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Below is the 8th Chapter of “Authentic Living”
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:22-25
When I was 11, I stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to a 2nd degree felony, the interesting thing about that is that I have gone to church all my life. Every Sunday I went to church and I still called myself a christian. Looking back at my old life and my new life, I was a hypocrite heading to Hell. I talked the talk, but didn’t walk the walk. I preached things I didn’t even live by. That all changed, when I came across the bible. The bible spoke of walking the walk, and not just talking it.
Many people throughout the history of the church have tried time and time again, to take the book of James out of the bible. The reason behind it is because it says it’s not only by faith we are saved, but faith alone isn’t all we need, our deeds need to be evidence of our faith. To show that we are saved. James seem to go against the whole point of the good news messages, but in fact, it doesn’t. It fits right in. Jesus, Paul and James all agree that faith isn’t a lone ranger, it has a partner.
James says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive your-selves. Do what it says.” There are 2 key words, “Do” and “Does”. Sure you might know the bible, but are you living as the bible has it for you to live by?
If you look like that world, then how are you any different from the world? We must look like Christ, to show the love of Christ. We will fail sometimes, but that’s why we read the bible and pray to God, to help us stand firm in our faith.
You’re not standing firm if you sin without thinking anything of it. You who sin and say, “It’s okay, I have faith”. Okay, even demons have faith, they know the bible is true. They saw Jesus dying on the cross. Are they going to be saved? No, why not? Because, they have no Godly deeds to their faith. In other words, they aren’t living for God, they are living for themselves. Everything they do is for themselves and not for the glory of God. They don’t turn away from their sin. Instead of turning away from their sin, they turn to their sin.
Jesus & Paul Agree With James
Remember, I said Jesus, Paul, and James all spoke about doing and not just hearing. That they all preach living in sin as a christian is not what we do. Here are the verses to back up this statement…
• “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 21-24)
See how it Says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” That means there is more than just believing it or knowing it. Key word “Does”.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:1-4)
Paul says, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” People love to stop at the grace increasing part, but read more of it, says, “How can we live in it any longer?”
First Paul says, “By no means!” then, he asks, “How can we live in it any longer?”
Why does he ask that?
Because we are not of this world, so how can we look like this world. If you look at Paul’s life, you see him trying to be more like Christ and grow in Christ, which is why he is known to be one of the most greatest christian to live. He came out of darkness, and really lived in the light. That is an example to every Christian, to know how we are to live each minute. Yes we will fail, but we have God to help us up.
Everything in this above section I wrote 10 years ago and looking back at what I knew and understood as I read the bible as a new christian, I can say that this is the most important thing that people who claim to be christian need to understand.
God doesn’t want lip service, he wants our heart. The way we know God has our heart is really easy. What do you want the most in life? What is your heart’s desire? My personal heart desire is that I can’t wait to see the 2nd coming of Jesus. I love bible prophecies. I enjoy learning about that stuff and looking around at the news and the world around me and seeing how close are we to his 2nd coming. Another desire is to pastor a church and another is to strengthen God’s People. That is why I am writing this book the best I can. I want to see revival across this nation.
I wish I could say that those godly things are the only thing I desire. I also want to be rich and famous. I want the world to know me like they knew Pastor Billy Graham, America’s Pastor. I do find myself desiring that kind of fame. Honestly that is wrong and it goes back to the sin nature. We all have sin and it doesn’t matter all the good we have done, we still fall short due to sin.
What is the Will of God?
Jesus answers that with this, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice…” Key word is “practice”.
Some bibles might say, “Act on”. If you “act on” or “practice” something, are you not doing something? More than having faith, God wants us doing something that Faith. He gave us his word, for a reason.
So, what is the Will of God? That we take the bible, which is God’s Word and apply it to our lives. The Bible talks about how to manage money, how to treat women, how to live in marriage and the meaning behind being single. The bible talks about anything that you may have a question for that has to do with how to conduct your life. That is why it’s important to get plugged into a local church, open your bible everyday and pray.
Seek God & Know God.