Being and Doing

Scripture: James 1:22, Matthew 19:16-22, Luke 6:27-38
Date: 10/25/2014 
Lesson: 4
"Salvation begins by seeing who we really are, not who we imagine ourselves to be."
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Good evening, friends and welcome back to Sabbath school study hour. We're glad you're joining us. My name is jean ross. I'm one of the pastors at the Granite Bay church and if this is the first time you're joining us, the Granite Bay church is in transition to a new location so we're actually recording this here at the Amazing Facts studios. I would also like to welcome our local church members from the Granite Bay church and the visitors.

Thank you for joining us. This is actually our regular Tuesday evening prayer meeting and we're going through the lesson. So we're glad you're part of the program. Before we get started, we want to ask God's special blessing to be with us as we study His Word, so join us for a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you that we can gather together to study Your Word.

We recognize that the Bible is your book so we ask for the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and our minds as we look at this very important book, the book of James. Thank you, Lord, for being with us and for being with those who are watching, wherever they might be. In Jesus' Name, amen. We have a free offer that we'd like to let you know of; it's a free book written by Pastor Doug entitled 'who do you think you are?' And it goes along with the subject that we're going to be studying this evening. If you would like to receive this book, call 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #603.

Again, the book is called 'who do you think you are?' Just call that number - -788-3966 and you can ask for the book by name or offer #603 and we'll be happy to send it to you. As mentioned, we're studying through the book of James and today we find ourselves on lesson #4 entitled, 'being and doing.' And if you would like to follow along with us, you can download - if you don't have a lesson quarterly - you can download today's lesson at the '' church website. That's just simply ''. Click on the link that says 'Sabbath school lessons' and you can download today's lesson. Well, with that, Pastor Doug we'll invite you to come forward and we'll begin our study.

Thank you, Pastor Ross and good evening friends. Welcome to our extended class that's watching with us. We know that we've got friends around the world and that's especially keen in my mind right now because I just came back from the other side of the planet doing a little, I guess, mission excursion you might call it. So with your indulgence I'm going to use just a few moments at the beginning of our study time on this lesson - I think we'll still get through most of this lesson - to give you a brief report on a trip to australia. And it was really exciting because we found a lot of people there that are part of our Sabbath school study time and, to begin with, I think that we've got a few slides that we're going to put up here on the screen and - just to give you kind of an overview of some of the things that we saw.

So that's, of course, a picture of australia. And I don't know how well you can see the outline there, but it was really exciting. Our family's been to australia several times, but this time the main reason we went was we went to a territory in western australia where we'd never been before. The first weekend we spent in sydney and I just did a brief program. You know, there's an 'it is written' program in australia and that's gary kent.

We went there and did some meetings with him a couple of years ago in sydney, so we taped at least one program with the 'it is written' australia group and that was enjoyable. And then that next day we began a series in one of the largest adventist churches in sydney, which is the wahroonga - it's always fun to say - seventh-day adventist church and it was just a blessing because it was packed. They had a really good service Friday - three times on Sabbath - outstanding music. Pastor lloyd there asked me Bible questions and it was really just sort of a revival meeting and we talked about how to survive the coming storms and so that was a real blessing. Let's see, what do we have up next there? Oh yeah, and they had - not only was the church full, they had two overflow - this is one of the overflow rooms - so it was very well attended.

And then after that meeting we went - oh, I put this in. This was so funny. During the meeting, while I was preaching, I had a camera and I wanted to get some pictures for the office for when I travel. And I handed it to a girl in the front row and I said, 'could you take a few pictures for me?' And I didn't even know her name and she said 'sure.' So she and her girlfriends took a bunch of pictures and they took one picture that said, 'hi from your photographers' and they gave that to me. And so I thought, 'oh, that was really sweet.

' When I'm looking through the pictures I see that one. Anyway, oh and I met some people who have been reached by amazing facts and this was a young man by the name of - we'll call him junior - that's what he goes by. But has an incredible testimony. He'd been in prison and just had some real struggles. He went through the amazing facts study guides, gave his heart to the Lord, and now he's studying for ministry.

And so I enjoyed hearing some of the many testimonies that were there. Next picture. Then, the next day - Sunday - I flew over to the west side of australia. The idea was we were doing some work to reach some of the indigenous peoples there - the aborigines that live up there - because we had reports they'd been studying the Amazing Facts material and so we wanted to go and do a program with them. Next picture.

So we did some meetings in the community center in a place called derby and - indigenous people - the aborigines that had been watching our programs or studying the material - came from - I'm not exaggerating - over a thousand miles away. They contacted their family, they said, 'Amazing Facts is coming to derby.' They said, 'no, they would never come here. There's nothing here.' And, you know, that's part of the reason we went is because it was so far away. That kind of attracts me sometimes. Next picture.

And so the church leaders that organized it were thrilled. We had over 210 the final night of the program and made an altar call. A lot of people responded - about forty - to come forward. They want more Bible studies to prepare for baptism. And we went out into some of the community and in all the communities we went to a place called moengen, which is - we would call it here like a reservation town.

