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Pastor Scott Markle

Member Since 27 Dec 2012
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Shepherding The Flock - This Man Shall Be Blessed In His Deed – James 1:25

29 October 2014 - 01:51 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:25 reads, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

In James 1:22 God’s Word delivers an instruction and an admonition concerning our right relationship toward God’s Word, saying, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  The positive instruction is that we are ever to pursue being doers of God’s Word.  The negative admonition is that we are never to be hearers only of God’s Word, deceiving our own selves thereby.  In order to emphasize and explain this admonition, James 1:23-24 presents an illustration concerning those who are hearers only of God’s Word, and not doers also, saying, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” 

Then in direct contrast to the hearers only of God’s Word, James 1:25 describes those who are doers also of God’s Word and pronounces a promise of the Lord’s blessing upon them, saying, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Grammatically, James 1:25 can be divided into four parts.  First, there is the description of daily study – “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty.”  Second, there is the description of diligent submission – “And continueth therein.”  Third, there is the description of dedicated obedience – “He being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work.”  Finally, there is the declaration of divine blessing – “This man shall be blessed in his deed.”

The Daily Study

The first description that James 1:25 provides concerning the doer also of God’s Word is that he “looketh into the perfect law of liberty.”  The meaning of the verb “looketh” here indicates an individual who is stooping down in order to examine something more carefully, more closely, and more clearly.  Furthermore, the tense of the verb “looketh” here indicates that this individual practices this intent examination consistently as a habit of life.  Finally, the use of the preposition “into” here indicates that this individual engages in this examination with the specific purpose to acquire some spiritual insight from “the perfect law of liberty.”  He does not simply look atthe perfect law of liberty.”  Rather, he looks intothe perfect law of liberty” in order to obtain growth in spiritual understanding and wisdom.  Indeed, being doers also of God’s Word first requires that we engage in an intent, daily study into the truth of God’s Word.  This was the habit for which the Lord honored the believers at Berea.  In Acts 17:11 God’s Word proclaims concerning them, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  Just as the believers at Thessalonica did, they received the truth of God’s Word “with all readiness of mind” and all meekness of heart.  Yet they were more spiritually noble in that they also searched and studied the truth of God’s Word every day.  Yea, this is the manner in which we might walk under the approval of the Lord our God; for 2 Timothy 2:15 gives the instruction, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  Brethren, we must intently desire the truth of God’s Word, even as a baby intently desires its daily food.  “As new born babes,” we must “desire the sincere milk of the word, that [we] may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).  It is true that the hearer only does make contact with the truth of God’s Word and does consider the message of God’s Word.  Yet the doer also comes to God’s Word more intently and with greater intention.  Yea, the doer also is even more careful and more consistent in his daily study of God’s Word.  He puts forth definite, deliberate effort to study the truth of God’s Word in order to obtain spiritual understanding thereby.

Yet we must not simply come to God’s Word in order to study its principles and promises for our knowledge.  Rather, we must specifically come to God’s Word in order to study its commands and counsels for our living.  In James 1:25 we find that the doer also of God’s Word looks into “the perfect law of liberty.”  Certainly, this phrase serves as a title for God’s Word of truth.  Yet this title also focuses our attention upon God’s Word as an authoritative law for our lives, as an authoritative standard by which our character and our conduct are to be governed.  Certainly, we should intently study God’s Word in order to learn all of its truth.  Yet we must do so not just to acquire the information of that truth, but even more so with the intention to be governed in our living by that truth.  Yet there is even something more.  We must engage in an intent, daily study of God’s Word, not only to receive its commands and counsels, but also to receive its convictions and corrections.  The illustrative picture of James 1:23-24 is that of a man beholding his physical appearance in a mirror in order to discover the defects and defilements upon his face.  Although the picture of this illustration is not specifically carried into James 1:25, it does possess contextual influence upon it.  Just as the man looked into the mirror in order to behold the defects and defilements upon his face, even so the doer also will look “into the perfect law of liberty” in order to behold the defects and defilements within his character and conduct.  Indeed, the doer also will not only look into God’s Word to acquire an understanding of God’s pure truth, but also to acquire an understanding of his own self.  He daily studies the truth of God’s Word, intently seeking for God’s Word to examine his spiritual character, discern his spiritual character, reprove his sinful characteristics, and correct those sinful characteristics.  He daily studies the truth of God’s Word, intently seeking to learn what is not right in his character and conduct and to learn how he may correct that wrong character and conduct.  He daily studies the truth of God’s Word, intently seeking to be transformed in character and conduct thereby.

