Christian's Proper Response to The Word of God (James 1:19-27)
Christian's Proper Response to The Word of God (James 1:19-27)
We have been learning very good practical lessons on living the Christian life from the Book of James. The Book, as we learned was written about 46-49 AD. It was authored by James-the younger half-brother of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ. James placed the words to paper of this book in one of his favorite places to be, which is the city of Jerusalem, where, sadly, later, he was martyred for his faith.
In chapter one we learned some lessons on persevering through suffering. We are to understand that trials have the God given purpose of making us whole or complete. Our loving heavenly Father does not want us to lack in anything. However, if we lack wisdom we are told to ask of God Who gives wisdom to everyone who asks in faith without doubting. For the prayer of doubt from a double minded person will have no direction just as a bottle being tossed about in the wild and wavy sea.
Then our teacher gave us a short lesson on having a proper perspective towards the poor and the wealthy in the Church. The poor should feel blessed with their elevated position of faith as the rich should be reminded of how soon their wealth will be over. Quick and short is their life: short as the flowery grass withering and burning away from the hot, burning, ultra-violet, piercing rays of the Eastern sun.
And then James taught us the next lesson on having a proper perspective while we are experiencing temptations. Temptations are not from God, but instead they are from our own selfish and sinful desires. Sinful desires give birth to their children of sin. And when sin grows up and becomes an adult, it culminates in death. God does not give out temptations, instead He gives us every good and perfect gift from above. He does this unchanging unlike the shifting and changes that happen in the stellar universe. This brings us to today’s lesson concerning having a proper response to God’s Word.
III. Lesson of Proper Response to The Word of God (James 1:19-27)
A) Our response for obtaining God’s good and perfect gifts. (1:19-25)
1) We are to be observant to patience (1:19-20)
2) We are to be obedient to the truth (1:21-25)
B) Our response for obtaining true religion (1:26-27)
1) We are to bridal out tongue (1:26)
2) We are to benefit widows and keep unspotted by the world (1:27)
School is back in session and today’s lesson will be on having a proper response to the Word of God. Our text Book is the Book of James from the New Testament from the Bible-God’s Holy Word. And our instructor is none other than the half-brother of our Lord Savior, James. We are really blessed to have an instructor who thoroughly knows his subject matter and who also authored the text Book we are using!
Let’s look at our text that the instructor has placed on the overhead for us. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness 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. 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 1:19-27, KJV) Christian's Proper Response to The Word of God
The first truth that James wants to instill in us is our response for obtaining God’s good and perfect gifts in verses nineteen thru twenty-five. And in pointing this truth out we are to be observant to patience. Notice our text in verse nineteen. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”. James stops for a moment and becomes silent to gain our attention.
He then continues with pointing out the connecting word “wherefore”. It is a lot like the words “due to this” or “because of this”. When I was first saved I sat under a preacher who used to say when you see the words therefor in a passage you need to see why “therefore” is there for! It’s a connecting word and it is relating to what is about to be said is based as a result of what just has been stated. We should respond to God’s Word with an open spirit because of His wonderful grace demonstrated to us as the Father of lights giving us every good and perfect gift as well as the greatest gift of all, salvation in His Son birthing us with the Word of His truth.
Therefore, pun intended, because of His goodness to us we should be observant to being patient by observing three things. We are to be swift to hear, swift to listen, swift to understand the circumstances. The word for hear is “akouō” and means to give an ear to comprehend and understand the situation. We are to be swift to hear and then we are to be slow in the next two things. Slow to speak and slow to wrath.
Slow to voice our response in each and every situation. Quick to surmise and slow to speak. My mother, as I am sure yours did as well, said that the reason God gave us two ears and one mouth is that we are to spend twice as much time listening as we do talking. There’s truth to that isn’t there? How many times have we not truly understood a situation before we quickly and wrongly opened our “pie hole” and misspoke and looked and felt like an absolute mule because of it! Swift to hear, secondly: slow to speak and thirdly we are to be slow to wrath.
““Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” (emphasis mine, KJV). Slow to anger. Slow to wrath. Slow to swell. The Greek word for wrath comes from a root word which carries the idea of swelling like an over ripened piece of fruit about to burst open from the excessive juices. Slow to exploding anger from a temper. The Apostle Paul used this same word in Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (emphasis mine, KJV). And again in Colossians 3:8 where he instructed the believers of Colossae, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth” (emphasis mine, KJV). Christian's Proper Response to The Word of God
You can see in both references that in Paul’s mind that the meaning of wrath was totally separate from the meaning of anger. Anger and wrath are not to be confused as being the same. Proverbs 14:17 tells us a quick tempered person does foolish things. And again in verse twenty-nine, Proverbs tells us “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” I think what our teacher James is trying to tell us is for us not to get all bent out of shape, lose our temper and swell or blow up about the situation we are in. We are to be quick to listen and then sl-o-o-o-w to speak and in losing our tempers. Why? Look at the connecting conjunction James points out for us in verse twenty. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (emphasis mine, KJV).
Mankind’s outbursts of tempered anger do not bring about the righteousness (right acts) of Almighty God.
Mankind’s outbursts of tempered anger do not bring about the righteousness (right acts) of Almighty God. We are to be slow in anger by being quick to listen to properly understand a given situation in order to bring about the righteousness of God. That’s how we are to be observant to patience. Proverbs 16:32 reveals for us the truth that a slow tempered person is better than the mighty and those who can overthrow an entire city! Now our teacher turns our attention to the next truth in our text which is being obedient to the truth.
Look at verses twenty-one thru twenty-five. “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” (James 1:21-25 KJV).
In being obedient to the truth we are to do some repenting and then we are to do some receiving. Repent of wickedness and receive the Word. Repent of sin and receive the Scriptures. Firstly, we are to do some repenting or renouncing of sin. Lay apart, lay aside, get rid of, repent from all filthiness and all superfluity of naughtiness. The verb means to put off or put away, to give up and renounce something or somethings. In our text we are to renounce and get rid of “all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness”. Not just some of the filthiness and naughtiness, but “all” of it! God wants a sanctified, Spirit filled church filled with sanctified, Spirit filled and Spirit controlled believers!
In light of all the heroes of the faith the writer of the Book of Hebrews exhorts us “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (emphasis mine, Hebrews 12:1, KJV). Every weight and every sin. Not just some of them: all of them: each and every!
Again, in our text our teacher James tells us to renounce and get rid of “all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness”. We ask him what does filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness means? He explains that the word used for filthiness (rhyparia) means filthiness as to wickedness pertaining to moral defilement. And the word superfluity has the idea of abundance or super abundance and naughtiness refers to the overabundance of wickedness that is left from the believer’s past life prior to their conversion experience. The Greek word means “malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure”.
Based on these words we gather that James is telling us to be slow about becoming angry and to renounce our old way of life.
Based on these words we gather that James is telling us to be slow about becoming angry and to renounce our old way of life. It is much like Paul instructing us to crucify and die to our old self, our old sinful nature. So to get rid of “all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness” means to die to self, to lay aside and get rid of sin and sinful desires. The NIV translates it this way: “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” And to help it to become a little clearer we can look thru the glass of the Holcomb Christian Standard Bible: “Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.
Renounce them, crucify them, die to them. And when we do then we are in a position now to do the second part of being obedient to the truth which is the receiving part: receiving the Word of God! Repent of our trespasses and then we can receive the truth. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (emphasis mine, KJV). One way to look at this is wanting to be clean after you have spent a day working and sweating and you, your body and your clothes are soiled with dirt. It wouldn’t do much good by changing into clean clothes with a dirty body. Christian's Proper Response to The Word of God
One would first take a bath or shower to clean their body and then and only then would they be able to be clean after applying a clean set of clothes. Renounce tresspasses and then receive the truth which is able to save your souls. In teaching about Bible study, one of D.L. Moody’s famous expressions was, “This Book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this Book”. I have found this to be solid truth, haven’t you? It’s very difficult to continue in sin and have a meaningful Bible study time. And the opposite is just as true. When we have repented of the sin that so easily entangles us and are walking by the Spirit’s control, we have the most meaningful quiet time with our Lord Savior, don’t we?.
