But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
It has been said that effective bible study must be built upon three foundational questions: What does the Bible say? What does it mean? How does it apply to my life? Each of these questions is important and valuable, however, applying God’s Word must remain our highest goal.
Both the Old and New Testament emphasize the importance of applying scripture. Brother Derek wrote an article a few weeks back helping us to recognize that true success is seen by following the Word of God. Joshua receives a message from God with the“inside track” for genuine success: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8) The command given by God to the Israelites just prior to their entering of the promised land is a command to be a doer of the Word - one who receives, studies, and understands Scripture and then applies it to every aspect of one’s life. This was the key to Joshua’s amazing success.
James 1:22 is the New Testament parallel to Joshua 1:8 and is directed to every believer. It is not enough to hear the Word — you must also do what it says.
The phrase “doer of the word” is not referring to the person who periodically obeys, but rather those who habitually and characteristically obey. James helps us to realize that it is one thing to run in a race, but quite different to be a runner. It is one thing to teach a class; its something else to be a teacher. Runners are known for running. Teachers are known for teaching. Christians should be known for their consistent obedience to Biblical truth.
The believer should never be content to be a hearer only, but a doer. Your claim to love Christ must be proved by your obedience to Him. Matthew 7:21-23 records tragic results for the spiritually deluded individual. Jesus says: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Jesus made a clear distinction between those who claim Christianity…and those who truly are Christians. In the words of James, those who claim Christ follow Him and do not deceive themselves. Faith Baptist, live by the Word. Follow Christ through the commands and parameters that he has clearly and distinctly outlined through Scripture.