1 Up and 1 Down – Ann Marie James 1:22

Posted: November 16, 2010 in 1 Up and 1 Down

James 1:22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].

This verse is quite capable of standing on it’s own and it would be hard to take it out of context.

 The people heard the word, and they believed it, but they put it to no practical use. Not so different form today? They believed that Christians were freed from the moral law, by virtue of grace. They put an inactive faith in the place of all moral righteousness.

Deceiving your own selves – Imposing on your own selves by evasive, elusive, deceitful arguments. They had reasoned themselves into a state of sinful security and James was, to awake them.

1 Up says, “get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.”

Uncleanness and wickedness signifies any impurity that attatches to the body. When applied to the mind, they imply all impure and unholy attachments, such as those outlined in James 1:15 pollute the soul.  The word of life has been sown in the land, many receive salvation. Others not so much. Then there are those who appear to have taken up with other beliefs, from which they got no salvation. James warns them or i should say me, to not only receive the doctrine of Christ, but to live it out. Those who were Jews, and who had been originally planted by God as altogether a right vine, received the faith of the word. It represented being ingrafted on right stock, the pure knowledge of the true God and his holy moral law. This indeed was a good stock on which to implant Christianity. i have been ingrafted on the right stock!

For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;  24For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.
A simple metaphor, but very expressive. Man wishes to see his own face, in its natural state.  He looks into a mirror, by which his real face, with all its blemishes and imperfections, is seen. He is moved by his own appearance. He sees deformities that might be remedied, spots, and impurities, that might be removed. While he continues to look into the mirror he is moved, and wishes himself different.  He makes plans on  doing what he can to change what he sees. He leaves, goes about his daily business and soon he forgets what he saw. The mirror is removed, his face is no longer reflected to himself, he no longer remembers how he appeared. He also no longer remembers his own resolutions for improving his look.
The words of God, faithfully taught, are such a mirror. When i hear them i cannot help discovering my own character, and being moved by my deformity. Yes i am saddened, and  i purposes to change. But when the teaching or the word is over, the mirror is removed.  i become careless in living out my salvation. The perfect law of liberty, or not continuing to look within, i soon forget what type of man i am. Or i cling to some unscriptural trust in God’s mercy, i reasons myself out of the necessity of repentance and changing my life, and thus deceive my soul.
 Things don’t really change much about man, regardless of how many warnings or years are given. It’s important for my eyes to be fixed on me and not on everyone or anyone else. i must upon hearing the word taught do something immediately to ensure that it becomes established inside me and is given the chance to mature. For me that means immediate application. i can’t wait a day or two or until i get more understanding. i must begin with the hearing. It takes discipline and purposed effort. It started for me back in 1980 when i first went to a church that taught the word every time the doors were opened. i was so fascinated with it that i would get there an hour before service to get a front row seat. i was fascinated with the teaching. It was so different than anything i had ever heard in spite of being a Christian for many years prior, but then there was the need to see these men of God up close and personal as if i was expecting to see something different than what they taught. i have journals from those days that still serve me well today. i never heard the word without taking notes. i have a hunger for the word in my life but just as James had to awaken people in his day i am also in need of being reminded that just hearing the word is not enough. Just knowing what it says serves little purpose if not applied to my life actions.
Thanks Ann Marie for the reminder. It is easy to study or do a daily blog and forget about the application because it becomes form and function. Information, Meditation, Application. While those three words may sound like form and function they are anything but. i see them as being a doer of the word and not a hearer only. James could have spoken them just as easily as he said to be a doer of the word, not a hearer only.
  1. Ann Marie Peterson says:

    Read on my new phone!

  2. one can argue that it can go both ways

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