The Diligent Submission

The second description that James 1:25 provides concerning the doer also of God’s Word is that he “continueth therein.”  The meaning of the verb “continueth” here indicates an abiding near or with something.  In this context, it serves as a transitional element between the looking into God’s Word and the obeying of God’s Word.  Thus in this context the verb “continueth” indicates a two-fold practice of the doer also.  First, having established an intent, daily study of God’s Word, the doer also then abides in the truth of God’s Word.  Yea, he delights greatly in the truth and law of God’s Word so as to meditate therein day and night, all the day long (Psalm 1:2; 112:1; 119:47-48, 97).  In addition, he delights greatly in the truth and law of God’s Word so as to return thereto day after day, all his life long (Psalm 119:14-16, 111-112).  Second, having set his heart’s delight in God’s Word, the doer also then abides by the truth of God’s Word.  Yea, he gives it the full attention of his heart and governs his life faithfully thereby.  He observes “to do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8).  This characteristic of the doer also is presented in direct contrast to the hearer only who, through the mirror of God’s Holy Word, beholds the defects and defilements in his character and conduct, and yet goes away in his own way without putting forth any effort for change or correction.  The doer also does not go away from the convicting and correcting mirror of God’s Holy Word without making changes or corrections.  Rather, the doer also abides by the convicting and correcting mirror of God’s Holy Word with diligent submission to its convicting and correcting work.  He submits himself to obey the convictions, corrections, commands, and counsels of God’s Word; and he does so with spiritual diligence.  The doer also does not go away in his own way of selfishness.  Rather, the doer also abides faithfully in God’s holy way of righteousness.  He faithfully seeks to have his way spiritually cleansed and transformed by diligently taking heed to conform his way according to the standard of God’s Word (Psalm 119:9). 

The Dedicated Obedience

The third description that James 1:25 provides concerning the doer also of God’s Word is that he is “not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work.”  This description is obviously presented in direct contrast to the hearer only, who “goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”  The hearer only is “a forgetful hearer,” but the doer also is the very opposite.  He is “not a forget hearer, but a doer of the work.”  Through his daily study of God’s Word and his diligent submission before God’s Word, the doer also becomes characterized by dedicated obedience to God’s Word.  He does not allow his heart and mind to forget the principles and precepts, standards and statutes, commands and counsels of God’s Word (Psalm 119:16).  Rather, he gives “the more earnest heed” unto the truths of God’s Word so that they might not at any time slip away (Hebrews 2:1).  He diligently roots the truth of God’s Word into the character of his heart in order that he might be guarded from sinful ways and might be guided in spiritual wisdom (Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:16).  He is not characterized by forgetful hearing, or even by mere talking.  Rather, he is characterized by faithful, dedicated, effectual, obedient doing of God’s Word and work.  Now, the change in wording between the instruction James 1:22 and the description of James 1:25 is worthy of notice.  Whereas verse 22 instructs us to be “doers of the word,” verse 25 describes such doers as “doers of the work.”  Even so, whereas verse 22 focuses our attention upon the standard of our obedience as doers of God’s Word, verse 25 focuses our attention upon the dedication of our obedience as doers of God’s work.  Indeed, the doer also is not a forgetful hearer, but a working doer.  He is characterized as a dedicated doer of God’s work according to the standard of God’s Word.  He does not go his own way and immediately forget God’s Word.  Rather, with dedicated faithfulness he runs in God’s way, doing God’s work according to God’s will as revealed in God’s Word (Psalm 119:32). 

