Summary: The Bible is full of great truths. But, these truths can do you no good, even if you know them, if you don’t receive them.
I want you to take your Bibles now and turn to James chapter 1, and we’ll begin reading where we left off this morning. And, that is with verse 21, James chapter 1 and verse 21. We want to speak to you on a truth that we studied together some time ago. But, since we’re going verse by verse through James, we will restudy and reemphasize this truth tonight. And, it is how to receive the Word of God.
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed”—or in his doing—“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:21–27).
Now, the Bible is full of great facts. And, these facts are even more than facts, they are truths. But, these truths can do you no good, even if you know them, if you don’t receive them. To have facts is not enough. Someone says, “I know the plan of salvation.” Well, dear friend, I want to tell you that you can know the plan of salvation, and believe the plan of salvation, and go straight to Hell. You’re not saved by the plan of salvation. You’re saved by the man of salvation, and His name is Jesus. And, there are a lot of people who know the theology, but they have never received the truth.
And, I want to tell you sir, that you can back slide with a Bible under your arm, if you do not receive the Word of God. It is one thing to have facts about Jesus; it is another thing to know the Lord Jesus Christ. It is one thing to hear the Word of God; it is quite another thing to welcome the Word, to receive the Word.
Notice in verse 21, James is talking about receiving the Word, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word”—that is the word that gets in. It means the implanted word that is alive like a seed. Receive that living word—“which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).
“Now, wait a minute pastor. What do you mean save our souls? We’re already saved.” And, the book of James is written to save people, written to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, those who’re already saved. Why do they need to be saved if they already have been saved?