We are far more powerful to conquer and deny our personal sin and sinful desires when the Word of God dwells in us richly! We are to receive the engrafted or planted Word with meekness. The idea is of a school environment where you have classroom instruction. We are to receive the Word favorably. To make the facts presented our own. Not to reject but to accept and embrace the Truth, to approve it and make it your own. Accept the Truth as your own value system to incorporate and live by. We are to do so with an attitude of mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness. Peter used this same word meekness in 1Peter 3:15 where he stated “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (emphasis mine, KJV)
I am a father of two children; a son and a daughter. They often imitate me, my mannerisms and my expressions. My wife says that they are me all over again. I find it flattering when they imitate the good things about me. I want to run and hide in the closet when they imitate the not so good things about me! When we incorporate the truth of God’s Word, I can’t help but think it flatters Him. He is so pleased that He tells His Son, “You see him over there? He is imitating Me and I Like that!” Or Jesus looks over at the arch angel Michael and says, “Look at her, she’s my disciple imitating my love for another and that makes me so proud!”
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (emphasis mine, KJV). The engrafted (e'm-fü-tos) Word. The words implanted and placed there by your Instructor, your Teacher, your Guide. Receive the doctrine implanted by your Teacher, the Holy Ghost. Receive in an attitude of meekness and humility after some soul cleansing, soul confessing, sin renouncing the doctrine being taught to you and placed within you by Almighty God. God does not give out temptations, no, no way, never.
He does however give us good and perfect gifts as well as salvation from Himself and implanted Truths that are “able to save your souls”.
He does however give us good and perfect gifts as well as salvation from Himself and implanted Truths that are “able to save your souls”. The Word of God is likened unto seed in the New Testament. We are to be humble and toil up the ground of our souls and make the soil nice and soft to receive the seed of God’s holy Writ! We are to be good gardeners of our hearts if you please. “and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
Now James gets a serious look on his face as he instructs us to pay attention very carefully at what he is about to teach us next. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22, KJV). We are told to listen to the Word with the caution of going beyond listening and become doers or applicators of the Word of God. We are to listen and then we are to do or apply and obey the Word of God. Just how should we “hear” the Word of God? Next time we will look at some Biblical ways we are to be hearers and doers of the Word of God.
Let’s go to church this Sunday. These are certainly troubling and uncertain times that we live in. From the ever growing national debt, to corrupt, lying, greedy politicians, extremist’s terrorists, slipping moralities to God only knows what’s next. I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be a national debate over sex gender and bathrooms! I don’t remember when people had such a low opinion and dismal outlook about our country and where it is headed. Very few people that we come in contact with on a daily basis have a very positive attitude.
Both born from above and the un-regenerate, very few! This great nation of ours is on a speeding train of declination. The train is on a track to degradation and she is picking up steam: fast! Ole Uncle Sam needs a revival. From Bubba and his administration in the White house right down to the kid behind the counter at McDonald's. We need a fresh awakening from the Holy Spirit of God. America needs another outpouring of the Holy Ghost as was experienced by the first century Church.
Come join our pastor, our church and me in praying for revival. Won’t you join me today and start by carrying ourselves and our loved ones to church. I need church, you need church, your family needs the church! If you are in the Clay county area of North Florida come worship with us at Harbor Baptist church located on the corner of Clay Street (1120) & US Hwy 17, Fleming Island, FL. Morning worship is at 10:30 and we meet Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.
Better yet, come join our group for Bible study with our adults. I lead the adult class entitled: “Harbor Haven, for pairs and spares”. (For couples and singles) We meet @ 9:14 in the main room of the education building. This is the building located right next to the church. We would love for you to come and fellowship with us around the Word of God. And feel free to bring a guest. We hope to see you there!
We pride ourselves with being a smaller church with the big difference. I don’t believe you will find another fellowship of believers who have a greater love for God and as a result of His love for us, we have love for one another. You’ll find me and my family there, come visit, both you and our church will be glad that you did!
I am happy to speak on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ in the North Florida area. I am a conservative, evangelical, fundamentalist teacher whose doctrinal beliefs align with those of the Southern Baptist Convention. My doctrinal views are listed in the menu section of this site. You can contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org