There, it's an aboriginal community. See the satellite dishes on the roofs? And I asked them. I said, do you guys get the Christian programming? 'Oh yeah,' they said, - they said - 'we get 3abn, we get hope channel.' And they had been watching our programs and so this is one of the reasons. Next picture. Something else on the same line.

Now, this was not in the same area, but the next town I went into, some people said, 'our town is in a cave. We live underground.' And there's a whole city that - here's a church that is gathering - you saw that other satellite dish I showed on the ground? Underneath that satellite dish is this church. It's an opal mining community and everyone lives in the vacant mines. They all live underground. There's a whole town under there and so this is a church that gathers and I can't - the next picture, I think, has the name of the place - yeah, coober Pedy.

You've heard of that before? Yeah. And so, you see, there's nothing there. Next picture. There's actually a whole city underneath there and it's just cooler and so, because of the climate and the insulation it's cheaper. They don't ever have to heat or cool - it's the same temperature all year long and they just usually have one wall that has a window coming in from the outside and they have electricity and everything underground there.

Next picture. And so we had people come to our meetings that had been living in that community. Now this person, this is a different story. This is Peter. This is part of the reason that we went.

Got a report through e-mail, they said, 'we have a gentleman here that, you know, had some Christian background, drifted from the Lord, his sister gave him - he was, you know, smoking, drinking, playing hard rock in a band - and he said his sister gave him a jump drive with a bunch of Amazing Facts programs on there. And he just set it on the shelf for awhile and then one day he was surfing through tv and it was just all empty gibberish and he thought, 'I wonder what's on that hard drive.' So he knew how to plug it in and watch the videos on his tv and he watched the first 'millennium of prophecy' program, which are, you know, they're fourteen years old. And then he watched the second. And then he watched the third. And he said he locked himself up for three days.

He couldn't stop watching. And he watched all twenty-four programs and when he got to the last program on the titanic he said his heart just broke, he started crying, and he gave his heart to the Lord. And when I heard these stories about folks that are just seeing the material there and are coming into the church, we just wanted to go out and meet them and do some meetings. Next picture. Here's a - last night, after the altar call, I said, 'now since you're up here I'd like to get a picture for my wife.

' They're really shy but I said, 'this is for my wife.' And so, here Karen, this is for you. So this is - a number of people in the community came up front that were at the meetings. Next picture. And then from - oh, we had a baptism. Sister denise was baptized in the community pool and she had been preparing before.

Next picture. They asked me to participate and I said, 'you know, I don't need to do that.' 'Oh, but it'll mean so much.' And so I - I did. That's her family. Next picture. Went to adelaide from broom, via melbourne and that used to be called 'the city of churches.

' But the churches are virtually empty now. And so, even if you go to one of these travel guides, they say, 'it's the city of pubs now because the pubs are full and the churches are empty.' It's a very secular town. And so we did some revival meetings there because there had been some people watching, via satellite, the programs. Did some taping in the churches. Next picture.

And then we did three meetings on Sabbath in a community center. I don't remember the name of the place, but it was a beautiful place and it was absolutely jammed. Next picture. The people there said, 'oh, these are two sisters. They're not related, but two sisters in the Lord that came up to me.

I just - 'let me get a picture of you.' One said she was a pentecostal all her life, ran into the Amazing Facts material and said she'd never understood the Sabbath truth. Just a lovely Christian lady. And the other came from a Greek orthodox background and just an evangelical Christian and they both had come to the Lord from the studies and the broadcasts. Next picture. And this is the hall.

It was full and overflow rooms and they told us it was the largest Seventh-day Adventist gathering in their history in adelaide. So we were very thrilled and all day long we made appeals and - next picture. I think we're running out of pictures. I don't want to keep it going. Yeah, they stayed all day.

You can just see the folks. That's the other thing, some of the church leaders they said, 'wow, and they even stayed for the afternoon meeting.' They were surprised. People came in from - some flew from new zealand and I know cathy knows - she talked to one lady and she said, 'I'm going to come from new zealand.' Others came from tazmania. They came from melbourne - I mean, hundreds of miles away. And so that was 22,000 miles - I sat down one night to figure it out - forty-six hours flying time and - so if I am still recovering from a little jet lag, you'll understand.

Okay, I spent plenty of time on the lesson - we're getting into - now Pastor Ross, I think he's got my lesson. Thank you. We're in lesson #4 in our study on the book of James and we do have a memory verse and the memory verse is from James 1:22 and I'll be delighted if you can all say that with me, if you have it. James 1:22, you ready? "But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Now James says some things that you often don't hear preachers talk about. The lesson today about being and doing is not a very popular lesson these days.

