“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:21–27, KJV)
περισσείαν Perisseian does not mean someone from Paris, but rather, abundance, running over. The concept is that of pouring 4 gallons of water into a 1 gallon jar – hence the translation of “superfluidity”.
To have an abundance of filthiness and sin that runs over and out… this is what James asks us to put aside. There’s not an “If” anywhere in that sentence!
Lay aside the filth and sin, and receive the word of Scripture. The Scripture is able to save your soul. This is a restatement of the first verse.
We’ve had wherefore-therefore statements up till now, linking a number of topics together. And now, we get to…
Do the word, don’t just listen to it and go away thinking, “I can do what I want!”
Many people who call themselves Christians do that. If you’re a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you’re going to want to conform your life to the Bible. It’s unthinkable not to! Now, you’re going to stumble, and the cares of the world set in, and you’ll slip and fall, but get back on that horse!
Now, the Free Grace/Hypergrace movement (which is gaining ground today) tells us that the law of liberty has NO commandments, NO works. James just shot that down. “Whoso looketh into the law of liberty, and continuith therein… he being a doer of the word…”
There is commandments and laws enjoined upon the Christian! These do not save you – you are already saved… but things like prayer, tithe, mercy, charity, etc.
It even has negative commandments. Do not murder, do not commit adultery… 9 of the 10 commandments can be found repeated in the New Testament. The only one that is not is the Sabbath Day.
Anyone who is unsure, here’s your assignment… go through the entire New Testament, and write down everything that looks like it is a command. Hey, pick an EASY book like Ephesians and see how many commandments are in it!
Give to charity. Every Christian knows that one instinctively – it’s just that charity starts at home, and most Christians need it themselves!
Prayer. Everyone understood from the Bible they need to pray. Until these Hyper grace heretics rose up, it was understood by EVERYONE that thinks they’re a Christian!
Tithe. Everyone understands this, except greedy and rebellious people. I’ve several times been drawn into debates on this (well, they tried) and I firmly shut it down each time. The Lord, when discussing Tithe, said THESE THINGS OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE, and not neglected the others.
Forgive one another. Love one another. Prefer one another.
You know, that perfect church everyone always looks for would be there if we all did these things!
“It is not sufficient, however, to receive the Word; one must respond to it in active obedience. The command is clear, Do not merely listen to the Word.… Do what it says. One must “become,” or “keep on becoming” (ginesthe), a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. The growing numbers of sermon-sippers who flit from one doctrinal dessert to another like helpless hummingbirds are deceiving themselves. “Deceiving” is from a verb used in the New Testament only here and in Colossians 2:4. Paralogizomai means “to cheat or deceive by false reasoning.” The deception comes from thinking they have done all that is necessary when actually listening to the Word is only the beginning. A fitting illustration of the “sit, soak, and sour” crowd follows.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary, John Walvoord