Summary: A series in James about possessing a foolproof faith. This message focuses on faith that is built upon the truth of God’s Word and the necessity of hearing God.
Foolproof – A Study of James
GROUNDING Faith – James 1:19-27 Sunday AM
Recap: We’re in a series in James about how to have a foolproof faith so that we won’t be fooled into thinking we have genuine faith when we’re only religious and so we can’t be fooled into embracing anything not of God.
Note: So far we’ve looked at the purpose of trials/temptation to validate our faith as they force us to depend on God and resist the devil. Last week we looked at how a foolproof faith treats others w/in the family of God. Today we want to look at the foundation we must possess if we’re to have a foolproof faith – God’s Word.
Point: The Christian life isn’t about performing a set of rules and regulations or being a good person – it is about knowing God, hearing His voice, and obeying His leading. Thus, if the key to the following Christ is hearing and obeying God’s voice, then we must make sure we’ve tuned our ears to hear Him speak. The surest way God speaks is through His Word and by His Spirit – they never contradict one another.
Insert: Here is how it works – God’s truth resonates w/ the H.S. To convict, convince, and convert us to live according to His Word.
Trans: As I have studied the Bible it has become crystal clear to me that the most reliable evidence of genuine faith is a hunger and love for God’s Word.
Verse: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. 1 Pt. 2:2
Note: God’s Word is the Christian’s food. Believers instantly crave it from birth like a newborn craves milk from his mother; it is a natural response to a spiritual life. But God’s Word is more than food. The psalmist says that it is the source of our life.
Verse: The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Ps. 19:7-11
Trans: It’s vital we understand James intent in underscoring the relevance and importance of the Word in our lives to insure that we have a foolproof faith. This is why James makes a distinction b/w hearing the Word and doing it.
Word: hearer (akroates) one who sits passively in an audience listening to a singer/speaker.
Insert: This is like auditing a college class. You pay money to sit in a class but receive no credit b/c you choose only to listen instead of participate. The reason people audit a class is b/c they have an interest but they don’t want to be held accountable w/ test.
Note: This happens spiritually too. Some believers take advantage of hearing the Word but never put it into practice; they’ve an interest in spiritual things, a moral lifestyle, and in church programs, but they’ve no desire to follow Jesus and obey His Word.
Word: doer (poiete) the total immersion of a person – body, soul, and spirit into the activity for which they’ve been called. This is more than practicing what you hear; it’s becoming what you hear b/c you believe/value it.
Note: To hear and not do is to fool yourself into thinking you belong to God when you belong to the devil. Just b/c a person proclaims to hear the Word doesn’t mean it has seeped into their soul. Genuine faith hears and applies.
Quote: James does well to remind us that what is heard in the holy place must be lived in the market place – or there is no point in hearing at all. Barclay
Trans: To be a hearer who puts the Word into action distinguishing a foolproof faith requires you receive the Word and that you respond to it accordingly.
I RECEIVE the Word v. 19-21
Trans: To properly receive God’s Word to live it requires that you have a proper approach, a proper alignment, a proper attitude, and a proper anticipation.
A Proper APPROACH v. 19
Text: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life God desires…
Trans: To do the Word you must be able to hear it. Rm. 10:17 says, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. To hear the Word requires you tune your ears, shut your mouth, and receive God’s truth w/ humility.