Summary: The Lord speaks to us through James and shows us the important things we should be aware of to keep us from a hypocritical religion.
A Priceless or Pointless religion! (Part 1)
Calvin Coolidge attended church alone because of the sickness of Mrs. Coolidge. When he arrived back home he went up to his wife’s room to see how she was feeling. She promptly reassured him she was doing fine, and asked him if he had enjoyed the sermon. He replied in weakly, “It was good.” “What was it about?” she continued. “Sin.” “What did the minister say?” “He was against it.” I hope you will go away this morning with more than that. Going through my notes I couldn’t get away from the first verse.
James 1:21 Tells us more than living against sin, it communicates more than sin is wrong. It communicates that when we come to a place to receive the word if we want it to stick we have to do something with our sin. The strategy of this message and these passages is to get you to move from a worthless, useless and pointless religion to one that is priceless. Is yours useless or useful? Is it full of pride or full of power?
The Lord speaks to us through James and shows us the important things we should be aware of to keep us from a hypocritical religion. Three important factors are pointed to in this text, the first one this morning…
I. It is important to implant the Word of God in us (Verse 21)
a) Lay aside the filthiness (verse 21)
i) I get the Feeling that there is an order here that we need to pay attention to. That perhaps there is a need for an altar call before the message.
ii) My desire is to give you the Word and have that Word implanted in your souls. But the first step is to lay aside all filthiness.
iii) When we come in to hear the Word are we sincerely ready to hear the Word. Are we coming in ready to lay aside all the filthiness or have we already come prepared and done that?
iv) If not I truly believe you will have static in your reception. James says to lay aside all filthiness, but which sin is filthy? All of them.
v) James says to lay aside too the overflow of wickedness.
vi) If I have a glass and give to somebody else and I start pouring the water in from a pitcher and yet do not stop what is happening? It is getting all over them and all over the floor and it is creating a big mess.
vii) That is what an overflow of our wickedness does. It affects others and the surroundings. We may have poured out so much that it has soaked others. In contrast what should we be pouring out? The Spirit.
viii) Overflowing with wickedness does not save your soul and it does not save others.
ix) John Wymer asked me to pray for him that he would be continually walking in the spirit. I thought Amen and that should be all our prayers.
x) Meekness is humility. Unless you deal with the filthiness and wickedness that is in you, then you can only receive the Word with false humility and trying to implant the Word into someone who has false humility is like transplanting a live pumping heart into a crash test dummy.
xi) Not only will it not affect the dummy in any way, but the heart will eventually die because it cannot be fed. And so too with the Word.