A Faith That Works – Part Three

Come look in the looking glass again.

“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 word, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1: 23 – 25).

This graphic example is an instant indictment of many. It speaks of a person who merely glances in a mirror, compares himself to himself, and goes his way forgetting what he saw. When a person looks in the mirror of their own standards they always look good. Many are deceiving themselves by living by their own standards rather than God’s.

The word “look” translates the Greek word meaning to “peer into it,” take an in-depth look. The reference here is the Bible, God’s mirror given us.

Looking only leaves us in moral and spiritual slavery. Doing God’s word sets us free.

We are to “continue” in the word. The Christian life is to be lived in the present tense. We can’t live today off spiritual coupons clipped from yesterday. We are to peer into the word daily and incorporate it into a lifestyle.

The result is found in the word “blessed” (Vs. 25). There are some lifestyles far easier than following Jesus, but there are none better. The life of the doer is the very best because it is the one blessed.

Faith must show itself in action.

Jesus brought the issue into focus with these words:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7: 21 – 23).

A person living in deep depravity was the topic of discussion when one of the conversants said, “But he said he is a Christian.” Not! Hopefully as unlikely as it seems he may some day come to his senses and repentantly turn to the Lord and experience the joy of salvation. Such would be a first time act, not a renewal.

If a person claims to be a Christian, the claim can be tested by bringing them face to face with the Word of God. If there is a positive reaction, the claim is real. If not, the claim is false.

The person referred to in the text once looked in the mirror, the Word of God, and saw himself a sinner. While he continues to look into the mirror he is affected, and wishes himself different to what he appears, and forms purposes of doing what he can to render his countenance agreeable. Once away from the mirror he forgets what he once wanted to change and doesn’t do the word.

Good news, a doer of the word, this one will be blessed… (James 1:23 – 25).