There's a lot of emphasis just on the faith and there's not very much emphasis on what we would call works. Now, we have other lessons that talk more about that. But here he talks about not just hearing the word, but being a doer of the word. First of all, when Jesus says, for instance, in Revelation chapter 3, 'he that has ears, let him hear.' Is Jesus just saying make sure that you're sitting up and paying attention, or what does Jesus mean when he says 'hear what the Spirit says?' In the Jewish mind, to hear - if a parent says to a child 'do you hear what I'm saying?' What do they mean? Are their ears working? Or do you mean, 'are you going to listen and follow what I'm saying?' And so, a lot of times in the Bible when it talks about hearing the Lord, it's not talking about just making sure that you're auditory senses are functioning, it means, following through with what you've heard. Now the first section in this series is 'knowing your enemy.

' I don't know if any of you have heard the phrase before, 'we have met the enemy and it is us.' That actually comes from commodore oliver hazard perry during the war of 1812 and what he actually said is, 'we've met the enemy and they are ours.' And what it really means is - it's like someone else said, 'I see the enemy every day when I shave.' What it means is that sometimes we end up being our own worst enemy. That's not only true individually, sometimes it's true in the church. We've all heard about friendly fire. It's often true that the biggest enemy that the church encounters is not so much from the outside as from the inside. Who caused the first murder? It was a brother.

And what happened to Joseph? Sold by his brothers - conflict with his brothers. How about Samson? His own people tied him up and handed him over to the philistines. What about David? Ran from his own king, Saul, and then later had to run from his own son. It seemed like David was more threatened by his own family sometimes than by the philistines. And Jesus, turned over by one of his own apostles, handed over to his own people.

And then look at the apostles - Paul - and he said, 'demetrius has done me much harm.' And sometimes - Paul even said, 'beware, from among your own selves grievous wolves will arise, not sparing the flock.' So we've met the enemy and it is us, sometimes, but it's even more closer to home than that. You look in the mirror and sometimes we don't know ourselves. It's easy to be hearers and then not follow through. Have you ever caught yourself pointing out or being critical of what someone else is doing or not doing as a Christian and then the Lord or the Holy Spirit says, 'what about you? Are there areas in your life where you're being inconsistent? It makes you think about the verse where Jesus said, 'let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone.' So James says, in chapter 1, verse 23, "for if any is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." And so God wants us to look - find out what the need is - and then address it. Have you ever gotten yourself dressed, gone out in public, and then found out that you had a wardrobe malfunction afterward? And it can be embarrassing, so most of us, before we head out the door, we kind of do a once over in the mirror.

If you're looking too much in the mirror there's a problem - different problem - but it's normal to do kind of a once over to make sure you're at least presentable and that everything's tucked in where it's supposed to be. But if you look and you see there's a problem and you don't do anything about it, well, that's like the Lord telling us there's practical changes you need to make in your life and we just shrug and say, 'I'm so thankful for God's grace.' The Lord wants us to be willing to not only hear but do these things. Now there's some examples that are in the lesson of people who heard but they didn't really realize themselves - they thought they knew themselves. One is given of the rich young ruler and then - that's found - well, there's several verses. One is Matthew 19, verse 16 and it says here, "now behold, one came and said to him, 'good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?'" - He ran to Jesus - so he said to him, 'why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God.

But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.' He said to him, 'which ones?' Jesus said, 'you shall not murder,' 'you shall not commit adultery,' 'you shall not steal,' 'you shall not bear false witness,' 'honor your father and your mother,' and, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'' - The young man, he maybe didn't even let Jesus finish because Christ didn't cover all the commandments, he said, "'all these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?' Jesus said to him, 'if you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.'" - I believe in Luke it says, 'take up your cross and follow me.' - "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." He came to Jesus with the mindset 'I am ready and willing to do anything that I might have everlasting life.' Jesus said, 'really? There's only one thing left. Are you really willing to do that?' And he said, 'I guess not. I guess I don't want it that bad.' Or he said, 'I'm glad to hear what you have to say, now let me think about it.' It doesn't say what his comment was, it just says he went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. But there's no record in the Bible that he ever had a change of heart.

And you realize that Christ was really asking that young man to be an apostle. In other words, he said the same thing to him that he said to Peter, James, John, andrew, Matthew - to forsake everything and to follow me - and, you know, there could be a book in the Bible named after that man. It doesn't tell what his name was. But he heard but he didn't do. He wasn't really willing.

Now people get nervous when I read this verse and they say, 'doug, is that a command for everybody? Is everybody supposed to liquidate all of their earthly assets, get some sandals and a robe and follow Jesus?' No, it might be telling you that, I don't know. I think he still does tell people that and I may have mentioned to you earlier - you've heard of the waldensians and they exist because of Peter waldo who heard this verse and he sold everything. This man, he heard but he didn't do. And then there's another example of someone who thought they knew themselves. Now, in just a moment, I'm going to go - someone's got Matthew 26:74 and 75 - we'll get to you in just a moment, okay? In the meantime, I'm going to read Matthew 26, verses 33 through 35, "Peter answered and said to him, 'even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.

