Doing the word of God
Scripture: James 1:1-27
Aim: To help the pupil understand that “doing the Word of God” is expected by God.
Golden Text: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
The book of James is the focus of our study in April. We will study one chapter each week. James is a book of action. True Christian faith is active, alive, doing the things that the Heavenly Father has instructed to be done. Faith is never static. There is an abundance of activity in the life of a person who is a genuine born-again believer. These lessons address actions of Christian living that are intended for every Christian.
1. The believer is instructed in how to meet the various “temptations,” which are common to all believers (vs. 2-16).
There are two basic types of “temptations.” One is a difficulty, hardship, choice, etc., which “tests” the faithfulness and character of the believer. These tests are not sin. They are things that a believer faces which are designed to reveal, strengthen, encourage, be an example, or, dozens of other things.
These things never come with the intent to make a believer sin against God. They are for the benefit of the believer and his testimony before others. These testings are to be encountered with the joy of the Lord (vs. 2) because God is at work within.
These tests are to be endured with patience, knowing that God is developing the Christian (vs. 3-4). We all have seen someone who suffered greatly show unusual patience. Developing great endurance produces patience. Little endurance usually means little patience.
These tests are to be faced with strong faith in God and his wisdom (vs. 5-8).
We ask God for wisdom (for whatever we need) and believe that He will give wisdom and direction as we in faith follow Him, as we do His will. If one is weak in faith he “wavers,” unable to be faithful and fruitful for God (vs. 6-7).
These tests are to be faced with joy at the station in life that God has given to us (vs. 9-11). Some are wealthy, some poor; some are leaders, some are followers, etc. All are to obey God. Every faithful one will be rewarded by the Lord (vs. 12)
2. The second type of temptation is the “solicitation to do evil” (vs. 13-17). God never tries to get one to do evil, and He never puts people in the position where they must sin. Read these verses carefully. Sin comes from the desires within the person because of his sinful condition (vs. 14). To follow these temptations is rebellion against God and His word. That is forbidden! God only gives good and blessed things to men (vs. 17).
3. The believer is to order his life in such a way so as to obey the Word of God (vs. 18-27).
First, we are saved through the Word (vs. 18).
Second, we are to be “swift to hear, slow to speak,” thus turning away from anger and wrath toward peace (vs. 19-20).
Third, we are to put away all that is sinful and evil (filthiness and naughtiness), receive the Word of God and obey it (vs. 22).
Fourth, the believer is to “do”—”practice” the Word of God (vs. 22-27). One must find out what the Word says, and then he must do it (vs. 22). Not to do so is foolishness and accomplishes nothing of value for the believer (vs. 23-24). It is like looking in the mirror. Standing before the mirror reveals an image of you. When you move away, the image is no longer in the mirror. The believer’s life is not to be based upon images, appearances. He should be real, an obedient believer.
The test of a true believer is “does he ‘do’ the Word”? If so he bridles his tongue (vs. 26), and he shows love and concern, along with a helping hand, to those around him who are in need, especially those who of fellow believers (vs. 27).
The true believer is a person of action. He is literally living out his faith. How about you and me? Are we doing the Word?