Parents, when you tell your children to do something, you expect them to do it. Teachers expect the same in the classroom and supervisors on the job; anyone in authority and all those under authority know this. Do you think it’s any different with God? We are under His authority, and we know the answer. But how often are we guilty of hearing what God has to say but not doing it? We may even deceive ourselves to think that if we go to church and listen, we’ve done our duty. But God is blunt: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." Hearing and doing God’s Word are as inseparable as breathing and living. "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." (James 1:22-24) How foolish we are to listen without doing!
How can we be doers of God’s Word? He tells us: "But the person who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:25) This "perfect law that gives freedom" refers to the entirety of God’s Word, especially the Gospel, the central message of the Bible. It’s all about Jesus, who came as your substitute, to live for you as a perfect doer of God’s Word, to die for you as the perfect sacrifice for your disobedience, to rise from the dead to declare you free from the guilt and penalty of your sin. In Jesus you are also freed from the power of sin, freed to live as a doer of His Word. What enables you to live that life is the forgiveness of sins Jesus freely gives you through faith in Him. Being a doer of God’s Word is not a matter of your will power but a matter of the Gospel’s liberating power. So look intently into God’s Word and continue to do this, not forgetting the freedom that your Savior Jesus Christ has given you to BE A DOER OF GOD’S WORD.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.