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A Doer of the Word

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“Be a Doer”  Proper Reception to the Word

James 1:22-26

I.                    Introduction

a.       Telling the real thing from the fake

                                                               i.      “It’s the Real Thing”

1.       1886 John Stith Pemberton, pharmacist

a.       Carbonated water and syrup

2.       After much legal disputes over the claims and rights to the formula, the CocaCola Company was established in 1892

a.       Now it served in restaurants and vending machines in over 200 countries in the world

b.       It was even certified as kosher in 1935 by Rabbi Tobias Geffen

b.       Sisters looking at a purse

                                                               i.      How do you tell a real Louis Vuitton from a fake

1.       If it claims to be “brand new” costs under $300- then it is a fake.

2.       If the LV logo is rightside up on both sides, it is a fake.

3.       If is claimed to be “brand new” and is sold on eBay-then it is a fake.

4.       If the piping is not leather, then it is a fake.

5.       If there is no “date code” –then it is a fake.

6.       If your friend bought it for you in Korea-then it is a fake.

c.        James is addressing the evidence of true faith, helping us to see for ourselves the genuineness of our faith

Reading of the Passage James 1:22-26

Opening Prayer

II.                  Importance

a.       As important as having the proper reception to the Word, without obedience to its truths it is not only without benefit but it becomes further judgment against its readers

                                                               i.      It is essential to hear the word with an attitude of submission- but even that is not enough

                                                              ii.      Obedience to the Word is the most basic spiritual requirement and is the common denominator of all believers.

                                                            iii.      Beloved, there is nothing more encouraging to a pastor when he can open to anywhere in the bible and its congregations will submit and obey

1.       The bottom line of a true spiritual life is not a momentary feeling of compliance but a long term obedience to Scripture

b.       Friday night biblestudy, we are covering the Book of Nehemiah- the story of the return of the Jews from their seventy years of captivity in Babylon

                                                               i.      Their first desire was the rebuilding of the temple to worship God but they also needed to rebuild the city’s walls

                                                              ii.      Through the leadership of Nehemiah, the people were able to do this feat in fifty-two days

1.       Once that was done, the people clearly acknowledged that the hand of God had brought them back and empowered them

2.       Neh. 8:1-8

                                                            iii.      The prophet Ezra and others took turns reading and interpreting the Law to the people

1.       That reading and hearing of the Word started a spiritual revival in Israel

2.       That is how all revivals begin- with the reading of the Word

a.       From the beginning one can see that the people stood in reverence in the reading of the Law-

b.       then they bowed down worshipping God on their faces in humility

c.        they also wept-0 but at the end of the day, v. 10

3.       true revival involves confession of sins, 9:1-3

4.       after the display of sorrows and confession of sins, there is a covenant of obedience, 10:28-29

a.       those under the godly instruction and leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah responded properly, their confession of sin, celebration of forgiveness and their covenant to obedience

b.       and to those who consistently disobeyed God’s Word, they displayed that they were without the life of God in their souls

c.        that is the theme of the epistle of James, v. 22

                                                                                                                                       i.      “prove yourselves to be doers of the Word”

                                                            iv.      “prove yourself”

1.       Literal translation means “keep on striving” “be continually”

2.       The three elements of proper reception of the Word

a.       Submission, purity and humility

b.       When you read the bible and read the passages “put away immorality, lying, deceit…” I know people like that, I wish they would read the bible”

c.        When you come to passages like, “put on compassion, humility and gentleness”  Oh, that’s me

3.       Humility is to see all the bad stuff to be you and all the good stuff to be God

a.       To be a doer of the Word is not one who find himself satisfied with knowledge but one who is constantly broken and humbled by the Word so that it produces obedience

c.        Just as there are three elements of our proper reception to the Word, there is also three elements in our response to the Word

III.               (in relation to himself) Willingness to Apply Without Deception, vv. 22-26

a.       Any response to the Word other than faithful obedience is self deceptive

                                                               i.      “Delude”  Paralogizomai- reason alongside

1.       i.e. incorrect reasoning, often includes the idea of deliberate false reasoning for the purpose of deception

2.       professing Christians who hear the Word and do not obey it

                                                              ii.      One who looks into a mirror are making a serious spiritual miscalculation- you are deluding yourself

1.       If a profession of faith does not accompany a changed life that hungers and thirst for God’s Word- then that profession is merely that just a profession

2.       In order to illustrate this, James offers an analogy, v.23

                                                            iii.      “look” in the greek is a careful examination

1.       The mirrors in the ancient world were not made of glass- that came much later but they were made of polished metals

a.       One had to look intently to get the right lighting, right angle

b.       But then he leaves he forgets what he has seen

                                                                                                                                       i.      It is the forgetting that is the point of the analogy

c.        How many of you know people who are addicted to mirrors?

