happens look at verse 22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving yourselves 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 the mirror. Excuse me for he looks at himself and goes away and it once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law the law of Liberty and perseveres being no here who forgets. But it do or who acts he will be blessed in his doing. when the word of God takes root in US We don't just hear it. We do what it says. I want you to get that when the word of God takes root in it when it is implanted when the Holy Spirit steaks what is not natural to us to our desires into our minds and he puts it inside of us. It is inevitably Bears fruits. We inevitably do what it says if we don't it's not implanted. Right, if I go out to my garden in August not having done a single thing with it all year and I go out there and I say where's my tomatoes?
Am I going to find tomatoes? Consequently, if we just listen to the word, but it's not implanted in us and then we show up later like where's my fruit? Well, it's not going to be there the words not in you there for the transformation doesn't take place there for the fruit isn't seeing the image that James uses is like a person who looks in the mirror. And walks away and forgets what he looks like now gentlemen, some of us can probably relate to this. Looking at some of you I'm thinking. Yep. Yep. That's about what happened this morning. I didn't shave on purpose this morning just for this analogy right here. No, I just forgot actually. Oh wait that makes the analogy work. Anyways, but ladies, I want you to imagine a scenario with me and some of you guys were a little bit more image-conscious right? You can maybe identify with this suit you wake up. It's a beautiful day. The birds are singing.
The flowers outside or filling the room with this fragrance in your eyes. Just open you feel rested. You feel revived you go to the bathroom and right there is the biggest pimple you've ever seen in your life.
Sorry, some of you that's really grow some of your like who I watch this show.
Bear with me you see it. You say at me like I got church today. I rested. Well, I feel great. I'm going to do something about this. And you turn around and walk out the door and show up to church. There it is. James is like if you're reading the word of God it is if you're seeing the word of God if it's in front of you and the Holy Spirit has implanted it in you it changes you if it doesn't change you. It's not in you. If I don't do anything about what I see in the mirror, it doesn't matter to me. I don't care enough to take action. I've not actually been concerned with how you all perceive me. I'm not even concerned with what people might assume about me. Right if we as Christians look into the word of God and say oh wow, Jesus loved other people. Oh my goodness. Jesus submitted everything. He did to his father. Wow. Jesus said that it's my primary objective is a disciple to go and make more disciples. I'm going to memorize that verse go therefore and Make Disciples of every nation baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that commanded you and behold I will be with you until the very end of the age fantastic. I just memorized the Bible it's inside me and I walk out my door. I don't mention Jesus to a single person and I instead and brat lying and cheating and stealing my way to the top. I'm doing everything I can to meet every single desire. The cross is my little Broken Heart Right. If that's me the words not implanted in me. If I look at the word of God missing man, Jesus love people man. Jesus submitted everything. He did to the father said to go and make disciples. I'm going to memorize that and I walk out my door. Man, you guys got to know this. Look at what Jesus did for me Jesus Took somebody who was all about himself Jesus Took somebody who is totally concerned with making sure that everybody liked him and now he's giving me a renewed sense of purpose and he's given me a mission and I want to share with you the greatest news I could ever share.
That's transformation. Right if we look into the Bible and it says do this and the Holy Spirit has implanted that in us we walk out and guess what we do. weed whip we do it. Not because we're so amazing. We already discussed this we can't do that. We can't plant the word in us. We can't produce the fruit. Does that but if he's done that then we change when we walk out the door. It's it's not just that we hear the word and we do it right. It's that we don't just talk about it see a lot of times what we do what we recognized you and I and I am putting myself in here intentionally. We recognize I'm supposed to do something with the word. And so I have a daily quiet time and I read the Bible and then every week I go to church and I said was other people who read their Bibles and we talked about the Bible and then once a month we take communion together and you know, occasionally put some money in a plate. You don't know and then maybe it's as if I'm super scared. I might even show up to the first Wednesday prayer nights. And yet what I haven't done.
Is actually done what the word says. Because the word doesn't say receive with meekness the implanted word that says, you know what remove yourself from society huddle with other people and talk about the Bible. Contrary to popular conception. This is part of your obedience being here for church. The Bible said that we ought not to forsake Gathering Together. Did you know that's only one little small part of it? The purpose for which we have been changed is so that we can be the change so that we can transform the world outside these walls. Jesus said it's not the healthy who need a doctor came to reach the sick. Guess what you were sick and when Christ found you you were on death's door. You were dead. Actually Ephesian says That's what you were. But you weren't made well, so you could sit around and hang out with all the other. Well people you were made well to go and reach the sick to go and tell them there is a cure for the sickness that will kill you. There is something out there that will change this for you. Where we meant to take the word of God. And not just talk about it with each other. We're going to take the word of God and go out into the world where the needs are. That's the final thing. I want to say look at verses 26 and 27. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not Bridle his tongue but deceives his heart. This person's religion is worthless.