' Jesus said to him, 'assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.' Peter said to him, 'even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you!' And so said all the disciples." Were they sincere? I mean, Peter actually pulled out a sword later to show that he was willing to die, but he didn't know himself as well as he thought and later that night, of course - I'll let someone read that. Alright, I think we're going to go to Matthew 26, verses 74 and 75. "Then he began to curse and swear saying, 'I do not know the man!' Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, 'before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.' So he went out and wept bitterly." You know, if there's anything we can learn from the story of Peter here, is that we don't know ourselves, maybe, as well as we think and we ought to have a humble attitude when we think about how prepared we are with the Lord. Peter also made a mistake - you notice, he compared himself to the other disciples.

He said, 'though all men forsake you - all these guys might forsake you but not me.' And that's why, when Jesus rose from the dead, he looked at Peter and he said, 'Peter, do you love me more than these? - Pointing to the other ten because Judas was gone at this point, and Peter wouldn't say, 'yeah, I love you more than them.' He just said, 'yeah, I love you. I'm not going to even try and guess because I thought I knew myself - I don't.' It's like Peter said, 'I've met the enemy and it's me.' How many times did Peter run ahead and speak before he thought? I think we all sort of identify with Peter because sometimes we realize that we make that same mistake. Next section is under 'being a doer.' And that goes back to that verse that was our memory verse - James 1:22, "but be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." Can a person get to the place where they think that there is virtue in hearing the word and not doing? Yeah, you know, sometimes we think, 'I go to church and I listen to sermons and no, I don't do what I hear but I should get some credit for at least being there and, you know, having all the trappings around me of being a Christian.' And really, it actually means you're more culpable if you're in a position of hearing all the time and rejecting doing. God wants us to be doers of the word, otherwise he says we are deceiving ourselves. Are there a lot of people who are self-deceived about their condition before God? Who has Matthew 7:21 and 22? Alright, we'll get to you next - you'll be next.

I'm going to read - Jesus tells a parable that talks about doing and hearing. 'But what do you think? A man had two sons and he came to the first one and he said, 'son, go work today in my vineyard.' And he answered and said, 'I will not.' Work, work, work, that's all you make me do.' But afterward he regretted it and he went. Then he came to the second son and he said, 'likewise, go work in my vineyard.' He said, 'I'm going sir.' He not only says, 'I'm going,' he says it respectfully - 'but he did not go. Which of the two,' - Jesus said, 'did the will of his father?' And they answered and said, 'the first.' And Jesus said, assuredly, I say to you that the tax collectors and the harlots will enter the Kingdom of God before you, for John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him. And when you saw it, neither did you, afterward, relent - or repent, that means - and believe him.

In other words, people who had claimed to say, 'oh, we're the chosen people. We know the truth. We have the Scriptures. We're God's people.' When the Messiah came and said, 'here's my will.' They said, 'oh, we don't want to do that.' But the ones who made no pretense - the tax collectors and the harlots, of - you know, that always sounds strange - in our culture today we don't usually think of the offscouring of society as being the tax collectors, but in the Jewish society, they were the mafia. What they were is jews who, basically, extorted their own people for gain and they usually had a small entourage of ruffians that made sure you paid your taxes and they were not very appreciated.

So when you see 'publican' or 'tax collector,' think 'mafioso' in the Hebrew culture because that's what they were like back then. 'And Jesus said, 'they'll enter the Kingdom of heaven before you.' - Because though they said, 'oh, I don't want to be religious' when they finally heard John the baptist and they heard Jesus they repented and they accepted the truth. Alright, let's look at that verse now in Matthew 7:21 and 22. "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." That's the main one I want. Not everyone who hears, not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord.

' But who? He who does the will of my father. Now isn't that a very important operative word, 'doing?' You know, what do you get accused of in today's Christian culture when you talk very much about doing? Works and legalism, exactly. We all know it. Matter of fact, we have been so badgered with - I think Christians are so intimidated about the idea of being called a legalist, or being works oriented, or not believing in grace, that everyone is afraid to emphasize what the Bible emphasizes is that, while God is a God of grace and there is abundant mercy, he's also a God that wants us to be not only hearers but doers of the word. Otherwise, he says if we're just hearers we're deceiving our own selves.

Now, there's a lot of Scriptures that talk about this. For instance, go to Luke chapter , verse 28 - 27 and 28, "and it happened, as he spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to him, 'blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!' But he said, 'more than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God...'" - And then there's more to that verse. Just hearing? - "'Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!'" It's not just hearing. In the book of Revelation in the first chapter, it pronounces a blessing on those who hear and keep the things that are written therein. So it's not just hearing Revelation.

A lot of people like to talk about Revelation and I've met all kinds of very strange people that don't seem to be religious at all, that are fascinated with Revelation. They have no interest in keeping the part about, you know, keeping their garments unspotted and living holy lives, they just like the chronological prophetic aspects of it. God wants us to be hearers and keepers of it. Matthew 15, verse 8, Jesus said, 'these people draw near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.' So how do we know if a person is sincere? You'll know them by their profession? You'll know them by their fruits. And so that means you'll see in their life.

