Benefitting from the Word
Read James 1:19-25. Separate and apart from the word, there can be no spiritual blessings of any kind. Neither does salvation come except through the word of God. James 1:18 “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” 1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [have ye] not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” This lesson deals with getting the most out of the teaching and preaching of the word of God. There are more people than you realize, who come to church week after week, sit under the teaching and preaching of the truth, hear the preacher preach, but get very little benefit from it. You might want to ask yourself, “Am I getting the benefit from the Word that I need?” We will talk about three ways in which the child of God can get the most out of the teaching and preaching of the word of God. 1. Hearing the Word. 2. Receiving the Word. 3. Doing the Word.
First, hearing the word of God. James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” James is telling us that we must be ready to hear. The word simply means to be prompt or quick I am sometimes slow to hear . . . just ask my wife. Sometimes we have selective hearing. We have an illustration of those who were slow to hear in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and Hebrews 5:11-14. Please read these passages. We are then told that we ought to be slow to speak. The word slow has the thought of not speaking out of turn or in an unspiritual way. If a person is not spiritual minded, he or she will not make the spiritual connection. Some folks have a bad habit of speaking without thinking. We should never let our emotions control our tongue. Proverbs 29:20, “Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.” Ecclesiastes 5:1, “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” James then says, “Be slow to wrath.” The word wrath means agitation of the soul. We are not to become angry or agitated by the preaching of the Word. Many people cannot benefit from the Word because they are blinded by anger. If the Word is preached in truth and you become angry, it is not the preacher that you are angry with, but God.
Secondly, receive the word of God. James 1:19-21 “James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” The word “hear” in verse 19 means to comprehend or understand something that is being said. The word receive means to accept deliberately or to embrace. So, it is one thing to hear the word, but much more, we are to embrace the word. Further, we see that attitude is involved with receiving the Word. James says, “and receive with meekness.” Meekness means gentleness of spirit. Meekness is gentleness in power, not in weakness. Superfluity is abundance or even superabundance. The Greeks used this word to describe excess wax in their ears. Wisdom and spiritual maturity is manifested when a person’s anger is shown only at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason. It is an attitude which accepts God’s dealings with us as something good; and wherein we do not resist. When we come to the Lord’s house, or open the Book, our attitude should be that we need and want what God has for us at that time. The other end of the spectrum is found in the first part of verse 21. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness…” If we keep this phrase in its context it speaks of pride and vanity. Naughtiness means an evil or wicked mode of thinking or feeling. Let us receive the word with gladness and a surrendered heart. I have run out of space, so we shall continue this thought next time. firstname.lastname@example.org