Sermón October 30, 2013: Be a practitioner of the word of God and not just a listener

Posted in Sermons
[Dr. Roberto Miranda]
  • Presenter: Dr. Roberto Miranda
  • Date: October 30, 2013
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

James, Chapter 1, and you’ll remember some of the things that we’ve been talking about. In verse 18 the Apostle James has been speaking about the importance of the word of God that has given us life. As a consequence, we have to acknowledge how important, how sublime that word of God is.

We should always treat the word of God with great reverence. The word of God is unlike any other word and the Apostle James in verse 21 says that it is capable of saving our souls, that is how powerful the word of God is.

You have to reject every kind of impurity in your life. You have to make a pact with holiness and with purity in order to be able to receive the word of God, so that it can come into your life and do the work that it has been designated to do.

You have to come to a point of crisis in your life and by crisis I don’t mean necessarily that you kind of feel negative or you have a nervous breakdown. No, crisis means that you have to come to a point of huge decision and confrontation and urgency where you determine, you know, I’m not going to live my life in a certain way. I’m going to live according to the principles of the word of God. And I’m going to strive every day of my life to please God and to conform my life and my behavior to the dictates and the commandments of the word of God.

It says, receive with meekness that word of God that has been implanted in you. It’s a inward process that we live out. We make a decision to welcome the word of God.

In verse 22 the Apostle James goes even deeper than just a mere interior acceptance of the word of God. He says, but also be doers of the word and not only listeners. Churches are full of people who are very sentimental about the word of God. They love to hear the word of God preached. They say, oh, what a great preacher, what a great service, oh, the worship was so beautiful today, but they haven’t made a commitment to be doers, to be practitioners of the word of God.

The distinctive quality of this epistle, this letter of the Apostle James is this continual insistence on the need to live a Christian life that is practical, that is lived out every day, that involves behavior and a change and a transformation in our lives, and the desire to be pleasing to God in the way that we carry out our life. James insists on that over and over again.

I hope that the Lord will mark and imprint his spirit in you in this sense, I want to become a doer, a practitioner of the word of God and not just a listener.

Fooling yourselves. You’re misleading yourself if all you do is simply listen to the word of God and you are not a doer of the word of God, a practitioner. Then, you are merely fooling yourself. Anybody who comes to church and simply hears the word, but doesn’t practice it, doesn’t try to put it into effect, is fooling themselves. They are wasting their time. They might as well just go some place else.

It doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect, but you must do all that you can to please the Lord with the help of his Holy Spirit and when you are not aligned, when you deviate from that word, what do you do? You get back in line.

That has to be your norm and it has to be your motto, it has to be the ethic by which you live your life. I’m going to live a life that is pleasing on to God and when I don’t meet that goal I’ll just confess, I’ll repent and I’ll get back on track, but you have to do it.

I want to insist on that for a moment, because it’s a theme that is always throughout the word of God. If we go to First John, chapter 1, verses 6 and 7. The Apostle John says also, if we say that we have communion with God but we walk in darkness, then we are lying and we are not practicing the word.

If the norm of your life, if the flow of your life, if the pattern of your life as a whole is contrary to what you’re confessing with your mouth, then you are living a lie. And again, we always move, we’re always struggling for that holiness; let me say that, over and over again. The overall nature should be that.

There are people who have whole areas of their lives that they’ve simply given up on and they simply say, well, you know, I can’t really deal with that, I can’t correct it before God and they have submitted it to sin and that is a very dangerous way to live the Christian life.

But if we walk in light, as he is in light, then when we have communion one with another and the blood of Christ, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. What the Apostle John continues saying, if we say that we don’t have any sin, then we are fooling ourselves and the truth of God is not in us.

So, there will be sin in your life and if you say that you don’t have sin in your life then you are lying, because we always need the grace and the forgiveness of God even as we strive to be holy and to be pleasing onto him, we know that we will never achieve 100%. So we always have to be confessing.

The Bible says that if we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive them. I think one of the biggest problems with a lot of preachers is that they have a hard time preaching about the complexity of how the word of God sees this. We have to strive for holiness, we have a holy God, we need to love holiness, but at the same time we also need to know that we will never achieve perfect holiness and therefore we need to be continually recognizing our sins, acknowledging them, confessing them before the Lord and realigning ourselves with what God expects of us.

In John, chapter 2, verses 3 through 6, it says, this is the way that we know if we know God, when we keep his commandments. Anyone who says I know him and does not keep his commandments, that person is a liar and the truth is not in him. He, who says that he remains in Christ or in God, should walk in the same manner that he walked.

My desire is that our church would distinguish itself, if you want to put it that way, as a community of people who are taking seriously the word of God and committing ourselves to a life that is pleasing onto God so that we might bear good witness to the community around us and that when people see our lives and our behavior, our relationships one with another, the way we conduct our family life, that they will say, yes, these people have been impacted by the word of God, they reflect the norm and the values and the principles of the word of God.

I’m going to end it here because I don’t want to extend myself too much. Just lower your heads briefly and receive that call of the Lord this evening. How is my life not conforming to the word of God, each one of us has many, many areas that one could mention, let us bring them before the Lord.

Just tell the Lord, if there’s an area that you can identify as one area that you want to bring before God in your life, whatever it is, that you know that doesn’t conform to the word of God, why don’t you just now yield it to the Lord and ask him to come in and to work in that area of your life.


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