Summary: The Lord expects his people to be hearers and doers, not self-deceived bench warmers.
Faithful Believers or Self Deceivers?
It is not enough to hear God’s Word, we must live it and obey it. Many people have the mistaken idea that hearing a good sermon or a Bible study is what makes them grow and receive God’s blessing. It is not the hearing but the doing that brings God’s blessing.
The Lord expects his people to be hearers and doers, not self-deceived bench warmers.
It is a self-deluded man who thinks he will get credit for listening to the word of God while doing nothing about it
A great danger is that
Too many Christians mark their Bibles, but their Bibles never mark them!
If you think you are spiritual because you hear the Word, then you are only deceiving yourself.
James tells us there’s a big difference between knowing Gods word and living it.
Spiritual self-deception can affect us in all areas of our lives. What we must remember is that the goal of hearing God’s word is not mere Information but transformation.
James 1:22-25 NIV
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 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 mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 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.
Understanding the significance of this scripture
1. Often times we have a tendency to over-estimate our wisdom, our strength and goodness.
2. Were unprepared for life challenges.
3. We allow ourselves to be deceived.
She woke up early and decided to take a walk. The air was clear and brisk, the birds were singing to one another in the trees. She stopped for a moment to say hello, and pat a mother deer and her 2 babies. The morning sun was just beginning to sneak over the horizon, turning the morning sky into a symphony of brilliant colors. O how she loved her life with Adam in the garden.
As she was walking, she realized that she had walked into the middle of the garden. And there standing with great splendor and power was the tree of "the knowledge of good and evil." It was a truly magnificent tree, it’s limbs were broad and strong, stretching out into the garden, bearing it’s divine fruit.
Suddenly, she perceived that she was not alone, she turned and looked behind her and saw The Serpent. The serpent agreed with Eve, that it was a truly magnificent tree, and then he began to entice her, with his shrewd words of deception. "Did God really say that you can’t eat from this tree? Surely you won’t die, if you eat from it. God just doesn’t want you to eat from it because he wants to hold you back, He doesn’t want you to be as wise as he is. So go on take a bite, you will see, it won’t hurt you, doesn’t it look delicious, come on take a bite, you know that you really want to, besides Eve you deserve it, you owe it to yourself."
As Eve pondered what the serpent said, it began to seem more & more reasonable to her. And as she reached her hand towards the fruit a strange and eerie silence fell over the entire garden, it was as if the garden itself had taken a deep breathe, in fear & unbelief at what was now taking place.
The dark tides of deception had been set in motion, it’s waves are powerful and forceful, and they strive to pull men in (like a mighty undertow), moving them along with ever increasing force, until they bring their prey crashing against the rocks of self-destruction.
As Eve bit into the fruit she experienced the full blunt of the blow, she suffered and stands as a testimony to the "Agony of Deceit," to the Dangers of deceiving ourselves.
Tragically, we know Satan deception did not end in the garden. He is still deceiving many in thinking it’s O.K. to relax, and to become careless in our Christianity.
Our pride keeps us from admitting our sins and won’t allow us to engage in self-examination (2 Cor.13:5).
As a result, we think more highly of ourselves than what we ought to (Rom.12:3).
There are several lessons James wants us to understand!
I. A man is DECEIVED if he is a hearer and not a doer of the Word (James 1:22).
a) Let the living Word lead
b) Let the living Word transform