OceanSide church of Christ
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Brought Forth By The Word
INTRODUCTION: James 1:18-25
A.) Have you ever met a person who claimed they believe one thing, but then practiced something totally different?
B.) James, the apostle, wrote his letter to Christians who were hypocritical and double-minded.
1. Greek meaning for “hypocrisy” – “the playing of a part”
2. Greek meaning for “double-mindedness” – “the dividing of the mind”
C.) No one can explain why, but it seems that both “hypocrisy” and “double-mindedness” are most frequently found in religion—and could well be found in the church.
D.) Thesis: The honest Christian lives by the word of truth.
DISCUSSION: The honest Christian lives by the word of truth, because…
I. HE PREPARES HIMSELF WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE – v. 19-21
A.) This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God -v. 19, 20
1. quick to hear – It demonstrates an eagerness to learn, and a willingness to accept.
a. The person with this quality takes advantage of every opportunity to learn (Bible classes, preaching services, Gospel meetings, lectureships, etc.) and listens with rapt attention, ready to obey.
b. The brethren here were not eager to learn the word of truth, but were easily being deceived – 1:16.
i.) They were deceived into thinking that they were being tempted by God – 1:13.
ii.) They were double-minded, unstable in all their ways, doubting the wisdom of God – 1:5-7
c. How will we ever be quick to hear the word of truth when we are constantly being blown around by the wind of doubt???
2. slow to speak - If we don’t speak the word correctly will it accomplish what it is designed to accomplish?
a. This would include the one who thinks he is religious – 1:26
b. This would include those who obey only what they want to obey – 2:8-10; cf. Leviticus 19:15, 18.
c. This is why many of them ought not to become teachers – 3:1
3. slow to anger - Again, this refers to being slow to anger after hearing the word of truth.
a. Certain topics and studies in the word of truth can make several people angry.
b. When that person becomes angry at God’s word of truth, what is the result? – v. 20.
c. The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God, because the anger of man has placed himself above the authority of God’s word of truth.
i.) It does no good to get angry at a barometer when it indicates that a storm is approaching.
ii.) Since God has given us His word of truth, the good and perfect gift, then why are you getting mad since God says that you cannot marry another man or woman because the divorce from your first marriage was unauthorized? – cf. Matthew 19:9.
iii.) God has given us this perfect and good gift, the word of truth, that will help us find out what we need to do to achieve His righteousness.
B.) Therefore, putting away all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.” – v. 21
1. As long as sin is attractive to us, as long as we want to hold on to self, we will never be in a position to accept truth.
2. The Greek meaning for implanted – “being grafted into”
a. The picture is of the plant growing down, becoming firmly rooted and fixed in the soil, and thus becoming strong and healthy.
b. This tells us how truly important the word of God ought to be in our lives.
c. Today, many in the brotherhood simply tell the members to just “read your Bible for 15 minutes a day, and you’ll know more Scripture than you did the last 8 years.” Although it is vital to read the word, but is that truly engrafting His word of truth into our lives???
3. When we engraft the word of truth into our lives, the more repulsed we become toward sin… the less blown around we are by the wind of doubt… the quicker we are to hear, the slower we are to speak, and the less angry we are towards the receiving of the truth.
4. Why is it important for us to graft the word of truth into our lives? — able to save your souls.
a. The Greek meaning for able – “power” – cf. Romans 1:16.
b. It has the power to save the deluded and deceived brother – James 5:19, 20
II. HE PROVES HIMSELF WITH THE RIGHT ACTION – v. 22-25
A.) “But prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves – v. 22.
1. We are the ones who are responsible for proving ourselves as doers of the word.
a. The Greek meaning for doer – “to make happen.”
b. He is not talking about past conversions here, but what it takes to become those people that make God’s word happen in their life.
2. There are some who have only heard God’s word, but deluded themselves – “to deceive yourself.”
a. The structure of this word in the Greek indicates that these people have heard the word of truth, but fooled themselves because they have not acted on the word of truth.
b. cf. Matthew 7:26, 27
B.) The Illustration – v. 23, 24
1. The Point: The Christian looks into the mirror to see what’s wrong, but as soon as he walks away he has forgotten those flaws, deceiving himself into thinking that he looks fine.
a. It could be something that you believe you don’t need to do, and have deceived yourself into thinking that you don’t have to fix that flaw in your life.
b. The self-deceived Christian listens, nods approvingly, and even profess’ his agreement with the truth, but then goes on his way to live precisely as he pleases.
c. We have so many Christians in the church today that have deceived themselves into thinking that they don’t have to fix those certain, and unseen flaws.
2. A Christian will never be what he ought to be until he gets himself out of the way and allows God to lead his life through the Word.
C.) The Result – v. 25
1. perfect law – expresses the idea of mature, complete, and reaching a designed end when it is put into action – 1:17
a. If I will take the time to look at myself in the mirror of God’s perfect law, comparing my life with its teachings, I will see myself—not necessarily as I would like to be, but as I really am.
b. But that look will not help me if I do nothing about it.
2. The word abide is the same word used in v. 21 for “implanted.” – We are to continually engraft God’s word in our lives, changing and fixing those flaws.
3. When we do, we are considered blessed – i.e., “the God approved man”
A.) The honest Christian lives by the word of truth, because…
1. He Prepares Himself With The Right Attitude
2. He Proves Himself With The Right Action