James 1: Hearing and Doing
James 1 begins one of the greatest theological debates in the history of the church. What is the relationship between faith and works? Tomorrow will also involve this topic, but James begins the discussion in chapter 1, so I figure we should as well.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23 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:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 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.
It is important that Christians are active in living out their faith. James encourages us to not only listen or I presume by extension read the Bible. Rather, we want to put that into action. We want to do what the Bible says.
He compares it to a mirror. After you look at yourself in a mirror, if something is wrong, you should fix it. If your hair is a mess, you should make it look better. The Bible is similar for our hearts. If the Bible tells us something is blatantly wrong in our lives, then we need to take action to correct that problem.
I think that this intuitively make sense for most of us, and this is not overly controversial today. However, it is important to recognize that it is not enough to simply hear the word. Many people can hear the word, but we are encouraged to remember that we need to be actively building our lives on that guide. I wanted to make sure that we started here with this passage before we move on to heavier things.