06 How to Receive the Word

This is part of a Bible Study series on the Epistle of James. You can find more information on the complete series by going to the Series Overview.

This Week: James 1:19-27
Date: January 31, 2016
Series: Shoe Leather Theology: Study of James

This Week’s Resources:


  • Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
  • How does it affect you when you see a Christian doing or saying something that is wrong, distasteful, or sinful?
  • What kinds of things “push your buttons” in the wrong way and cause you to lose your temper?

This Week’s Take Home Truth

Receiving God’s Word means I will respond to it calmly and humbly (my ears and mouth), taking action to obey it tangibly and purely (my hands and heart).

Read the Text (James 1:19-27)

The central theme of this section is practical Christianity mandated by “the word of truth,” which is the gospel (v. 18), and characterized by both truly “hearing” and then resolutely “doing” the truth. Obedience is the hallmark of the true child of God. Read James 1:19-27.

James 1:19–27 (ESV)

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Digging Deeper

In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions.

  • James tells us to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to get angry (v. 19). What are the qualities of a good listener?
  • What are the qualities of one who listens to God and His Word?
  • James speaks of “the implanted word, which is able to save souls.” (James 1:21) How would you define “the implanted word”?
  • Why would James caution us in verses 22-25 to be doers of the Word, and not just hearers?
  • What are some symptoms of someone who lives a life of deception?

Concluding Thoughts

These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.

  • Do you long to receive this Word? If you do, that is good. It should be a treasured and cherished possession for you. If it is not, then get rid of the filth and evil and worldliness that are drawing your affections away from the Word that saves you. Receive the Word humbly.
  • Outside of corporate worship, how does Scripture influence the way you think and live? What are some specific ways you could grow in this area?
  • List some areas of your life where you’ve said you’re willing to obey, but you’re not actively obeying. How will you move forward in these areas?

“True disciples are usually people that few understand. They are viewed as potentially unstable fanatics. Often the same governments that tolerate the existence of mere believers will stop at no ends to completely eradicate any disciples within their borders.” –Chinese Pastor

“It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, who owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by a history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. The awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown, but we have forgotten God.”–Abraham Lincoln

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