Summary: Part two focuses on Romans chapter 1.
The Person In The Mirror Part 2
This message is part 2 in my series “The Person In The Mirror.” In my message last week I shared with you what was recorded in James chapter one. He said “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness, and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” The key take away from these verses is that when we refuse to be doers of the Word after we have heard it we delude ourselves as if we looked at ourselves in the mirror and walked away forgetting what we looked like. Imagine if you will, that you looked at your face and then could not pick your face out in a group of pictures because you forgot what you looked like. This is the picture that James is painting. James said that we should put aside all filthiness and wickedness and receive the Word implanted (engrafted) which is able to save our souls.
I. The Word Implanted Within Us
Before we go to the first chapter of Romans that I asked on last week that you read in preparation for today, I want to spend a few moments explaining what James meant in verse twenty-one. He said “…..receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your soul.” That word “implanted” (engrafted in the King James Version) has a specific meaning and I do not believe it was chosen at random. The word implanted means “to fix or set securely or deeply, to set permanently in the conscious or habit patterns.” Engrafted means “to join or fasten as if by grafting; become grafted and begin functionally normally.” What James was saying is that the Word of God has already been implanted within us or grafted to us! By definition it means that this is something that has been within us but we still have to choose to accept it. I will show you shortly that Paul also confirms this. This is why James could say with confident that when we refuse to be doers of the Word we delude ourselves because that Word is within us. God created the spirit that dwells within us and our spirits know He exists. This is why mankind has always created some image of a higher power to worship, it’s within our spirit to know that there is a higher being deserving of worship. The problem came when mankind decided that they could decide on whom that higher being was and could make their own images of what that being looked like. It’s too difficult to accept a God that we cannot see so therefore we require an image so we can physically describe Him. When man did not have that image, he created his own and called it god. Your spirit man knows that God exist even though our soul (our intellect) may not choose to acknowledge Him. Because we “spiritually” know that God exist it is natural to understand that spiritually we have His Word within us.
When we accept Christ and that Word that has been implanted within us we give that Word the power to function within our lives. Think about it like this. When someone experiences a major burn, they often receive skin grafts. The physician takes skin from another part of the body and “attaches” it to the burned area to help it heal. If the skin graft is successful, it attaches, heals and allows that area to function close to normal. You will have a scar, but the area is healed and the person is functional. If the person does not have the skin graft, then that area of the body begins to die and can actually threaten the life of the person. Now think about this image in reference to the Word of God being engrafted to us or being implanted within us. When we become doers of the Word, the graft is successful. However, when we refuse to be doers of the word it is the same as our bodies rejecting the graft thus the graft becomes unsuccessful. We do not function normally as defined by the Word of God. Does this make sense? Turn now to the first chapter of Romans. I will not finish this today as I want to make sure we understand what we have at stake here. Just as a reminder, we know from James that we have a responsibility to be doers of the Word because anything short of that we delude (mislead, deceive) ourselves. We also know that the Word of God has been implanted (engrafted) within us and our spirits know God exists even if our intellect denies it. Finally we have seen that we must accept that Word if our souls are to be saved. Let’s begin reading at verse eighteen in Romans chapter one.