James wrote, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). The Words, “be ye” mean “to exhibit yourselves as doers of the word.” The tense of the verb indicates that this is something we are to keep on doing. In the preceding verse James had just emphasized that the word must be received into the heart (implanted there) in order to spring forth into spiritual life. Here he shows it is not sufficient to merely hear and receive it, but one must also be obedient to it (Matt. 7:21, 24-27). Paul said, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom. 2:13). In Luke 11:28 our Lord pronounced a blessing upon those that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Also indicated in this scripture is the fact that man may be deceived. The word “deceiving” (KJV) or “deluding” (ASV) means “to reason amiss” (Young’s Analytical Concordance). This word only appears here and in Colossians 2:4 where it is translated “beguile,” and the meaning appears to be, “led astray by unsound argument.”
This is one of the major problems in the religious world today, and its results are division and sectarianism. The religious confusion today is fueled by faulty reasoning, illogical reasoning, prejudicial reasoning, and the inability or refusal of some to reason at all. If folks would be honest enough to lay aside preconceived ideas and prejudices, quit “wresting the scriptures to their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:15-16), much of the confusion and division could be eliminated. Then we could do as Isaiah encouraged, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” (Isa. 1:18). If you can just get people to open their Bibles and compare their teaching with it, half the battle is won.
Where in the Bible do you find anyone ever told to pray the sinner’s prayer? We hear this all the time in religious circles. Where, in the Bible, is a sinner ever told to pray for anything? Where in the Bible will you ever find that one church is as good as another? Where does the Bible teach justification by faith only or grace only or anything only? All need to lay aside their uninspired books, their Book of Mormon, their Koran, their Watchtower, catechisms, all creed books, manuals, or disciplines of men, or any other writing of men.
It is the engrafted or implanted word that we are to hear, receive, and be doers of. We have many warnings about tampering with the Word of God (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19; Gal. 1:6-9; II Pet. 3:15-16). This word is also called the truth (John 8:32), the gospel (Rom. 1:16), and the faith (Jude 3; Eph. 4:5).
How about you? Have you “received with meekness the implanted word?” And have you profited by it by becoming and remaining a doer of the Word?
Paul M. Wilmoth