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of Bible Study Notes
"Blessed Are The Doers"
Wednesday AM Bible Study
May 21, 2003
In our last study, we saw how James introduced us to the sort of attitudes
we should have to be receptive to God's word and gain it's life-changing
benefits (vv.19-21). And now, here is the second part of that instruction.
It would do us little good to be receptive of it, and yet not faithful
to do it.
We should always be cautious of "success" and "self-help" literature.
But one of the leaders in that movement, Anthony Robbins, has rightly
said that he has found that statistically less than 10% of people who
listen to "success" material actually do what it says. He said, "The main
problem most people have is that they know what to do, but they don't
do what they know."
We, as Christians, have the same problem. Here, Pastor James reminds
us of the importance of not only hearing and "receiving" God's word, but
of putting what we hear into practice.
I. WE ARE TO BE "DOERS" AND NOT MERE "HEARERS" OF GOD'S WORD.
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves"
A. This is an "imperative" - that is, a command. The Bible is
filled with the instruction that we are to be "doers" of what God says
(Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 11:27-28; John 13:12-17; Luke 6:46).
B. This is also an imperative in the "present tense". That means that
it's something that we are to keep on doing as a regular practice of
C. James says that the person who doesn't do this is "deceiving" themselves.
People who "hear" the word can easily "deceive" themselves in such a
way as to not do it and thus lose the benefit of hearing.
1. They can deceive themselves by being "sentimental" about
the word. instead of obedient to it (Ez. 33:31-32).
2. They can deceive themselves by being "prideful" in the hearing
of it, instead of humbled by it (1 Cor. 3:18-19; 8:1).
3. They can deceive themselves by justifying the sin it points to,
instead of repenting of it (1 John 1:5-10).
II. BECAUSE THE BLESSING OF HEARING ONLY COMES TO THE "DOERS".
"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a
man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes
away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks
into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful
hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does
A. Those who are "hearers only" gain no benefit. Stop and think how
many times in the course of a day you look in a mirror. Why do you look
into it? What do you check for? What good would it do to only look,
but never do anything about what you see? The same principle applies
with those who look into the Scriptures.
B. By contrast, those who are "doers" as well as "hearers" are "blessed.
1. They are looking into the "perfect law, the law of liberty".
It is "perfect" because:
a. It is from God (Psalm 19:7-11).
b. It is complete (Matthew 5:17-19).
c. It leads to the goal of our full liberty in Christ (Gal. 3:22-24;
2. They not only "look" but "look into" it in such a way as to perceive.
The word James uses describes a close, intense kind of looking.
3. They not only look intensely and perceive, but they abide in it
- that is, remain constantly with the matter and persevere in it.
4. They then become not forgetful hearers, but effectual doers. Dr.
Mitchell used to say that he never memorized Scripture - even though
it was very apparent that he had. He said that he simply put a passage
into use; and in doing what it said, he ended up memorizing it.