Are we saved by our profession or are we judged by our works? Revelation says, 'behold, I come. My reward is with me to give to every man according as his work shall be. Why would God save us by grace and judge us by works? That doesn't sound like it goes together. Your works will demonstrate if your heart has been changed. The Bible says, 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

' Your mouth demonstrates what's happened in your heart. People talk about what they love. And so, in everything from the words that we speak - and that's an important part of good works, is that our speech is seasoned with grace. The Bible says a Christian ought to talk differently, right? And to, you know, how we spend our time and our means and what we wear and what we think about. I mean, Christianity should really change the whole person.

We should do things differently. And it's the grace of God that forgives our sins, but he gives us power - that same spirit - to be different creatures. Mark 3, verse 32 - similar passage - "and a multitude was sitting around him and they said to him, 'look, your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you.'" - And what did Jesus say? - "Who is my mother, or my brothers?" - He wasn't being disrespectful. By the way, James was a brother, wasn't he? "'Who is my mother, or my brothers?' And he looked around in a circle at those who sat about him, and said, 'here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother.'" What was Jesus interested in? It says, 'whosoever believeth in him will not perish but have everlasting life.' What does it mean to believe in God? When Daniel went to the lion's den because he wouldn't stop praying and the King came the next morning and pulled him out and said no manner of harm had come to him because he believed his God. How did Daniel show his belief in God? Did he do something? He knelt when he could have stood.

He opened his windows when he could have closed them. He prayed out loud when he could have prayed in his heart. He showed his belief in what he did. So I think that's probably one of the most misunderstood - one of the most memorized and one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible is John 3:16 - 'whosoever believeth in him' - you know what believe means? It means to be live. Whoever be lives in him will not perish.

If a person says, 'run for your life! There's a tsunami coming!' And you say, 'I believe it, brother.' And you don't budge, you don't believe it. Isn't that right? If you really believe, you act upon what you really believe. And there are so many people out there that say, 'I believe that Jesus died on the cross.' James says the devils believe and tremble. I'm getting ahead of myself because I think that comes up in another lesson. So you can say, 'well, I believe that Jesus died for my sins.

' Does the devil know that Jesus died for our sins? He believes it better than you because he saw it. He was there. Is that going to save him? So recognizing and acknowledging that God is real - that he died for our sins - Judas saw all that first hand. Be living in him means doing the teachings of Jesus. A Christian is a follower of Christ.

And so, there's a lot of emphasis in the Bible on not just accepting the grace of justification, but then following the life and example and teachings of Jesus and sanctification through the power of the Spirit. God not only gives us grace to forgive the past, God give us grace to obey. We don't ever hear about that aspect of grace. He gives us grace to be doers of the word and not just hearers. And then, of course, after Jesus preaches his sermon on the mount - notice that very important parable - let me see here, I think I'm getting to another verse here in a minute.

I've got a moment or two. Matthew 7, verse 24, "therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them," - now, isn't that clear? What separates the wise man from the fool? Does the wise man build a house? Does the fool build a house? Alright, so they're the same in that respect. Does the storm come to the wise man? Does the storm come to the fool? Does the wise man hear the words of Jesus? Does the fool hear the words of Jesus? What is the only difference between the wise man and the fool? The foolish man does not do them. Isn't that right? That's what separates the house on the rock that's going to survive, from the house on the sand that's going to perish.

One is a hearer and a doer and one is just a hearer and he doesn't do. Now, when I read this, I'm always convicted because, it's like Mark twain said - not that he's the best one to quote; he was a clever man but he was also not very religious. But he did say, 'it's not all the mysteries in the Bible that trouble me, it's the good I know I should do that causes me sleepless nights. People always say, 'you know, there's so much in the Bible I don't understand.' My problem is I'm worried about what I do understand. And, you know, sometimes, you know, we're usually pretty gentle on our kids if they don't do something they didn't know about.

But we're a little more severe when they ignore what they did know about. And so, you know, we need to be not only hearing. Once we've heard we want to be doing. There's another example of this in the Bible in the story of - now this is not in the lesson but I thought it's a good example. King Saul, in the old testament, started out a good king; head and shoulders taller than anyone else, filled with the Spirit, anointed by God and - but God sends him on a mission to go fight the enemies, the amalekites, and he gives him very clear orders not to take any plunder or survivors.

This is a wicked war-like people and no matter what your thoughts are about how brutal war was in the Bible, the fact is God gave him a very clear command. Saul didn't think it was a good idea and so his men kind of flew upon the plunder of the amalekites and took the best of the sheep and the oxen and the camels and everything else and when Saul comes back from the battle and he's got this parade of prisoners and this parade of booty that they've taken from the enemy, he goes out - he sees Samuel the prophet and Samuel says, 'what have you done?' He says, 'oh, I've come back from obeying the commandment of the Lord.' He says, 'well if that's true, what is all this bleating of the sheep and lowing of the oxen that I hear?' He said, 'oh well, you know, the people, they wanted to save the best to sacrifice to the Lord. We're going to make an offering of it.' You know, he tried to find a religious excuse for disobedience. It's amazing some of the creative ways I hear people justify their disobedience. They say, 'oh, it was an ox in the ditch.

