Main point summary
Hear and keep the word to do and not forget so you will be blessed in your doing and not deceived.
But be n doers of the word,
Be a doer of the word
and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
and Be not one who only hears, fooling himself.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
because if one is a hearer and not a doer of the word,
he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
that one is like a man who looks at his natural face (fleshly nature) in a mirror.
For he looks at himself
that is he looks at himself
and goes away
and at once forgets what he was like.
and right away forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, and perseveres,
On the other hand the one who looks at God's perfect and freeing word and keeps in it,
being no hearer who forgets
that is not being a hearer who forgets
but a doer who acts,
but being a doer who acts
p he will be blessed in his doing.
this person will be blessed in his doing.
Law" connotes commands to be obeyed and enforced ..this carries more weight in the doing than using "Word" for "perfect Law and Law of Liberty . Though it is something to be enforced it is freeing, not imprisoning. It is also a perfect Law not an unjust or unreasonable Law. This is love for God to obey His commands and His commands are not burdensome.
be a doer of the word and not a hearer only
because if you only hear you will forget what kind of character you really have
on the other hand if you hear and keep the word with you to do, you will be blessed in your doing and not deceived.
law of liberty ..Jms 2:12 Lev 25:10 year of Jubilee 50th yr proclaim liberty ..the sense is a gracious law that sets you free that is kind
natural face .. 1Cor 2:14 the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him... Is this man looking at his fleshly nature in the mirror instead of God?
this man is commended for looking at not the natural face but into the perfect law the law of liberty. This raises the question how are we reading the bible ? Are we seeing the perfect law the gracious liberating law in other words do we see the true God when we read or do we merely see the natural face the human aspect. Apparently there is a big difference one will end up deceived or blessed depending on how one listens and does.
could this person who looks at himself in a mirror be off right here.? He looks at himself or our humanness. He is not looking at God truly and so his hearing is forgetful. If he saw Gods perfection and grace he would remember better and do in God's strength, in God's grace and freedom and so would be blessed in his doing because God is doing it, not him.
In your bible reading: Don't look in a mirror, be" God-looking"! A "hearer-only" is self-looking. He Looks at his natural face as in a mirror. Natural not spiritual. And thus forgettable. 1 Cor. 2:14 " the natural man does not accept the things of God." The hearer /doer is God- looking. He meets with God in His perfect Law , a Law of Liberty. In other words the Law of Christ. He meets with Jesus the fulfillment of the Law. A Law that sets us free. A merciful Law. It should be unforgettable. But as Paul says in Ro. 7:25 in our minds we may serve the law of God but in our flesh we serve the law of sin . We need the Holy Spirit of Jesus to be an effectual doer of the word. Ro. 8:12-14 We are obliged to the Spirit. He is merciful. Jm. 2:12,13 "So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. Ps. 19:7 " The law of the Lord is perfect restoring the soul." Ro. 8:2 " For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death." Hb.4:2 ."..but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard." Jn. 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." How is the hearer/doer blessed? God is really the One working through him in the doing. It is "abiding". He is fruitful. He has combined his hearing with faith. In other words combined with Jesus. He is receiving the implanted word with meekness.(Jm.1:21) Letting it dictate his behavior and choices. He obeys with Jesus's help. He is not alone. Be" God-looking" in your daily bible reading. So you can become an effectual doer and be blessed in your doing. Abiding and fruitful. Not self deceived! How are you doing? In my own life I fear some days my bible reading may just be looking in the mirror at myself. I must be sure to give a good look at Jesus and act on what I see with Him. James is pointing out that many of us get derailed from Christ early in our hearing of the word because we are not really looking at him. Paul says sometimes we get derailed even after the mind has met with God and been informed he sees the law of sin at work in his flesh. Lets keep our gaze on Jesus from beginning to end and through out the day. Fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. James in 2 simple statements leads us away from self deception to effectual doing in Christ. Are you natural- looking ; self -looking or God-looking? And do you realize God-looking and abiding will set you free? Where and how are we really looking? I want to keep looking at Jesus, the perfect law the law of liberty and be blessed in my doing, which is really Our doing, Jesus and i; Jesus preeminent; essentially Jesus! To Him be the Glory and Honor and Praise! Amen.