The Divine Promise

In conclusion, James 1:25 pronounces a very emphatic promise of blessing concerning the doer also of God’s Word, saying, “This man shall be blessed in his deed.”  This verse begins with the word “whoso” in order to reveal that this divine blessing is freely available to any believer who will meet the three-fold requirement of daily study, diligent submission, and dedicated obedience.  This verse ends with the phrase “this man” in order to emphasize the absolute certainty of this divine promise for those believers who actually pursue the three-fold requirement of daily study, diligent submission, and dedicated obedience.  In addition, the phrase “this man” emphatically directs our attention upon such a doer also as one to be held forth for spiritual admiration and spiritual imitation.  Even so, this doer also, this doer of God’s Word and work, shall be blessed spiritually by God’s own hand.  Indeed, such a faithfully obedient doer of God’s Word and work shall receive “the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).  Yet the promise of James 1:25 does not speak concerning a divine reward in the future, but concerning a divine blessing in the present.  Such a doer also shall be blessed by God’s own hand “in his deed.”  Yea, he shall be blessed by God’s own hand in the process of his obedient doing as “a doer of the work.” 

First, his doing of God’s work itself shall be blessed.  As he engages in daily study of God’s Word, in diligent submission before God’s Word, and in dedicated obedience to God’s Word, then he shall make his way prosperous and shall have good success (Joshua 1:8).  Then his way of doing God’s Word and work shall be spiritually prosperous and successful to accomplish God’s purpose in his life and in others’ lives.  “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).  Second, he himself shall be blessed through his doing of God’s work.  Even so, in John 13:17 our Lord Jesus Christ declared unto his disciples, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”  Indeed, true spiritual joy, happiness, and peace is found only in the faithful doing of God’s Word and work.  Yea, all spiritual blessing is found only in the faithful doing of God’s Word and work.  “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).   Thus in Matthew 7:24-25 our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
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Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Woman Worthy Of Praise (Parts 1 & 2)

27 October 2014 - 08:42 AM

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Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - A Chief Corner Stone, Elect, Precious

20 October 2014 - 01:35 PM

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Shepherding The Flock - Newest Verse Cards - October 17, 2014

17 October 2014 - 09:32 AM

The newest verse cards in our verse card project are as follows:
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To purchase these memory verse cards, you may go to the following page:
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Shepherding The Flock - Be Ye Doers Of The Word – James 1:22-25

16 October 2014 - 09:10 AM

Weekly Sermon

(For those who have been consistently following this blog, you will find that the following message does not quite follow in the flow of my James 1 study.  This is true because it was prepared and preached years before that verse-by-verse study through James 1 began.  Nevertheless, I believe that it is of value to present in this place.) 

James 1:21-25 reads, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

In James 1:21 we who are the children of God are instructed to receive with meekness the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  Rather than reject that truth and teaching, we are to receive that truth and teaching.  Yea, we are to receive it with all readiness of mind.  However, simply receiving the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word is not enough.  Having received that truth and teaching with meekness and with all readiness of mind, we must then take another step with it.  Thus the instruction of verse 22 is given to us, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”  In fact, concerning this matter James 1:22-25 presents us with a pointed command, a powerful warning, and a precious promise.  

The Pointed Command 

As we have already noted, that command and instruction is given to us in the opening portion of verse 22 – “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”  Now, with this pointed command our Lord divides every true believer, every true child of God, into one of two categories.  On the one hand, there are the doers of the Word.  On the other hand, there are the hearers only.  On the one hand, there are those who obediently do those things that they hear from God’s holy Word.  Whereas, on the other hand, there are those who only hear the things that they ought to do, but do not actually do them.  On the one hand, there are those who actually heed the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  On the other hand, there are those who only hear the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  Furthermore, with the pointed command and instruction of this verse our Lord clearly indicates in which of these categories He Himself would have us to be.  For He Himself is the One who pointedly commands us, saying, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”  Brethren, our Lord Himself would have us to be those who both hear and heed the truth and teaching of His Word.  In fact, no matter how much time and effort we may put into hearing and learning God’s Word, if we are hearers only, and not doers also, then our Lord is not at all pleased with our lives.  So then, my beloved brethren, I would ask – Of all those truths and teachings that we have learned from God’s Word, are we actually and obediently doing them in our daily living?  Are we doers of the Word, or are we hearers only?  Our Lord is looking for doers of the Word.

The Powerful Warning 

This warning begins with the closing phrase of verse 22; for we read, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Our Lord delivers this powerful warning to those who are hearers only.  And our Lord’s warning to such hearers only is that they are deceiving themselves by only hearing, and not doing the things of God’s Word.  Furthermore, our Lord does not present this warning as a possibility, or even as a probability.  Rather, He presents this warning as a certainty.  This is the certain truth of our Lord, brethren – Concerning those things that we have already heard and learned from God’s holy Word, if we are not actively seeking to heed and obey them, then we are without question spiritually self-deceived.

