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September 22, 2021 12:00 am
Danger inherent there's a danger in reading the letter there's a danger of having a devotional, we there's a danger in memorizing past to say the danger is you would say I saw something that I devotional pay. That takes care of my day on the way the year. Of course, your pastor, your personal time in God's word vital, but is God's word doing its intended work. What I mean by that is this.
Are you allowing Scripture to transform your life. This is wisdom for the heart.
Today Stephen Debbie returns to the book of James, and has a warning to us of what happens when Scripture merely tickles our ears rather than changes our lives.
Today's message is called just James chapter 1 verse 22 but prove yourselves doers of the word and not hearers who delude themselves. Let me illustrate what he say this person today will attend church but never joined the church and this is a person who wants the benefits of the assembly climate control chair the parking spot room for the kids and all, but not shoulder the responsibility will mortgage your operations or fixing up the place. Or maybe serving away to help those show up who come over. I think that shows up in a lot of different ways.
Whether it's the need for individuals to serve in ministry.
Whether the offering that's taken and I really say anything about money except in greenhouse class but you know the average giving per capita in America among Christian $20 that you ask yourself the question, what I just and how much of my giving to support the ministries of Christ and his church, you move from spectating to participate even from dating to responsible merit say James is not talking about Christians as auditors here. They would argue that the auditor here is an unbeliever.
I think that this is the context of what James is saying in the context of James is writing might preach a little more easily but I think it actually lets the church alcohol. It misses the context here of maturing faith to go back in time to find the reformer by the name of Martin Luther really did like the book of James. He called her right strongly epistle and he didn't want it included in the canonical record and the reason for that is because he was passionate about justification by faith alone. That was the string on his fiddle, and in that particular time and in our world and church history that was necessary because of the corrupted church and all of the merit systems that it added to the gospel. So Martin Luther preach Sola for day faith alone, along with solo script. Tomorrow we go to the Scriptures as our role for faith and in practice and and and I think he didn't like James because he missed the context of James. He believed there was a contradiction between James and Paul doing this a little later on on some other Sunday. But just as a thumbnail sketch of Paul was interested in the definition of saving faith and it is without works, lest any man should boast the patient's to the definition of the gospel. I need to get done right. But James is not so much interested in the definition of the gospel as he is the demonstration of the gospel.
The demonstration of the faith demonstrate faith without works because if you try to do that, your faith will be viewed as useless, meaningless to Paul is talking about being justified inside of God. James is talking about being justified inside of men. So James is not contrasting the believer with an unbeliever is contrasting, a maturing active believer with an immature mark that inactive belief that the very verb tense of this verse as it begins in verse 22 prove yourselves doers.
Your translation may reading be doers of the word.
The verb tenses present tense. It means do it. Keep doing it.
Don't stop doing it.
He's exhorting the believer to grow to mature because the temptation is to stop the temptation is to audit that particular trial. I said that out, saying show yourselves more and more doers. James goes on at the end of verse 22 and he gives a warning this is if you do that to be deluding yourself. Those were merely hearers delude themselves literally got off track of your thinking.
The word for delude parlayed into my carries with it the idea of cheating or defrauding yourself. If you were taught or you read the word for yourself and you decide in your mind and heart, I will not do that I will not put that in the practice among other things.
James focuses on you see yourself, you defraud yourself of the gifts of growth and maturity and what the deeper walk in faith with Christ can mean a meal.
Is this what you take your little kids to the Lincoln Memorial, and where they want to do that when running downstairs. This is great set of stairs in the run up and down and you as an older, more mature person would eat your reading was engraved in stone your reveling in and what that man meant to the nation you're looking at Scripture and your thanking God's car in stone and not painted to be painted over and you walk away your children walk away and you're all happy. That was great for your children. It was great stairs and they have a sense of pleasure and satisfaction for those who are more mature, they understand the gravity and sense of the all blessing of what it means that the idea here.
He says you can teach yourselves avoid what is running downstairs so much more to appreciate about our Lord. Don't miss out on death row and there's one more thought to show you before we leave this classroom illustration James is talking about it doers as he begins verse 22 uses the word Hoyt takes sexually in the noun form.
