Jas 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Jas 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
Jas 1:24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Jas 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
In line with the series of introspective messages I have been preaching in the recent past. Today we analyze another portion of scripture that deals with seeing yourself for who you really are.
James here is writing to the Jews that have been scattered abroad and were trying to keep them focused amongst a lot of false teaching that would have been going around in those times. They all heard the word already.
HEARING THE WORD
These readers did not have a bible to read. They relied on what they heard every week at the synagogue from the apostles. After they were driven out of Palestine they would not have gotten much opportunity to hear the spoken word from the apostles.
Act 13:44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
LAW OF LIBERTY
vs.25 speaks of the law of Liberty. The law of liberty is Christ and his work. They would have known about the Law of Moses but when they were converted the Law of liberty is what they now held to.
REACTION TO HEARING
The Jews reaction to hearing this law of liberty was conversion. They believed that Christ was the messiah and he died for their sins. This caused them to see the new covenant that was brought by Jesus and follow it. To follow Jesus was to follow his teachings. Jesus was a teacher that emphasized the need for man to put aside their flesh and follow after him.
vs21 shows that the teaching was along the lines of the Gospel. “Putting aside all filthiness and overflowing evil”
THE MIRROR PRINCIPLE
Here is where is get’s practical. A mirror is a piece of relfective glass that portrays an exact image of the person or object that stands in front of it.
So exactly what you see in the mirror is what is there.
Everybody had pimples in their teenage years, some still have them in their late adulthood. We all know the pain and agony experienced when you wake up and you see one glaring whitehead in the middle of your forehead just staring at you!
It is disgusting and you immediately know that you have to get rid of it. So you burst it and for the rest of the day you make sure that you keep some wipes and astringent and what not so that it does not come back. The next day you make sure you wash your face with your ponds facial cleanser and do everything possible to take action on what you saw in the mirror that day.
Sadly when we look in the mirror of the word of God and we see our sin. we totally forget it and live like it’s not there. Imagine ignoring the whitehead on your face and walking all around and everybdy is watching you because it is huge! Thats the same way we are with sin. We see it in the bible time and time again, and we ignore it and go about living our lives in sin and other people see it. Most of all God sees it.
The mirror of the word is supposed to show us our imperfections and the fact that we do not meet the standard of the God of the 66 books of the bible. When we see our sin in relation to it we must take action or else we are decieving ourselves into thinking we have this thing right. We don’t!
HOW DOES THE WORD GET THERE
More practicality comes out.
vs21. “receive in meekness the IMPLANTED Word”
To implant something is to put in something that was not there before. A pacemaker is an implant because it was not there. A tapped phone line is an implant for the police to know what’s going on on the inside.
To implant the word of God is to purposefully put it there.
Why do we need the word in us?
Luk 11:28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Mat 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
How do we implant the word?
First you have to read it. The people in this passage heard it. We have the privellage to have it written so that we can read it over and over. But we don’t so sometimes we don’t even get to see that we are sinning because we have not seen it in the bible yet.
How deep does the word of God go?
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
How do we actually achieve implantation?
Psa 119:11 I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You.
You hide it in your heart. Put it there and lock it in. AKA Memorize! Memorization of the scripture or the themes of scripture is of major importance because without it you will not be able to vs21 “save your souls”. Because it is that same scripture that is able to save your soul.
How do we lock it in?
When something needs to be locked in like a nail into wood. The carpenter needs to do a repeated action with a hammer. He has to hit the nail over and over and over until it goes straight down.
This is where meditation comes in. Meditation on something is the consistent review of it in your mind until it becomes part of you. People who worry alot did not get there by just worrying once. They worry for everything and they consistently meditate on problems. By doing this they become people who have become what they do. Worriers.
Psa 119:15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
Psa 119:23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Psa 119:27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
What does a person who meditates on the word of God become?
The word of God!!!
What is the word of God?
The image of Jesus.
What is a Christian supposed to be?
The image of Jesus!!!!
You can’t just read it for reading it sake, you have to see yourself in it. See your imperfections. When you look into the bible mirror and see your big whitehead on your forehead which is your sin. You need to desperately try to get it off your face. And when you leave that mirror be constantly reminded that it is there and you have to eradicate it.
The only way to eradicate it is to clean up from the inside. That entails meditating on the word of God and reminding yourself about it as you live through day to day.
Practically meaning throughout the day the scriptures should be floating all around your mind. You should be always thinking about biblical concepts that you read, wrestling with the scriptures that challenged you, analyzing to see if you are meeting up to the standards that you have read and memorized.
Most of all when the opportunity to sin presents itself the scriptures provide the arsenal for you to hold it off because it has become part of you.
CONTINUE IN IT!
Doing the word cements it in your spirit.
Some of you have been hearing the call of the Lord for salvation for a while but you deny the Word that you are hearing. You may have even read it. You have seen yourself in the mirror and ignored it. You would rather walk around with a whiteheads and blackheads all over your face and ignore that it is there. It cannot be ignored your sin is there and you need Jesus to cleanse you.
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Some of you have been saved but as you go through the walk you have seen your sin in the face of the bible but you have not acted on it. You are just decieving yourself into a comfort zone of how you want to live life. You think that being saved is all that is needed, but you ignore that sanctification is necessary for you to grow, which means you have to progressively curb your sinful tendences by renewing your mind as the scripture says.
Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.