For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24. for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
There are many spiritual laws given to us in God’s Word. Some people would say I’ve never heard of spiritual laws before. However as we read through the Word of God we will see that His Word is full of spiritual laws. These laws are absolutes in God’s Word.
They define not only the boundaries but the limitless of God’s grace to His children. When we come to understand the truth of the Gospel in it’s fullest we can then come to a place where we can be partakers of His divine grace. Knowing is the beginning of this journey.
On one side there is joy and on the opposite side there is despair. On one side there is light and on the other side the is darkness. On one end of the spectrum there is life and on the other end there is death. You see there is absolutely no co-mingling of these things. When we understand this, it becomes much easier for us to see where all the evil in the world comes from. God is not the author of these things, nor can He ever be. Joy will never walk hand in hand with despair, light will never mingle with darkness, life will never co-exist with death. These things are at totally opposite ends of the spectrum, just as the East is from West and the North is from South. God is as far away from evil as the East is from the West, and the North is from the South. To quote an old saying, never the twain shall meet. They can not nor will they ever.
I think it is important to talk about all of this now with all the disasters and destruction that is going on in the world. Many people would ask, is God the author these things? Did God cause Huricanes I don’t have all the answers, or have all knowledge, but I know God is not the author of evil, not now, not ever. God can not and will not break His own laws. His laws are set in motion and can not be broken by us as well. We must come to understand these laws if we are going to function properly in them. Laws are given not only to give direction but to govern. Without laws there would be chaos. A system of law and order is the mark of a civilized society. It is similar with spiritual laws. I would also like to point out that when laws are broken there are consequences. This is another sign of a civilized society. It is to our benefit to understand the purpose and the operation of not only natural laws but spiritual laws. It will be much easier for us to walk in understanding of God’s Word when we do. This something to keep in mind.
In our opening text, James says in 1:22. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24. for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
This first hearer of the Word is someone who has received revelation knowledge and does not act on it. You must follow through with what you have received. This is the man who will be blessed in what he does. This is the man who will receive the reward for his obedience to the Word of God. Be aware of who you are in Christ Jesus. Feed your beliefs and starve your doubts. Put God’s Word first place in your life. Hear and meditate continually in God’s Word. You must act on the heart knowledge you have received. You must continue in what you have looked at. In other words you must continue in the revealed knowledge that God has given you, and not forget what you have been given. Then do something with what you have been given. Then and only then you will be blessed in what you do. This is the perfect law of liberty. I would like to say that all of God’s laws are perfect, there are no flaws in them. The flaws come many times from our lack of understanding of God’s Word and how to appropriate His promises. Many times a lack of knowledge will lead to confusion and eventually frustration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we look and continue there in, we will receive what He has already freely given. God’s Word tells us we will. Don’t give up, keep on keeping on.
What happens when you look into the perfect law of liberty and do not continue in it, and also forget what you hear? My question here is are there consequences? Sure there are, whether you are one who continues therein as James said or are a forgetful hearer, there will be an outcome either good or bad. James said the consequences are, we will be blessed in what we do if we continue therein, but the opposite of being blessed in what we do would be that we will not be blessed in what we do! Blessings or the opposite of blessing.
— New American Standard. James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
Not being blessed in what we do sounds like a hard way to go. The New American Standard Bible say if you only hear and will not do what you have heard, you are deluding yourself. This doesn’t sound like a feel good sermon to me, this is a serious warning.
This should motivate us to get understanding of God’s laws and to begin to learn to walk in them. Let’s take a closer look at the perfect law of liberty.
First of all Liberty is defined in the Greek as a loosening or relaxation. In the NT it always carries the thought of relief from tribulation or persecution; Josephus speaks of the rest or relief (anesis) from plowing and tillage, given to the land in the Year of Jubilee.
Liberty is a word much used recently. It is also a word that can be used synonymously with freedom. I would like to say that freedom has never been free. It always has a price. There has never in the history of the world been freedom without bloodshed.
Our liberty or freedom was purchased at a great price. It was the greatest price that could be paid. It was purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. There was no higher price that could be paid. Yet many religious people would have you doing all sorts of things to try and earn your salvation, as if the highest price ever paid was not sufficient. They would heap condemnation and guilt on you if you don’t do all of the things they feel necessary for you to do in order to fulfill your salvation. I would say if you are one of these people that feels the need to do, then you need to take a good hard look at God’s Word. The only thing you can do in order to be saved is to receive what has already been freely given. You might say, well that sounds too easy. IT IS. This is the simplicity of the Gospel. It takes man made religion to twist and pervert the simple Gospel in order to make it that hard. Nothing that you can physically do can earn your salvation. If you are in Christ Jesus then you are complete in Him and God sees you this way. The problem is, we don’t see ourselves this way. We have been taught what lowly sinners we are. It is true that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23.) but that is not the jest of what the Apostle Paul was saying. Let’s read starting from vs. 20.
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