James 1:22-27 – Be Not Only Hearers of the Word

“Deceiving your own selves,” says James. What did they deceive themselves about? Why, probably they thought they were considerably better for being hearers—much to be commended and sure to get a blessing. They would not have been happy if they had not heard the Word on Sunday and they look with disgust upon their neighbors who make nothing of the Sabbath. They themselves are very superior people because they are regular church-goers or chapel-goers. They have a sitting, a hymnbook, and a Bible—is not that a good deal? If they stayed away from a place of worship for a month, they would be very uneasy, but though they do not believe that going to a place of worship will save them, yet it quiets their conscience and they feel themselves more at ease.

Or perhaps the deceit runs in another line—you foster the idea that the stern truths which you hear do not apply to you. Sinners? Yes, certainly—the preacher addresses sinners and they may get good out of it—but you are not a sinner, at least not in any special sense so as to need looking after. Repentance? Most people ought to repent, but you do not see any reason why you should repent. Looking to Christ for salvation? “Excellent doctrine,” you say, “excellent doctrine!” But, somehow, you do not look to Him for salvation.

Here is the scriptural verdict upon this opinion of yours—“Deceiving your own selves.” The Gospel does not deceive you, it tells you, “You must be born again, you must believe in Jesus Christ or be lost.” The preacher does not deceive you. He never said half a word to support the notion that coming to this place would be of any service to you unless you would yield your hearts to Christ. No, he has learnt to speak plain English about such matters. You deceive your own selves if, being hearers and not doers, you derive comfort from that which you hear.

Charles Spurgeon

Read James 1:22-27 and consider how you approach the word. Do you meditate on the regularly and are you diligent to apply the word to your life? What hinders you from doing so more?

Living Hope by Phil Wickham
Posted on: April 23, 2020 - 10:00PM

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