It's a reference to a group of people who are becoming this, they are becoming Hoyt takes they are becoming literally translated, poets store we get our word poetry from poet he's he's talking about creatively serving God find this fascinating. He's not talking about all day with the guy really care what it looks like I term paper might have stuff hanging off my deal's black.
She and I misspelled words and and the pages are in order, but I did it.
You can go all the way in growth and maturity.
Give God your creative best to give God your passionate service.
Give God desire to serve him with excellence and if the church needs any testimony right now to our world.
It is that we are reflection of God's character through excellent work.
She maturity says I'll get the job done with the least amount of energy the least amount of thought and you probably work next to somebody like me, they work harder at getting out of work. Then they were in their very creative anything wanted to use that creativity to actually work. The point here serve God creatively and is improve what you do you do it better matter how Monday talking about service of God.
We don't just put in time. They say that her and what kind they reflect then the excellence of God's character in the excellence of the testimony brings glory to God not speaking of a reflection. James takes us out of the classroom and he opens another door and this time he leads us into a dressing room. Verse 23 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. Once he's looked at himself and not always immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. Now let's break this down and find out exactly what he's talking James is basically saying is an overview anybody listens to the work doesn't take action is like a man looking in a mirror, he sees his natural face. The word is the word Genesis literally. He sees the face. He was born with James is using a taste of humor. He sees the face. He was born with, but then walks away without doing anything about it. I think James is suggesting here with some sense of humor, while funny mirror usually leads you to take some kind of is most often emergency action showed up today, looking exactly like we force ourselves in the mirror right we we we put in a tremendous amount of work and repair and reconstruction. Whatever lodging choice of words by the way under the inspiring the Holy Spirit. Even his use of the word for man is is is specifically intended verse 23.
If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his face.
He's not using the generic term beginning. If anyone is a hearer of the working out of your ears like Kaylee is the specific reason is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and how does a man look at his face in the mirror. Amanda glances in the mirror. A woman gazes the mirror says yes that's me all my just count the pieces of machinery takes to get a woman ready versus a man would complain right here you're on your own. Steve and his dog in this fight.
One of the first things Marshall bought me when we were dating, the first day we dated a few months was a calm showed up in my college box, this is 1977 I had had a hearing and use your imagination to come, he will decline to go over my mother failed left off.
This is this is the inspired clarity of James illustration a woman is not usually going to step in front of the mirror and do nothing man just might do an experiment done from the first our second same result every time I what I want to be ready to stand every woman in here right now who is in possession of mirror would you stand up in your possession of the mirrors in your purse, stand up and all the men said the same thing.
I'll Kaylee you have in their possession on mirror to stand up.
I got my point James is not pulling words at random. Don't look in the word like like the typical male looks in the mirror. Yeah, fine. No, here's having our intentionality was ration James goes deeper with application verse 25 but one who looks intently at the perfect law of liberty that is the law which produces liberty thinking the Mosaic law is actually talking about this principle. This law we are enslaved, which is the grace of God's gospel, which is given us freedom bound by that and by not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed. Paragraphs he'll be fulfilled, satisfied, and what he does now. James is talking about what we need to do and that is male or female look intent of the mirror of this perfect law of liberty. The law of grace, which is The gospel truth of God changes were were abiding by the love that word means to stick close to were looking and were sticking close to this is what were not to be forgetful hearer's word for forgetful. You might think. Although I have a problem. I'm so forgetful I talk I forget anything. Everything is he's talking about someone who comes to some cognizance of who we is chooses on doing about forget our personal forget I ever learn. He willingly disregards the idea James is. Look what I want to do is I want to look intently into the gospel of God in the words looking intently have the nuance of stupid of been as if the mirror is on a table and over to look carefully see that implies what James is applying his humility as we approach the word of God see prying fogs up pride looks at his reflection, and it has only one desire, and that's to say.
Humility says let me prove upon my reflection face so conform a little more to the image of Christ.
FB Meyer, the British pastor and commentator, born in 1847, wrote it this way. Commenting on this text.
He says I used to think of God's blessing on shelves, one above the other, and that the taller we grew in character, the easier we can reach. I did God's gifts are on the shelves. One beneath the other end. It is not a question of growing taller, but if stooping lower that we have to go down always as we mature to get his James says you do that you're going to be blessed. David is almost ready this way I walk about liberty and true freedom. Why because I'm bound to your precepts being bound to the law. The word of God brings freedom so with humility.
