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.
Receiving the Truth of the Word
God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth! We should hear the Word and pursue its truth to know God’s will and to know God’s Word better. We should be swift in doing so. “I understand I am here to speak and you are here to listen. Let’s hope we both finish at the same time.” Hearing the Word develops knowledge of the Word. We should be cautious speaking this knowledge…i.e. teaching, preaching, etc.
Reacting to the Truth of the Word
James says professing believers are to be “doers.” He didn’t just speak of certain actions—doing this or doing that. No, doers all around. Also, they weren’t solely hearers. It is not the hearing, but the doing that brings the blessing. Professing Christians who are content with only hearing the Word have made a spiritual miscalculation.
Hearers only see themselves while hearing. Unless they act promptly after they hear the Word, they forget the changes and improvements they need to make. In both the Old and New Testaments, God’s revealed, inerrant, sufficient, and comprehensive Word is called “law.” The presence of His grace does not mean there is no moral law to obey. We are enabled by the Spirit to keep this law. We are freed from sin’s bondage and enabled to obey God.
Pastor Chance Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN