Repent, Receive, And Do

Photo by Ian Turnell:

Please turn with me in your Bibles to James Chapter One. This morning we talked about the difference between Salvation and Sanctification. Salvation is a place we enter when we repent and turn to Jesus, believing Him to be our Lord and Savior. Giving our broken lives to Him, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit of God to us to begin a lifetime work in our lives.

We repent of being our own god, and turn to God the Son, Jesus Christ.
We receive the Scripture as God’s Word – especially what Jesus decreed.
We reflect in our lives the life of Christ, for we are God’s children.

The “religion” that gets a person into God’s Heaven cannot be divorced from the way of Christ. Jesus taught us the twin pillars of our faith is to love God supremely, and to love others the way that Jesus has loved us (Matthew 22:36-40; John 13:34).

Opening: On July 11, 1656, two Quaker Missionaries Ann Austin and Mary Fisher arrived in Boston Harbor, New England. A Christian denomination called the Puritans ruled Massachusetts, much like the Pharisees ruled Israel in Jesus’ day. The Puritans believed the Quakers to be a cult. Deputy Governor Richard Bellingham boarded the ladies ship, ordered the women to stay on board, and confiscated 100 books the ladies brought with them. The books were burned, the women imprisoned without counsel or the ability to speak to anyone, and were stripped naked. The window of their cell was boarded up, and they were allowed no candle for light. No arrangement was made by the government to feed them. Bostonians were warned that any attempt to speak to these ladies would be heavily fined. A Christian innkeeper named Nicholas Upsall bribed the jailer five shillings a week to take food and water to the prisoners. Another ship owner, William Chicester, after 5 weeks agreed to take the women to Barbados. When they left, the jailer kept their Bible and bedding as his payment for “watching over” them. Nicholas Upsall was banished from Massachusetts for protesting the treatment of these Quakers – though Nicholas was a blameless Puritan and a faithful churchgoer.

This is not the way of Christ!

By the Grace of God we who are Christian are changed from children of Adam to “becoming” Children of God.

Preach! As Children of God, we do not walk in darkness, but in the light of Christ. We walk in love (Romans 14:15; Ephesians 5:2), realizing that we have no worthiness, but we are saved by Grace. We not cherish sin, nor do we hate people that are around us. We “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), always tempering our actions by a constant knowledge that we are all fallen short of the glory of God. We resist sin, knowing it caused the death of our Master on Calvary’s Tree.

The Christian Will Put Away All Of What “We Think”, And Put On All Of What God Has Said!

James 1:21-25 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. [22] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [23] 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: [24] For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. [25] 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.

Wherefore”. When you see a “Wherefore”, ask yourself “What is it THERE FOR?” The “Wherefore” brings a conclusion. IF everything James shared with us from verse 1 to verse 20 is true, THEN there is something that God commands us do.

The Lord expects those who are His to heed His Word and to turn from the distractions and pretty baubles of this world. We are born again not by our works, not by our rituals, but by faith in Jesus Christ. We put our total trust in the person of the Lord Jesus, and

Ephesians 2:8-9 … by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Salvation is entirely an act of God. Just as Jesus healed the leper, the blind, the deaf, the cripple … He will change the life of those who believe on Him. The Scripture promises …

Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [11] For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Adrian Rogers said, “Salvation is not a plan, but a Man”. We are saved by receiving what the Lord Jesus Christ – for God’s glory – did for us on that Cross of Calvary. But salvation, dear friend, goes beyond the tomb.

Jesus died for our sins, but rose again to live through us. The Christian is not saved to COAST into Heaven. The Christian is saved to be a CHILD of Heaven.

Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (John 15:10). We are called to follow Jesus. Jesus believed the Scripture. Jesus came to fulfill God’s Word. If we follow Jesus, we follow God’s Word.

  • For Jesus sake you are kings and priests before God.
  • For Jesus sake you are adopted children of God.
  • For Jesus sake your sins are forgiven.
  • For Jesus sake you are indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God.
  • For Jesus sake God has prepared for you a mansion
  • For Jesus sake you are made a part of the Body of Christ, the Church.
  • For Jesus sake you have stewardship of the Gospel of Christ.
  • For Jesus sake we live as lights in this present world.

God’s people and God’s Church has a mandate to LIVE for Jesus, to LABOR for Jesus, to LONG for Jesus,
and to LAST for Jesus.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness

Word Study: If you are a Child of God, you are to first of all – every day – to lay apart {ἀποτίθημι apotíthēmi, pronounced ap-ot-eeth’-ay-mee} that which does not honor Christ. The Christian is to honor Christ in all that we say and do. The word apotíthēmi is used for that which does not belong to us who believe and love Jesus. For instance,

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off {lay apart, apotíthēmi} the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

The “works of darkness” that we are to cast off is lovelessness and doing evil to others. We are told that Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:9-10). We cannot win the world for Christ by being hateful, but loving. We must love as Jesus loves. We are to

Ephesians 4:22-24That ye put off {lay apart, apotíthēmi} concerning the former {way of life} the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Before we came to Christ we followed our own path. Now in Christ we follow Jesus, doing that which the Bible says, loving others whether they love us or not. We are told in …

Colossians 3:8-10 But now ye also put off {lay apart, apotíthēmi} all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

The old ways of the world are not what we imitate. We imitate God. We DO His Word, His Teachings. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside {lay apart, apotíthēmi} every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..

Cast away every weight AND the sin that so easily trips you up. Put away anything that hinders your walk with God. Sometimes people come to me and ask me if this is a sin, or that is a sin. Dear friends, the Bible says that anything that stands between you and your Lord is to be cast off as filthy.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness

Word Study: James tells us to cast off all filthiness. This is the Greek υπαρία rhyparía, {pronounced hroo-par-ee’-ah}, and it refers to the things that, if you touch them, they will defile you. Under the Old Covenant there were certain times when people were forbidden to touch something:

  • Those with leprosy were not to be touched. Leviticus 13:46 “He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp” (ESV). Nor was a dead body to be touched. “Put out of the camp everyone … who is unclean through contact with the dead” (Numbers 5:2, ESV)

The reason God had Israel forbid the touch of the infected or dead was to limit exposure and infection among His people. Under the New Covenant we do not exile people for disease, sickness, or death. We are, however, to put away from us anything that might defile our walk with Christ. The words translated “superfluity of naughtiness” is Old English, and better translated today as “all that remains of wickedness”. The devil often entices us from the path of righteousness with touch.

Sin enters the mind through the senses – touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell. But TOUCH is the thing that most often draws us away from the light of God.

God tells us today as His children:

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

touch not the unclean thing”.

  • Do not handle poison ivy if you don’t want to scratch.
  • Do not pick up the pornographic magazine.
  • Do not continue to watch sexual encounters on the television.
  • Do not type a reply to a sensual temptation on social media. God for Christ’s sake has forgiven {us}” (Ephesians 4:32).

Put away that which God has said is filthy, lest you become defiled by it. I heard an old Pastor say one time,

If you play in the toilet, you’ll catch something!”

Preach! What do we often see? There are professing Christians running around with the Ku Klux Klan and Black Lives Matter. This does not honor Christ! There are professing Christians out drinking and partying with the lost. This is not what Christ came for. There are professing Christians who vote without regard to what the Scripture says. Does your candidate support what Christ supported? If not, REPENT. There are professing Christians suing other professing Christians in court, totally in violation of Christ’s decree. My Beloved, these things must not be!

Bind yourselves to the Lord Who loves you, and gave Himself for you. The Apostle said:

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. [17] And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

Lay aside the things that are worldly and unendorsed by the Scripture. The world may normalize it, but we must not abide it in our lives. When sin is in the believer’s life, this sin grieves the Spirit of God and quenches the Spirit of God.

Ephesians 4:30 (ESV) do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.…

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (ESV) Do not quench the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to do the work of Christ, to live in the Kingdom of God. Do not alienate the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh (Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:16). Lay aside the sin that is in your life, for it blocks your ability to hear the Word of God. Examine yourselves. If you have sins that need to be cast off, cast them off. God cannot grow you to the next level of discipleship until you put away that residual sin in your lives! If you have things that are not necessarily sin, but these things are impeding your service for God, put these things away also. If it blocks the hearing of God’s Word it should not be in the believer’s life.

Putting Away Sin, We Open The Word Of God In
Partnership With The Spirit Of God

James 1:21 … and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls …

Word Study: The word translated meekness is the Greek PRAUTES (prauthj pronounced prah-oo’-tace), which means “an attitude or disposition to humility, a receptive spirit”. Not only does sin in your life keep you from receiving God’s instruction, but a hard hearted or “I already know that” arrogance of spirit also binds you from the Word of God. In this text the Scripture is called the “engrafted Word“. The Greek for engrafted is EMPHUTOS (emfutoj pronounced em’-foo-tos), which is a gardening term meaning to “place a graft“. The Bible tells us that the Church is God’s farm or field. The Apostle wrote:

1 Corinthians 3:9 (ESV) … you are God’s FIELD, God’s building.

When we submit to God’s Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to plant that Word in our lives, then God can cause our field to bloom. God gave us the Holy Spirit “to guide us into all truth” (John 16:13-14).

The Word of God, the Scripture, doesn’t just save our souls from hell. But the Scripture received can save our souls from a hell on this earth!

When The Scripture Is Received, It Brings Forth Fruit
Unto God From The Field Of Our Lives

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

The person who will not DO what God has said is dangerously deceiving themselves. Though works of righteousness do not SAVE a person, once a person is saved they will DO works of righteousness. This is consistently taught in both Old and New Covenants. God said to Israel:

Exodus 20:5-6 (ESV) You shall not bow down to {false gods} or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

To those who serve the false gods of this world, God allows their iniquity to – karma-like – come back to them. But to those who love the Lord and keep {God’s} commandments, to those the Lord shows STEADFAST LOVE. Now I’m sure some will say, “But this is the Old Covenant. We are not under the Old Covenant! I don’t have to obey God if I am saved by Grace – I am not under the Law!” No, dear friend, you are utterly confused. For under the New Covenant we read the words of Jesus:

John 14:15-17 (ESV) … If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 AND I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth

The Holy Spirit only comes to those who keep Jesus’ commandments. To make sure we understood this, Jesus repeated Himself shortly after this, saying:

John 15:10 (ESV) If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

The Son of God is to keep God’s Commandments. This is true whether under the Old Covenant or under the New Covenant. Christ must not be just received as your “Savior”, but Christ must also be received as your “Lord”. We who are saved are citizens of the Kingdom of God. The citizen of the Kingdom of God on this earth will one day be transferred to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God in Heaven.

Jesus is Lord! God is Lord!

Illustrate: Let me tell you a story. In a certain Kingdom, the King decreed a series of laws that He expected all of His subjects to adhere to. The penalty for rejecting the King’s Law was to be cast into a dungeon, a place of darkness and separation and suffering. Then one day the King offered to adopt as many as would come to Him into His Family. Some heard the offer of adoption, but decided they did not want to be that close to the King. But others heard this message, and came to the King’s Throne. Kneeling before Him, they pledged their lives to His Family, and the King received them as His own sons and daughters. The King’s Children are not LESS responsible for following the King’s Law, but are MORE responsible – because they love the King. They are not worthy to be the King’s Children, but by His magnificent Grace they are. And their hearts overflow with joy in following their King.

Christian, our identity is not in ourselves, but in the Kingdom of God. James emphasizes this.

James 1:23-25 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: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 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.

The “believer” who is a HEARER but not a DOER is like a lost person. They look in the mirror, and then try and decided what manner of “person” they are to be. This is the world we live in today. People look in the mirror at themselves divorced of God and His Rule, and say “I feel that I identify as …”. One magazine I read noted:

There are many different gender identities, including male, female, transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.”

Other worldly sources say that there are three genders, or seven main genders, or fifty two genders, or 72 genders. Why all the confusion? It is because people are looking in the mirror at themselves, and are listening to other lost people tell them how to be found. A lost person looking in the mirror at their lostness, and listening to a lost world, will be confused and lost. But a Child of God does not look in the mirror, but at the perfect law of liberty, the Law of the Family of God. My identity is tied to my Heavenly Father, to the Lord Jesus Who saved me, and to the Holy Spirit Who indwells me. James emphasizes:

John 1:25 … 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

I serve a Risen Savior. You do, too, if you are saved.

I thought I’d end with a poem written by Jonathan Blake Carmac called Victa (conquered):

Out of the night that covers me
Into resplendent light that makes whole,
I thank my God in Jesus Christ
For conquering my wretched soul.

In the hands of Almighty God,
I have oft winced and cried aloud.
Yet due the bludgeonings of God,
Christ’s head is bloodied, mine is bowed.

Within this place of wrath and tears
A Father whose strength is a shade,
And so the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me unfraid.

Hard the way and narrow the gate,
Yet payed the charges on my scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate:
Christ is the Captain of my soul.

May God the Holy Spirit use His Word to reach other for Christ’s Kingdom. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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