Now, in order that we might understand this warning more clearly, our Lord gives us an illustration of the point in verses 23-24.  There we read, “For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”  In this illustration our Lord refers to a man who fully examines his physical face in a mirror.  He fully examines his appearance and takes definite note of those things that are “messed up” and need to be changed.  He takes notice that his face is dirty and needs to be washed.  He takes notice that his teeth are grimy and need to be brushed.  He takes notice that his whiskers are scraggly and need to be shaved or trimmed.  He takes notice that his hair his awry and needs to be combed.  Yet having seen and taken definite notice of these things, he walks away from the mirror without doing a single thing.  In fact, having walked away without doing a single thing, he continues throughout the rest of his day, forgetting how “messed up” he looks and acting as if everything is just fine with his appearance before others. 

Yea, our Lord declares that those who are hearers only, and not doers also, are like this man.  They look into the spiritually pure mirror of God’s holy Word, and it brings them face to face with those things that are spiritually “messed up” in their hearts and lives.  The true and holy Word of God clearly reproves and rebukes these things, and they have a clear understanding that such things need to change.  Yet they walk away from mirror of God’s Word without doing a single thing about their “messed up” spiritual condition.  They walk away without making a single change according to the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  And then, having walked away without doing a single thing or making a single change, they continue throughout their Christian walk, forgetting how spiritually “messed up” their hearts and lives really are and acting as if everything is just fine with their spiritual condition before the Lord their God.  They are hearers only.  Yea, they are forgetful hearers.  Yea, the Lord our God declares that they are self-deceived hearers.  Oh, brethren, I do wonder – How many times have we received some message of God’s Word, whether in our private devotional time, or in some public preaching or teaching time, or in some particular counseling time, and have immediately forgotten everything that we heard and learned when we walked away?  Oh, how quickly do we become hearers only, deceiving our own selves! 

Yet there is one further truth that must be noted concerning this matter of self-deception.  It has to do with the nature of deception itself.  It is that the more and more we remain in the quicksand of deception, the deeper and deeper we will sink into that deception.  The more time that we allow our hearts to remain in deception, the more deeply deceived our hearts will become.  Even so, the more time that we allow our hearts to remain in self-deception, the more self-deceived our hearts will become – until our hearts even become dull of hearing the truth and teaching of God’s Word and become hardened against the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  So then, brethren, let us beware that we not enter this quicksand of self-deception.  Yea, let us beware that we not be hearers only, deceiving our own selves.

The Precious Promise

This promise we find at the end of verse 25; for we read, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Oh, what a precious promise – “This man shall be blessed in his deed”!  Oh, how we desire the hand of our Lord’s blessing to be opened unto us and the blessings of our Lord grace to be poured out upon us!  Oh, how we desire that our Lord might bless us in our lives and labors.  And such is certainly promised to us if we will meet the prerequisite that our Lord sets before us.  So then, what is that prerequisite?  In this verse we find four elements that make up that prerequisite.  First, we find that we must look into the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  For the opening line of the verse states, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty . . ., this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Now, this word “looketh” has the idea, not of some hurried, half-hearted glance, but of a focused, fervent examination.  It has the idea of one who stoops down to take a closer look and to make a more intensive study of something.  Such is the manner in which we are to come to the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  Second, we find that we must continue in the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  For the verse continues, saying, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein . . ., this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Occasional, sporadic times of intensive study are not enough.  Rather, we must search the truth and teaching of God’s Word daily and must meditate therein day and night.  Third, we find that we must not be forgetful of the truth and teaching of God’s holy Word.  For the verse continues yet the more, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer . . ., this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Rather and finally, we find that we must be faithfully obedient to the truth and teaching of God’s Word.  For the verse continues in full, saying, “But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  Brethren, our Lord’s blessing is promised to those who study His Word, meditate in His Word, and obey His Word.  If we do not come to the point of obedience, we shall find no blessing.  If we would received our Lord’s blessing upon our lives and labors, then we must not be forgetful hearers, but must be faithful doers of His Word.
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