David has this kind of experience and stupidity toward the word as he says. Search me oh God, and know my heart try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there's any hurtful way of user anything about my complexion. See that's the way you respond. The truth of the word you stoop down to see to learn and you go out to live one contemporary of of FB Meyer was a British pastor named Robert Chapman wrote a couple of his biographies. Robert Chapman was born in 18 to died in 1903 99 years he was single all his life. Pastor dealing with a little church Charles Spurgeon called him the same man he never met fascinating biography, but on occasion Chapman was giving advice to someone who really wanted to make a difference for Jesus.
He was asking looking up how to do that is always challenging to be in ministry leadership Sunday school class about somebody asking a question that needs a volume and they want to sentence just give me a sentence. Love is. He said that this one. Here's how you can make a difference for Christ. Keep a low look up and principle keep low.
In other words, stay home look up. Stay focused on Christ, who ran the race before and press forward live out what you learn this just another way of saying just which is exactly say don't be content just listening even though you have two ears open. You need to learn. Don't stop after learning to live it.
Do the homework practice. It practice, practice those who practice are able been buying that practicing capable of discern between good and evil writer of Hebrews is that which is are guaranteed to spiritual maturity is looking into the word as we do, being convicted by truth because we see a reflection that ought to be that we are not we sell God for giving me something to live and I will all falter. I will be fake last night you are faithful all but I'm not to say Lord look I'm auditing don't give anymore homework. I don't. Practice in his book, improving your servant. Close with this Chuck Swindoll repeated a parable that I have used myself this long comments wonderfully on the truth of this paragraph and I'll read this version of the paragraph. Let's retentive you work for me. In fact, you are my executive assistant in the company was growing rapidly and I'm the owner and I'm interested in expanding oversee to pull this off. I make plans to travel abroad stay overseas branch office can be established, I make all the arrangements to take my family and this moved to Europe, which will last between 6 to 8 month as my assistant. I leave you in charge of all the busy stateside organization.
I tell you that all right regularly to you and give you direction and instruction. I leave you stay in months passed by a flow of letters or mail from Europe and received by the national headquarters in India. My spell out for you.
My expectations finally return soon after my arrival I drive down to the office and stun grass and weeds growing up high a few windows facing the street are broken. I walked into the receptionist room and she's doing her nails and listening to your favorite radio station. I look around and notice the wastebaskets are overflowing. The carpet has been vacuumed and no one seems concerned the owner is even return.
I asked about your whereabouts and someone in the crowded lounge area points down the hall and yells over the radio. I think he disturbed I move in that direction and I bump into you as you are finishing a chess game with our salesman. I ask you to step in my office only to discover that is been temporarily converted into a television. I ask what in the world is going, we mean this place did you get any of my letters. Letters we get every one of them is a matter of fact and letter study every Friday we divide all the personnel in the small group to discuss the letters. Some of things you wrote a really interesting and you would please note, if you listen and actually committed to memory some of your sentences and paragraphs in one or two employees even memorized an entire letter and great stuff in those letters okay you got my letters studying them, discuss them in small groups you memorize them. What did you do about do. We didn't do anything but were still studying. There's a danger in having a devotional read there there. There's a danger in memorizing a passage of Scripture to say the danger is you would say I saw something that devotional pay. Wow, that takes care of my day.
The year James is effectively saying you're not really learning anything unless you desire to limit out with creativity and excellence of the Christ is glorified and we are truly changed a little bit more into the reflection of Christ. See the word of God for I the way to look into the mirror of God's word is to both see the complexion of our soul and the character of the same to see the complexion of our soul was discovered challenging to be exposed to the character of our Savior's power gives us energy hope grace as we obey him. Yes, Lord, your servant, not only was but I'm willing to live out willing to show you been listening to Stephen Davey here on wisdom for the heart. Thanks for joining us. Stephen is currently teaching from a series out of James called bringing faith down to earth.
Today's message is entitled, just do it. Our ministry is on social media and that's a great way to stay informed and to interact with us.
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