HOW GENUINE ARE YOU ?
James 1:19-27 July 26 2009
1. Receiving The Word Of God with Meekness .
( James 1:19-21)
James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 1:20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Everyone should be . . . slow to speak (James 1:26) The Word Of God.
Instead of blaming God under our trials, let us open our ears and hearts to learn what he teaches by them. And if men would govern their tongues, they must govern their passions. The worst thing we can bring to any dispute, is anger. Here is an exhortation to lay apart, and to cast off as a filthy garment, all sinful practices. This must reach to sins of thought and affection, as well as of speech and practice; to every thing corrupt and sinful. We must yield ourselves to the word of God, with humble and teachable minds. Being willing to hear of our faults, taking it not only patiently, but thankfully. It is the design of the word of God to make us wise to salvation; and those who propose any mean or low ends in attending upon it, dishonour the gospel, and disappoint their own souls.
2. Living According To The Word , There to . (James 1:22-25)
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 1:23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror1:24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it —he will be blessed in what he does.
Perfect Law. The moral and ethical teaching of Christianity, which is based on the OT moral law, as embodied in the Ten Commandments (Psalms 19:7), but brought to completion (perfection) by Jesus Christ. Freedom . In contrast to the sinner, who is a slave to sin (John 8:34), obeying the moral law gives the Christian the joyous freedom to be what he was created for (James 2:12).
If we heard a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in hearing only, it would never bring us to heaven. Mere hearers are self-deceivers; and self-deceit will be found the worst deceit at last. If we flatter ourselves, it is our own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man. Let the word of truth be carefully attended to, and it will set before us the corruption of our nature, the disorders of our hearts and lives; and it will tell us plainly what we are. Our sins are the spots the law discovers: Christ’s blood is the laver the gospel shows. But in vain do we hear God’s word, and look into the gospel glass, if we go away, and forget our spots, instead of washing them off; and forget our remedy, instead of applying to it. This is the case with those who do not hear the word as they ought. In hearing the word, we look into it for counsel and direction, and when we study it, it turns to our spiritual life. Those who keep in the law and word of God, are, and shall be, blessed in all their ways. His gracious recompence hereafter, would be connected with his present peace and comfort. Every part of Divine revelation has its use, in bringing the sinner to Christ for salvation, and in directing and encouraging him to walk at liberty, by the Spirit of adoption, according to the holy commands of God. And mark the distinctness, it is not for his deeds, that any man is blessed, but in his deed. It is not talking, but walking, that will bring us to heaven. Christ will become more precious to the believer’s soul, which by his grace will become more fitted for the inheritance of the saints in light.
3. The difference between vain pretences and real religion. (James 1:26,27)
James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Religious . Refers to the outward acts of religion: giving to the needy, fasting and public acts of praying and worshiping. ( Jer 22:16). World . Not the world of nature but the world of people in their rebellion against and alienation from God (1John 2:15).
When men take more pains to seem religious than really to be so, it is a sign their religion is in vain. The not bridling the tongue, readiness to speak of the faults of others, or to lessen their wisdom and piety, are signs of a vain religion. The man who has a slandering tongue, cannot have a truly humble, gracious heart. False religious may be known by their impurity and uncharitableness. True religion teaches us to do every thing as in the presence of God. An unspotted life must go with unfeigned love and charity. Our true religion is equal to the measure in which these things have place in our hearts and conduct. And let us remember, that nothing avails in Christ Jesus, but faith that worketh by love, purifies the heart, subdues carnal lusts, and obeys God’s commands.
An unspotted life must accompany an unfeigned love and charity: To keep himself unspotted from the world. The world is apt to spot and blemish the soul, and it is hard to live in it, and have to do with it, and not be defiled; but this must be our constant endeavour. Herein consists pure and undefiled religion. The very things of the world too much taint our spirits, if we are much conversant with them; but the sins and lusts of the world deface and defile them very woefully indeed. John comprises all that is in the world, which we are not to love, under three heads: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; and to keep ourselves unspotted from all these is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. May God by his grace keep both our hearts and lives clean from the love of the world, and from the temptations of wicked worldly men.