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. James is saying hearing the word in talking about it cannot be a substitute for hearing the word and changing the world. Talking about the Bible is a very important part of discipleship. That's why we have Sunday school. That's why we encourage you guys get involved in one of the Sunday school class. We have we have with Dan talk about him last week and I don't want to repeat his mistake and leave the ladies class out. So I'm not going to even try but if you're on Sunday school, I'd encourage you to get in there. We in Sunday school dive into the word of God together and say okay what to say in talking about the word of God is important but it can't stop there and if all this church does is get together and talk about the Bible without ever going out and finding some widows. You need some orphans you need. What did James say?
Oh, that kind of religion is worthless. So don't get mad at me for saying that James said it the Holy Spirit inspired him to write and if you're feeling convicted because your tongue is not Bridal, you can talk this week when we say when we re James saying Bridle your tongue. We often think so he's saying don't curse. Oh, he's saying don't speak out of turn. That's not what he's saying in context. He's saying don't talk a religious game.
If you're not going to play.
Don't talk about your faith only. Do it if you're talking about your face and you can parse Greek and Hebrew and you can name all 66 books of the Bible in order. If you can provide a synopsis of every single one of them. Does anybody who asks if you're the first in the sword drill?
But you're not actually meeting the needs of the people around you. Your neighbor who just lost her husband.
the teenager who's troubled failing at school because of things that he just doesn't tell anybody.
Hey if we're not engaged there. James says that's worthless. That's not transformation that the world needs what the need world needs from us is not another Bible study. We need to Bible study so that we can receive with meekness the words. It's implanted.
But the world doesn't need that the world needs us. in the power of the spirit to live out the truth that we've seen from the word. There is a very very very very real Danger. for us as Christians by having the freedom that we do in this country by being able to have a Bible study on Sunday morning and then being able to gather and Sue open the word of God together. And then to have Bible studies in our community that we can be a part of you could literally even here where it's like 4% Evangelical. You could almost attend an Evangelical Bible study every day of the week. If you build relationships with people from other churches, which I'd encourage you to do actually that's a good idea. The work of God in this area does not stop at these four walls. I just want to be clear about that. But if you got to know some people from Valley Bible and some people from Sunrise and some people from Calvary. You can literally be in a Bible study almost every day of the week.
That's great. That's awesome that you have that freedom. But don't let that freedom distract you into thinking that attending a Bible study every day of the week. Is you obeying God. It very well may be the talking about your face. Is your cover for not engaging in the hard work of meeting needs in the world around you? How many viewers celebrity Awards Watchers Grammys? Man, I don't even know what they are. This is clearly not my ballpark.
Tony's is there something else? I don't member the Oscars right? I forgot about that.
I love award shows not to partake of but just to laugh at you get all these people dressed up in like $20,000 dresses. Wearing $15,000 shoes who just flew in and their $3000000 jet saying we need to save the world. We need to end world hunger.
I'm laughing you're laughing but is that what the church has become?
And we put on a religious show.
Do we take our money and meet our needs? So that we can come and be comfortable.
or do we turn around and say there's some orphans around this world? To need some help later this year if it's all goes well in the Lord Wills, we're going to be welcoming Nicole Visser who is the she's the head of the founder of the entirely overworked Runner of kids for Christ School in Kenya. She's going to come and she's going to get to spend some time with us here.
I don't want to put on a religious show. When somebody who is literally put her life on hold to meet the needs of Orphans and kids with families, but who don't have access to basic things like schooling and Healthcare. I don't want to put on a religious show when she strip shows up.
right We don't want to put on the award show and say we should be concerned about evangelizing the world. We should be concerned about the widows. We should be concerned about the orphaned then walk out those doors and do nothing about it and show up next week and do the same old gig. guys The world does not need us to be angry. The world needs us to be changed. We won't be changed until we receive with humility the word of God when we do that. We don't just hear it. We don't just sit here on Sunday morning be like Christian duties done. We don't just talk about it with one another we go out and change the world. If you want in on that. I encourage you. Do it a walk out of here and forget what we talked about. Just pray with me.