' Or there are all kinds of different stories that you'll hear. Then there's this - just this classic verse where Samuel said - and this is 1 Samuel 15:22 - he says to Saul, "has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." - The fat of rams was something they would give as a sacrifice to the Lord too. What would the Lord rather have from you? Fifty-percent of your wealth or a hundred percent of your obedience? Would the Lord want ninety percent of your substance? I mean, people think, sometimes, that 'I'll just make a big offering this week to, you know, buy an indulgence for my sins' or something. It doesn't work that way. God is not looking for sacrifice.

He wants us to obey and he says disobedience is worse than witchcraft. And so he says, 'don't deceive yourselves just being a hearer and not a doer of the word. And then, if you look at some of the - what are some of the things God wants us to do? Jesus outlines and - sort of rules for the Kingdom life. Luke 6:27, "but I say to you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you," - now right there I've got my hands full - "bless those who curse you," - that's not easy. Have you ever tried that? - "And pray for those who spitefully use you.

To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also." - I've not been tested on that yet. I don't know what I'll do - "and to him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you." - Try and live that one out. It's hard to even get home without being tested on that point - the route that we drive - give to everyone who asks of you and from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back." - How many of you, when someone tries to seize your property, just say, 'go ahead.' - "And just as you want men to do you also do to them likewise." Now, I don't' think Jesus is saying, you know, just let everybody steamroll you here. He was talking about a time when you were going to be persecuted for righteousness sake and so, in defense of showing what the Christ-like kingdom was like, they would go the second mile back then.

They would turn their cheeks and - but, you know, there is one place where Paul got struck on the cheek. Did he turn the other cheek? No, no, do you remember that story? Paul was being tried and the guard for the high priest was standing next to him and the guard said something about - Paul had made a statement and the high priest said, 'strike him!' And he struck Paul on the mouth and Paul says to the high priest, 'go ahead, strike the other side.' No, he didn't say that. He said, 'you whited sepulcher. How in the world do you sit to judge me according to the law and you now, contrary to the law, have just commanded me to be struck.' And I probably would have reacted like Paul. So Jesus gives the - but did Jesus turn the other cheek when he was struck? When they took away his clothes did he protest? No, so the ideal for Christian living's a pretty - it's the perfect ideal.

Alright, 'laws of freedom.' Alright, in James 1:25 - we're still in the first chapter. He says, "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 work, this one will be blessed in what he does." So God talks about this perfect law of liberty. What is that perfect law of liberty? Matter of fact, I've got to turn here - James 1, verse 25 - you know, in that same passage he talks about two of the Ten Commandments. Here we go. Let me see, is it chapter 2 now? , Verse 12 - yeah - "so speak" - no, wait, I want to read verse 11.

James chapter 2, verse 11 - oh, go to verse 10, "for whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For he who said, 'do not commit adultery,'" - now what kind of law is that connected to? Part of the Ten Commandments - "also said, 'do not murder.'" - In case you have any doubts, what law is that connected to? Ten Commandments. "Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." - Then he says, "so speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." So there you've got the law of liberty mentioned again. And he calls it, in verse 8, "if you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself,'" is there a conflict between the Ten Commandments and the law of liberty? When you keep the ten commandments it is a law of liberty for you. It's called the law of freedom.

Now look, for instance in - somebody look up 2 Corinthians :17 - who's got that one coming up? You'll be next, alright? I'm going to go to psalm 119, verses 44 and 45. "So shall I keep your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek your precepts." Now, haven't you heard before that those who keep the law are under bondage? I've done evangelistic meetings more than once where people came who were of, maybe, another religious persuasion and they'd come to me later, after I'd preached on the law, and I'm, you know, I'm one of these people that think they're not the ten suggestions. You've probably heard me say this ad nauseam, they're not the ten recommendations, they're not the ten good ideas, the fact that they're Ten Commandments of God - there's no stronger language that God can use by telling us these are laws of the highest order. There is no law.

They're not recommendations. This is the commandments. And so I'd preach on the ten commandments and someone would come to me after and say, 'brother doug, Jesus came to set us free from the law. You are putting these people under a burden. You're putting them under bondage.

