Summary: To note than Christians are to be “doers.”
More Than Words
Text: James 1.19-27
Thesis: To note than Christians are to be “doers.”
(1) Actions speak louder than words!
(2) The beginning of this section (i.e., “This you know” [NASB] / “Take note of this” [NIV]) may be understood as either imperative (e.g., NIV) or indicative (e.g., NASB). Guy N. Woods, seeing it as indicative, understands James to be saying:
“You are well aware of the fact that we brought forth into spiritual life by the word of truth; therefore, let your life, in word and in deed, reflect the knowledge you have gained therefrom” (74).
(3) Too many people have deceived themselves into believing that they can go to Heaven as a “couch potato” (cf. Matt. 7.21).
(4) Let us note how we are to live:
I. We must LISTEN (vv. 19-22):
A. As Christians, we must have a ready disposition to listen.
B. Too often, we speak/react first. Instead, we need to be reminded of:
1. Proverbs 17:27 – He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
2. Proverbs 10:19 – When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
3. Proverbs 14:29 – He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
C. Most importantly, we must listen to God (vv. 21-22).
1. We must prepare ourselves to hear God (cf. Ezra 7.10).
a. We must “take off” all filthiness.
b. We must have humility (i.e., “The ability to receive rebuke and counsel in the right spirit [Shelly 40]).
2. There is more than just listening …
II. We must EXAMINE (vv. 23-25):
A. The Word of God is like a mirror with its purpose being examination.
1. “When a person looks into the mirror of God’s Word, he sees himself both as he really is and as he ought to be” (Shelly 42).
2. James points out that one who hears and does nothing is like a person who looks into a mirror and does nothing.
B. We must seriously study the Word of God.
1. The Word is to be “implanted” (i.e., “taken up residence within believers”
2. We must look into it intently (cf. 2 Tim. 2.15).
3. There is more than just examining …
III. We must REACT (vv. 26-27):
A. “Too many Christians mark their Bibles, but their Bibles never mark them” (Wiersbe 347).
B. To react is to be a “doer.”
Some examples of this religion (i.e., the outward practice):
1. Visit orphans and widows
a. Psalms 68:5 - A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation.
b. Galatians 6:10 - So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
c. 1 John 3:17 - But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
2. Keep self unstained by the world
(1) What are your actions saying?
(2) Will you give God “more than words?”