Be not hearers only but doers too. (James 1:22)
Many people in a bid to contradict the gospel of Grace… (which by the way is the only Gospel)…present this verse from James to prove a point: “Doing is the rule not believing”! Some sincere believers in the gospel also have a pause moment in their spiritual joy when they come in contact with this verse. What on planet earth does James mean by: ” be not hearers only but doers”?
Now listen carefully: The book of James in some cases appears to have been written to contradict what Paul wrote in his epistles. Paul was very emphatic about believers having an attitude of HEARING. (Rom 10:17, Gal 3:2,5) James on the other hand, is saying; ‘…But be ye doers of the word, and NOT HEARERS ONLY, deceiving your own selves…’ (James 1:22)
Let me divert a little to show you another example of Bro Paul vs. Bro James saga. In Paul’s epistle, you will see his strong emphasis on Righteousness by Faith that has Nothing to do with the WORKS a man does.
‘…Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED by faith WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW…’ (Rom 3:28)
‘…But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him WITHOUT KEEPING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW…’ (Rom 3:21)
Sweet verses! Clear and precise writings that exalt the Grace of God via the finished work of Christ. But…just try flipping your Bible to the book of James…and you will encounter a verse like:
‘…You FOOLISH person, do you want evidence that FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS USELESS?…’ (James 2:20 NIV)
Bro James was not just calm about this at all… What exactly is going on! Could it be that Bro James was just replying Bro Paul to refute his epistles? Well, the answer is NO! James was not replying Paul. The two of them are actually agreeing together on the matter.
Now listen carefully: Paul was saying that when it comes TO GOD, faith without works is powerfully ALIVE!
‘…for by grace have ye been saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; NOT OF WORKS, that NO MAN SHOULD GLORY…’ (Eph. 2:8-9)
Faith without works is ALIVE BEFORE GOD! But James was saying that when it comes TO MEN, faith without works is seriously DEAD!
‘…Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “HOW CAN YOU SHOW ME your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I WILL SHOW YOU my faith by my good deeds…’ (James 2:18 NLT)
He is not showing God…but men! In the context of Salvation, Paul was clear about this matter:
‘…For if Abraham was justified by WORKS, he has something to boast about, BUT NOT BEFORE GOD…’ (Rom 4:2)
So clear! Memorize this simple rule: works don’t justify, but the justified works! Righteous works don’t make you Righteous; but the Righteous does Righteous works. Swimming doesn’t make you a fish; but a true fish will swim! I guess we are clear on this?
Let’s get back to what this post is really about: ‘…But be ye DOERS of the word, and NOT HEARERS ONLY, deceiving your own selves…’ (James 1:22) So was Bro James refuting what Bro Paul taught about continuous and attentive HEARING of the Gospel? Was he saying it is about DOING and not just HEARING? No. Follow carefully as I show you the context of what James was saying:
‘…But be YE DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man BEHOLDING his natural face in a MIRROR: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and STRAIGHTWAY FORGETTETH what manner of man he was. But he that LOOKETH into the perfect law, the LAW OF LIBERTY, and ‘so continueth, being NOT A HEARER THAT FORGETTETH but a doer that worketh, this man shall be BLESSED IN HIS DOING…’ (James 1:22-25)
This is just too sweet! He said: be a doer…not just a hearer. Then he used an illustration of a mirror to tell you who a DOER is.That mirror is a mirror of GRACE ….called The Perfect Law of LIBERTY!Oh, I’m so excited right now even as I type this post.This ‘hearer’ looked at Himself in the mirror of GRACE, and saw Himself as the Righteousness of God in Christ!But guess what?
He took his eyes off the mirror and ‘…STRAIGHTWAY FORGETTETH what manner of man he was…’ (vs24)
That was it! He was not a doer because he FORGOT WHO HE SAW IN THE MIRROR OF GRACE! Then James went ahead to describe who a doer really is.
‘…But HE THAT LOOKETH INTO THE PERFECT LAW, the law of liberty, AND’SO CONTINUETH, BEING NOT A HEARER THAT FORGETTETH but a doer that worketh, this man shall be BLESSED IN HIS DOING…’ (James 2:25)
This is so simple! DOERS of the word are believers who refuse to FORGET what they initially heard! They are believers who CONTINUED TO LOOK into the perfect law of LIBERTY in Christ! Therefore, James was simply saying that DOERS are ADDICTED HEARERS!Same thing!
Hearing and Hearing and Hearing and Hearing….until Faith is birthed in you and you are well positioned for the miraculous to happen! This is what he meant by ‘…this man shall be BLESSED IN HIS DOING…’ (James 2:25) Because the doing there is simply ‘continuous hearing of the Gospel of GRACE’! Hallelujah.
Therefore go ahead and take mastery and dominion over all satanic forces by being a CONTINUOUS HEARER OF THE GOSPEL OF LIBERTY IN CHRIST JESUS!
‘…does God give you the Holy Spirit and WORK MIRACLES among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you HEARD about Christ…’ (Gal 3:5 NLT)
Addicted hearers end up as Astonishing doers. It’s an automatic flow. Glory to Jesus.
I hope this post blessed you. Kindly let me know.