' Now, is it the one who breaks the law that's free or is it the one who breaks the law that is bound, according to Jesus? If you look in - oh, well, I was about to steal somebody's verse. I was running ahead of myself. I tell you what, who's got John :34? Alright, we're going to give you - we'll give that to you right now and I know I didn't give much warning, but I want to talk about who is the one that's under bondage. Alright, you go ahead and read that for us. "Jesus answered them, 'most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if The Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." Alright, so is it the one keeping the law that's under bondage or is it the one breaking the law - sin is the transgression of the law - is it the one breaking the law that is under bondage? Is the one keeping the law bound or is he free? Does Jesus save us to disobey or save us to obey? 'You'll call his name Jesus for he will save his people for more thorough sins.' 'For greater intensity of sin.' Or did he save us from our sins? And so, he saves us to be free. That's the whole idea. You're - part of the reason that you're all able to come and go to this meeting tonight is because, I'm assuming, that you're law-abiding citizens, hopefully in every area of your life. Or at least you haven't been caught.

And so that give you freedom, right? When you disobey, whether it's speeding, you get pulled over, your freedom is restricted when you disobey. Your liberty is restricted. And the people who are incarcerated tonight, assuming you're living in a just country - I know it's not that way everywhere - they're incarcerated because they've broken the law. They have lost their liberty. And so through obedience you get the greatest liberty.

And so, this is just what James is saying: it's the royal law of liberty. Okay, I think you're next. Go ahead, dick, why don't you read - what is it 2 Corinthians 3:17? Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Alright, so the Spirit of God gives us liberty. Now some people think that means liberty from the law. We've all heard the statement before, 'for I'm not under the law, I am under grace.

' What does that mean? 'I'm not under the law, I am under grace.' Does not being under the law mean that you're no longer under an obligation to keep the law? Or, when a person breaks the law, are they under the sentence of the law? There's a penalty for breaking the law. What's the penalty for sin? How many have sinned? All. So who are all under that death penalty without Jesus? All. Everyone. Christ saves us out from under the penalty of the law.

But he doesn't save us under the obligation so we don't have to obey anymore. Think about how absurd that really would be. And, you know, most people don't have a problem with the law until you get to one or two specific commandments, right? Ninety-nine percent of the churches here in town - or virtually any town that's watching - I could probably go and preach a sermon on honor your parents or be honest or don't kill your neighbor, or - yeah, don't commit adultery - people would be restless but they'd agree that it is biblical. And you could go through don't steal and so forth and everybody would say, 'yeah, amen.' You know, but you get to one law in particular and say 'remember the Sabbath day' and people start to - 'we're not under the law, we're under grace.' You know, it is true that the Sabbath truth, coming back into the forefront in the last hundred and fifty years, has actually changed the theology in Sunday churches. I remember doing a meeting in a small town and, you know, we were just talking about this since we're talking about doing and the law, and this pastor came and I'd been to that pastor's church before, visiting.

They had the Ten Commandments on the wall in their church. They had the Ten Commandments on the wall in their Sunday school. And they came to our meetings and we had a little debate about that subject and he said, 'we're not under the law, we're under grace.' And one of his members, who was also attending our meetings said, 'pastor so and so, why then do we have them on the wall in our church?' The pastor took them down. So can you see how that would create a conflict? And then some take the argument - you know, it's a lot more difficult, they say, 'we're not under the law. God wiped away the law but he kind of re-added nine of them in the new testament.

' And that's like a person who says, 'I've got one finger that makes me uncomfortable so I'm going to cut off ten of them and sew nine back on to get rid of one.' That'd be the wrong way to do it. But really, that's what they're doing and if you ask them, 'so, which commandment is it?' They'll say, 'well, the Sabbath commandment is not repeated in the new testament. That is a myth. I've heard that so many times and when you press people on it, it's absolutely and categorically not true. The Sabbath is mentioned many times in the new testament and in it we're told to remember it - it says in Hebrews chapter 4, 'there reMaineth, therefore, the keeping of the Sabbath for the people of God.

' The one commandment that you have a hard time finding in the new testament is the commandment 'thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' Where does it say that in the new testament? But what Christian, of any denomination, is going to say, 'it's okay now to take God's name in vain?' Of course we can't do that, right? So are they ten suggestions or Ten Commandments that the Lord wants us to be doers of? Right? Keepers of the word. So, let me see, did we cover all that about the liberty? Romans 8, verse 2, "for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of God." No, what law are we free from? The law of sin and death. He saves us from the law of sin that controls our lives. That's what he says in Romans 8. Thank God we no longer have to walk after the flesh, I can now walk after the Spirit.

Don't have to be carnally minded, you can be spiritually minded. You become a new creature. Old things are passed away, all things are made new. And this is the whole message of the Gospel. I've got a few quotes here I just threw in on this subject of doing and hearing.

This one's from dwight moody - expect to see him in heaven - "never think that Jesus commanded a trifle nor dare to trifle with anything he commanded." - Because when he commanded it he expects us to do it - "obedience is the key that unlocks the door to every profound spiritual experience." Is obedience legalism? The way some people are preaching the Gospel - that's a doctrine of devils, but I've heard it. They almost make it sound like if you teach obedience you're a legalist. But Jesus taught obedience. The apostles taught obedience. God, The Father - in the old testament - I believe it's Jesus there too - teaches obedience.

