|James 1:21-24 |
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and residue of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.3 [If you humbly believe and obey the words that you hear Christ speak to you, they are engrafted into your heart, fulfilling the scripture: I will put my laws into their hearts, and I will write them in their minds (inward understanding). Heb 10:16. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must obey every law the Spirit establishes."]
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [James is saying that if you fail to obey what you hear spoken by Christ to you from within your heart, you are deceiving yourself that obedience is not essential. Obedience leads to righteousness, and obedience leads to salvation; without obedience you will experience neither.]
23 For if anyone is only a hearer of the word, and not a doer,4 he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror,
24 Who looks at himself and goes on his way, immediately forgetting what he looked like.
4 to be only a hearer of the word and not a doer of the word is to be shown by the Lord some aspect of your slavery to sin, and then to ignore it, continuing in your old way. When a man loves his ways, he cannot hear the Lord's gentle attempts to alert him to his errors. So he blithely continues on his chosen path, which, unless eventually forsaken, leads him to destruction. As Jesus said: But he who hears, and does not [practice my teachings], is like a man who built an house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the torrent struck violently, and immediately it collapsed; and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:49. Note "hearers of the word," not readers of the word; James is speaking about hearing the word that is in your heart.