                                                                                                                                       i.      They can’t pass by a mirror without looking at themselves

1.       Gosh I’m good lookin’

2.       Some of you are deluding yourselves

3.       Ladies, you are in trouble when your man is looking not at you nor other women but himself

4.       The reason why we have to keep looking in the mirror is because haven’t we forgotten what we look like?

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Vanity- what drives vanity like all self loves- insecurities

2.       Whether you were distracted or not pleased with what you had seen, you simply forgot- all the careful attention was wasted

a.       A person would read or hear and then go off and immediately forgets what he had seen in the mirror- but there are more devastating consequences- he sees his sin portrayed for the evil it is and then sees God’s provision through Jesus, yet he goes off as though those realities did not exist

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.Hebrews 6:4-6

                                                            iv.      when you forget where you left something

1.       you will search all over the house, retracking all your steps

2.       then you fins something you lost before but couldn’t find so you are so happy you forgot what you originally were looking for?

a.       Such is man who sees his ugliness of his sin

                                                                                                                                       i.      Also see the beauty of God’s grace as a remedy but then walks away and forgets what he had just saw

                                                                                                                                      ii.      But rather found a new distraction to take away his worries or concern

b.       Conversely, v.25

                                                               i.      Looks intently,  stronger verb

1.       parakupto-  bend over, carefully examine something from the clearest vantage point

2.       same verb used by Luke to describe Peter when he examined the tomb

a.       where John had stopped, Peter ran in to serious examine it

                                                              ii.      this is someone who is not just curious about God’s Word

1.       but someone who wants to get the very most, realizing it is God’s will, seeking all its deepest and most complete meaning

2.       it is he who would examine it closely not just for curiosity sake or ritual sake and then abides by it- knowing that it is God’s will revealed for all men to follow

a.       God did not simply desire men to acknowledge it is His Word but rather He desires all men to come to obey it and apply it

                                                            iii.      what is being conveyed by James in vv. 23-25 is motive

1.       motive is reflected by the attitudes of these two different reactions

a.       when one has no inclination to know God, merely be associated with Him- he will pay no heed

2.       one of the serious obstacles to salvation is fallen man’s aversion to strongest aversion to serious spiritual thinking

a.       we may love to study philosophy, psychology, literature or even we have now found ourselves prone to entertainment but not theology- we are not inclined to seek and search seriously for God’s truth

b.       and even if he comes to understand that he has fallen short of God’s standard, God will always want more than he is willing to give

c.        man is not inclined to examine himself, as the Psalmist says, present my sins before me so that I may confess them, we know we are prideful, we know we are self willed- we are self centered but we will not be exposed to the light of God’s righteous standard

d.       rather we find diversions, distractions

                                                            iv.      but when one who humbles himself by stooping over to closely examine the Word

1.       it proves a right spiritual attitude and motive

a.       very much like the Good Samaritan

b.       what was the attitude of the first two who saw him?

                                                                                                                                       i.      Priest and the Levite- walked on the otherside

c.        It was the Samaritan who bent over to bandage his wounds

                                                                                                                                       i.      It revealed his motive- compassion

2.       Such is a man who will bend over and examine the Word intently and when he sees his true reflection in the mirror, the ugliness, the wickedness, he does not hide nor delude himself with positive thoughts but rather he confesses and desires to draw closer to God, “cleanse me of my sins, fill me with your truth, your love, your purity”

3.       This man is the  end of verse 25, “no having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer”

                                                             v.      We have to be very careful of becoming delusional

1.       We all think too highly of ourselves to begin with

a.       Summer began building chairs

                                                                                                                                       i.      Illusions of building complete lounge set or a major deck

b.       My brother in law

2.       It definitely kept me in my place, but it did not defeat me

a.       For some of us knowing the truth, the reality of our sins, we feel defeated

b.       That’s why we have Christ- we walk tall, we hold our heads high, not for anything we done because what God has done through Christ

c.        We are not defeated men- men of victory, redeemed from our sins- Christ died so that you can live

c.        The Lord’s blessing comes through obedience

                                                               i.      Through Joshua the Lord commanded and promised

“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.Joshua 1:7-8

                                                              ii.      The only way to have a fruitful, prosperous life is through careful study, meditation of God’s Word

                                                            iii.      And the hearer and the doer of God’s word will discover quickly how Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matt. 11:30)

d.       v. 26, further deception- thinks himself religious

                                                               i.      not all cases are cut and dry in regard to right attitudes, especially in the eyes of men

1.       some may try to look and appear religious, prayer, attending service, but an unbeliever cannot keep up with the façade indefinitely and the true believer cannot expect to remain in sin indefinitely

                                                              ii.      different meaning of the term

1.       religious:  theskos-  refers to one who is concerned about external rituals, routines and ceremonies

a.       these are things seen by himself and other men- grant him favors

b.       priest and the Levite

                                                            iii.      attending church, volunteering, praying, serving the church

1.       have no spiritual value in itself apart from the saving faith in Christ

a.       they only become effective and powerful when used for God

e.        yet does not bridle his own tongue

                                                               i.      the one who trusts in the outward things will soon be betrayed by his external actions, in this case his own mouth

1.       they do not have the power to bridle the tongue

                                                              ii.      tongue is not only an indicator of true spirituality but is a very accurate one

1.       avg. person will speak 18,000 words per day

a.       enough to fill a 54 page book

b.       in a year that is 66 books with 800 pages

2.       if the tongue is not controlled by God

a.       safe to say that the heart is not as well

                                                                                                                                       i.      Jesus warned the Pharisees

“The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.   The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Matthew 12:34-37

                                                            iii.      but the one who humbly receives the Word which leads to salvation

1.       and closely examines it and becomes a doer of the Word has proven himself

                                                            iv.      story of Jack Ekert

1.       Chuck Colson on television on restitution and the criminal reform

a.       Introduced him- “He is a believer and I am not.  I wish I was.”

b.       He finally came to Christ- “I don’t feel anything.”

c.        Told the president to remove Playboy and Penthouse magazines- $3 million dollars

                                                                                                                                       i.      You actually did that for Jesus, who else would I give away $3 million?

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