1. In his letter James addressed a number of important issues relating to Christianity.
a. (1:2-18) He wrote at length about "facing temptations."
b. (1:19-27) He wrote about "hearing and doing the Word."
2. This lesson is a study of the message presented in 1:22-25.
3. To understand this message we must keep in mind the information presented earlier.
a. (vs.18) God wants His children to be "a kind of firstfruits of His creatures."
b. To accomplish this we must follow the instructions given in vs.19-21, including "receiving the
engrafted Word with meekness."
4. By contrasting 2 kinds of hearers in vs.22-25, James explained what is involved in receiving God's
Word this way.
a. One kind of hearer obeys God's Word.
b. The other kind of hearer does not obey.
I. (vs.22a) WE ARE TO BE DOERS OF THE WORD
A. A doer of the Word is described in vs.25a.
1. He "looks [gazes carefully] into" the perfect law of liberty.
a. The "perfect law of liberty" is the law of Christ, the New Testament (Hebrews 9:15).
1) It is perfect in that it provides "liberty" [complete removal of sin -- Hebrews 8:6-12].
2) The Law of Moses could not do this (Hebrews 10:1-4).
2. He "continues [abides] in" the perfect law of liberty.
3. He is not a "forgetful hearer" -- he does not forget what he learns from the Lord's law.
4. He is a "doer of the work" found in the Lord's law.
B. The kind of hearer described in vs.25a will "be blessed in his deed" (vs.25b).
II. (vs.22b) WE ARE NOT TO BE HEARERS ONLY
A. One who only hears God's Word without doing what it says is described in vs.23-24.
1. He is like a person who:
a. looks at his face in a mirror
b. sees himself as he is [he becomes aware of improvements that need to be made]
c. goes on his way
d. forgets the image he saw.
2. James actually described a person who:
a. looks into God's Word [the mirror of the soul]
b. sees himself as God sees him [he becomes aware of sins that need to be corrected]
c. goes on his way
d. forgets his faults that God's Word has revealed.
B. A person who hears the Lord's Word without doing what it says deceives himself.
1. He might convince himself that he is a righteous person.
2. However, he has not fooled God -- he has only fooled himself.
C. By contrasting these 2 kinds of hearers, James explained and illustrated what it means to
receive the engrafted word with meekness.
III. JESUS STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF HEARING HIS WORD PROPERLY
A. Jesus contrasted the same 2 kinds of hearers in Matthew 7:24-27.
B. He wants us to examine the way we hear His Word (Luke 8:18).
C. He issued a strong warning against rejecting His Word (John 12:48).
D. Those who continue in His Word will be blessed (John 8:31-32).