Samuel dickey gordon said, "obedience is the eye of the spirit. Failure to obey dims and dulls the Spiritual understanding." If we know God's will and we fail to do it, it will actually dull your spiritual perceptions over time. And then warren w. Wiersbe - he wrote that commentary on the Bible - "freedom does not mean I am able to do whatever I want to do. That's the worst kind of bondage.

Freedom means I have been set free to become all that God wants me to be - to achieve all that God wants me to achieve - to enjoy all that God wants me to enjoy." I like that. We're free to have the abundant life in the Lord. Alright, last - oh, I've got a couple more sections. 'Useful or useless?' James 1:26 and 27, "if anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." - And then he goes on - and we'll talk more about the tongue in other lessons - "pure and undefiled religion before God and The Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." Now, I don't want to hyperspiritualize this but not only are we to care for orphans and widows - and, you know, now that doesn't mean to us what it meant in Bible times - it was very hard to eke a living out of the land for just a woman because, talk about plowing behind the south end of a donkey or an oxen and trying to make a living out of that, that was really hard work. And without the man in the house - they had no public assistance back then.

They had no welfare program. They had no social security and a lot of widows were out there begging and it was very, very difficult. And so he said, 'don't forget them. Remember The Fatherless and the widow.' But there's a spiritual side to that. People that don't know Jesus, they are sort of orphans.

They need to be introduced to their Heavenly Father. People that don't know Christ as the bridegroom - the church is the bride of Christ - they need to be introduced to the husband, so to speak. And so, it's also bringing people to Christ. Matthew 25, verse 35 - in that great parable of the judgment day, what's the difference between the saved and the lost? "I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me." Pure and undefiled religion before God and The Father is this. It talks about loving those who are in need - caring for people when you see some practical need.

Romans 12:9-13, "let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints given to hospitality." So, you know, when it talks about Christians giving? You know what it usually says we should be careful to give to first? It says, 'they of your own household.' And then that goes to the Spiritual household. They were to care for those in the church and then the community at large.

Alright, now the last section: 'unlike the world.' James 1:27 - he goes on and says in that same verse, "and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." Now this is going to be one of our last verses. John 2:15-17 - I've pretty much memorized this verse. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of The Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of The Father but is of the world.

And the world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does" - hears? - "He that does the will of God abides forever." Now the Bible tells us don't love the world and Jesus said, 'for God so loved the world.' People get mixed up on that word 'world.' Are we to love the world? It's kind of a love/hate relationship - which is it? Well, when it says - it talks about worldliness in the Bible - it's talking about the things in the world - the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and things that are, you know, just all the evil seedy bad things in the world. We know what worldliness is, but when it says 'loving the world' it's like loving the planet. I mean, Christians ought to love the people in the world and want to, you know, be willing to reach humanity and care for them. But there's a balance. How can you keep yourself unspotted from the world when you're in the world? I heard someone say one time that a Christian in the church is something like a boat in the water which is pretty much where a boat belongs.

Boat's always look a little bit powerless on land, don't they? They look out of place. But you, at the same time, have a problem when water is in the boat and then it goes down. Christians belong in the world - every now and then you've got to scrub the barnacles off the boat - but you belong in the world to have an influence - so you can save people from the world into the boat - but you don't want to get in the water or you end up like Jonah, right? You want to be able to bring people out of that. And then, Jesus says, 'if you love me, keep my commandments and I will pray The Father and give you another helper.' God doesn't just want us to be hearers of the word, he wants us to be doers of the word. He wants us to be useful.

This is a lesson - matter of fact, the whole book of James is just a wonderful book because it really talks about the practical themes of living real Christianity. You'll find, when you read the book of James and the book of Paul - books of Paul, I should say - that they almost sound like they oppose each other. Paul, his emphasis is so much on grace - why? Paul is talking to people who had drifted into legalism so he had to spend a lot of time emphasizing the grace. James is now talking to some people who are presuming on the grace of God and they're becoming sloppy about living Godly lives. He, then, has to almost go to the other extreme and say faith without works is dead.

And so, you know, both of the writers are true but it's interesting that Peter does say, in chapter 3 of 2 Peter, 'our beloved brother Paul says some things that are hard to understand, which those that are unstable wrest, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. So people often took the things Paul said about grace and they twisted them and misunderstood them. That's happening in a lot of Christendom today because we all need the grace of God and grace feels so good when you come just as you are and God washes away your sins. That new beginning is so wonderful that a lot of people are left there and they never experience the sanctification of saying, 'okay, I'm going to now be a follower of Jesus and do what he tells me to do.' That's why the book of James is so important, because it's talking about the practical side of Christianity. Well, I think we're out of lesson time for now, but before we close, I just want to remind everybody we do have a free book and it's called 'who do you think you are?' It talks about the balance between knowing who you are in Christ, faith, and works and from, I hope, a biblical perspective and if you want a free copy we'll send it to you.

Just call 866-788-3966. God bless you, friends until we study together again next week. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, '' is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word.

Go deeper. Visit ''. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week millions of people worship on the first day.

What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit ''.

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