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Janet's Corner

Home | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005

Lesson 7: Real Faith Knows the Truth About the Word of God

Jame 1: 18-21

We’ve seen the truth about trials

…The truth about receiving wisdom for our trials.

…The truth about relying on spiritual, not material resources

…The truth about the crown of life awaiting us!

…The truth about temptation in the midst of trials.

Today … the truth about the Word of God in the midst of trails.

Read James 1:18-21

As we move on to verses 18-21 James shows us the ministry of God’s Word in our lives. We need to know the truth about His Word to walk through the trials with real faith – becoming doers of the word, not just merely hearers. Others will be able to tell we believe in Jesus by the way we walk through our trials by the attitude we have toward God’s Word. 

James reveals two truths about the Word and then clearly states two responsibilities we have to the Word of God.

First one is in verse 18…

A. The Word of truth gives us spiritual birth. (vs. 18) James uses another picture of birth. What a contrast from last week’s picture when we learned that when our evil desires are conceived they give birth to sin and sin gives birth to death. These verses show us that we are given birth to life! God chose (He exercised His will) to give us spiritual life through the Word– you heard the gospel and received spiritual life.  Remember you belong to God. In the midst of trials and temptations this is an important truth to hang on to. We are a child of God in which the Holy Spirit resides and we can rely on His power to face temptation and trials. Remember who you belong to! 

Our responsibility to the Word of truth? The flow of thought all the way through verse 25 centers around the Word.  Verses 19-20 show us how to respond to the word of truth. ‘Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to become angry."

This word was very important to the people to whom James was writing. They did not have the advantage of being able to read the Word of God like we do. It was read to them, even this letter. So as James reminded them of the regenerating power of God’s word, he commands (imperative mood…do this) them to know and to act upon three ongoing responsibilities to the Word. There lives must represent the one they belong to, by allowing the word to function in their every day life.

So James says don’t let it go in one ear and out the other. Be quick to listen. Don’t just hear it, but take it in. Can’t you tell whether someone has heard you or not? Is really listening or not?

Don’t make quick judgments or give quick opinions on what you hear – be slow to speak.

Don’t be angry about what you hear – do we always like what we hear as we listen to God’s Word to us? The truth is very revealing and we are not ready to hear it, so we become angry about what we heard because we don’t like it or don’t agree with it. This word for anger here means not just a sudden outburst of anger, but a long lasting anger toward the word. Verse 20 says very clearly that anger doesn’t produce the right action (righteousness) – the righteous life that God desires.

Acts 17:11 gives us a clue how to obey this exhortation – how to walk out this responsibility to the Word. We need to be like the Bereans – receiving the Word with great eagerness and examining the scriptures everyday to see if they are true.

Because of the regenerating power of the word of God we need to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

The second truth revealed to us about the Word of God…

B. Word of God is implanted in us (vs. 21) The seed of God’s word is rooting itself in our hearts.

The questions become…

1.  Will our hearts be ready to receive the Word of God.

2.  What will our attitude be toward receiving the Word of God.

Will we be ready? Beginning of verse 21 shows us that we need to make ourselves ready by getting rid of certain things so that we have room to be filled with Christ’s righteousness. These words "get rid" in the Greek reflect to us the meaning of taking off of old clothes. And throughout the Word of God we are instructed to take off what we were dressed in and put on Christ. Here James says get rid of that moral filth – anything that is making you dirty. Do you know what it feels like when you clothes get dirty? All of a sudden you see a big spot on your blouse? What do you want to do? Take it off and put something clean on? Of course…This is the same eagerness that James encourages us to look at our spiritual life with. Anything making you dirty or anything making you evil. Evil refers to those malicious or vicious acts that are part of your character. We need to get rid of them – literally strip ourselves of them. Confessing them as sin and receiving cleansing by the blood of Jesus. You are the only one that can do this. And to do it, you need to spend time alone with God, letting him examine your heart, being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. You must put aside sin that hinders you. Get alone with God and a sheet of paper and a pencil. Expect God to speak to you. Don’t think anything that comes to mind is insignificant. Take each thing that God brings to mind and confess them. Tell God you are putting them aside – stripping yourself of them, taking them off. This is being a doer of the word (obeying it), not just hearing it and walking away.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger….

Get rid of those things that hinder you from receiving more…

Then we are ready to receive the seeds of truth that God wants to plant in our hearts. What’s our attitude toward those seeds of truth? We receive them with humility, accepting that which comes into our life as from God and being good. There is a gentleness of Spirit. There is a teachable spirit. Are you teachable? Are you ready to receive?

What will be the outcome? Our souls are saved! Let the word bring forth change in your life. In your soul – your self – your mind be transformed, your will will be conformed and your emotions will be controlled. Let the Word of God sanctify you, set you apart, Let the Word of God conceive in you righteousness, instead of your evil desires which bring forth death.

The word of truth planted in your heart can produce righteousness in your life.

Remember that chapter one is a flow of thoughts about trials. What does this have to do with trials. In the midst of trials, God will expose things that you need to get rid of. If we do get rid of them, we will not reap the benefits of his purposes in our lives for those trials - a clean heart - a heart that holds the things of God and God himself more dearly - a heart that wants to honor God in all we do no matter the circumstances.

How about you?

Maybe you need to experience the regenerating power of the word of God. Jesus loves you, even though you are a sinner, God wants to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He wants you to receive life through His Word.

Do you know you are a child of God?

Will you receive the word today in humility, no matter what he reveals about your heart?

Are you ready for Him to plant his Word in your heart?