Pastor James J. Barker

Text: JAMES 1:18-27


1.     My message this morning is entitled, “Be Ye Doers of the Word” (James 1:22).

2.     Our church has a lot of hearers (and I thank God for that) but we need more doers.  In fact, there is a danger in hearing Bible preaching week after week and just listening but not doing.  The Bible says these types of hearers are deceiving themselves (1:22).



1.     Let us consider this phrase, “the engrafted word” (1:21).  Vine’s Expository Dictionary says the word means “implanted” and says, “The metaphor is that of a seed rooting itself in the heart.”

2.     Our Lord Himself used this metaphor in His parable of the sower (cf. Matt. 13:18-23).

3.     Which type of heart do you have – the way side, the stony places, the thorns, or the good ground (13:18-23)?

4.     The Word of God should be received “with meekness” (James 1:21).  Some people come to church with a haughty attitude.  Then the Word of God stings them like a sword (it is called “the Sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17) and they receive it “with meekness.”

5.     Now they are ready to do business with God.  Now they are ready to submit to the Lordship of Christ.  Now they are ready to humble themselves before God, and like Saul of Tarsus cry out to God, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).

6.     Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…”

7.     The Word of God is “able to save your souls” (1:21; cf. vs. 18; I Peter 1:23).

8.     The Word of God is like seed rooting itself in the heart.  The Word of God is like a sharp sword discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And the Word of God is like a mirror (James 1:23-25).

9.     The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to transform us (II Cor. 3:18). 



1.     Here is where a lot of people miss out.  They allow things to distract them from properly hearing the word.  This is why I do not like it when people get up and start walking around and going to the bathroom (etc.) during the preaching service.

2.     Parents – try and see to it that your children go to the bathroom before the preaching service.  Ushers – try and keep an eye on this.

3.     This is why we have a nursery and children’s church for our babies and youngsters.  When there is commotion people can easily be distracted.  I am particularly concerned about sinners and their need to hear the clear proclamation of the Gospel.

4.     We must listen carefully as the Word of God is preached.   Our Lord said that the devil is waiting to swoop in and snatch the word away (cf. Matt. 13:19).

5.     This Scripture also reminds us that the Word of God must be properly expounded so that the listeners can understand it (Matt. 13:19; cf. Nehemiah 8:1-8, 12, 13).

6.     We must read the Word of God.  We must hear the Word of God.  And we must keep the Word of God (cf. Rev. 1:3; 22:7).


III. DO THE WORD (1:22-24).

1.     I want to spend more time here because this is where many people (even many Christian people) miss the boat.  They hear the Word but they are not “doers of the word” (1:22).

2.     We are to hear the Word, but then we are to “continue therein” (1:25). 

3.     Some might wonder, “How can one be a doer of the Word?

4.     You are a “doer” of the Word when you are a “doer of the work” (James 1:25).  We are not saved by our good works, but if we are genuinely saved we ought to be doing good works (cf. James 2:17, 20, 26). 

5.     Good works will follow a genuine conversion like night follows day (cf. Eph. 2:8-10).

6.     There are some similarities between the book of James and our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matt. 7:24-27).

7.     Are you a “wise man” or a “foolish man” (Matt. 7:24, 26)?

8.     Many people are religious (James 1:26), but they are not saved. It has been often said that Christianity is not simply a religion – it is a relationship.

9.     Religious people are preoccupied with fancy ornate buildings, preachers with colorful robes and impressive titles, elaborate rituals, a religious hierarchy, and an organized church calendar. 

10. According to the NT there is only ONE DAY on the church calendar and that day is the Lord’s Day.

11. What about these other religious trappings?

·        Fancy ornate buildings?  Do we see this in the NT?

·        Preachers with robes and titles?  Did the apostles wear fancy robes?  Did they have worldly titles?  Did the apostle Paul?

·        Elaborate rituals?  The preaching of the Word should be central.

·        Religious hierarchy?  According to the NT, there are just pastors and deacons in the local church.

12. Some people claim to be religious but they will not “bridle” their tongue (James 1:26).  Many church members use profanity. And some are like the gossiping woman who came forward at the invitation and said, “Pastor, I am laying my tongue on the altar.”  He said, “Sister, our altar is not big enough for your tongue.”

13. I heard a pastor say that he was driving to a meeting with another preacher and this other preacher kept running down other preachers.  Finally the pastor stopped him and said, “Will you mind cutting it out?  I have to preach tonight and it will be hard for me to preach after listening to all this garbage!”  He said the preacher with the unbridled tongue then pouted for the whole rest of the trip.

14. Being a “doer of the word” means having a genuine love and concern for others (1:22, 26, 27).  When James refers to “the fatherless and widows” he is not giving us an exhaustive list.  These are merely examples of people in need.

15. “Visit” (1:27) means to look out for, to keep an eye on them, be concerned about their welfare.

16. There is coming a day when our Lord is going to separate the goats from the sheep and the goats will be sent into the fires of hell.  Our Lord said He commend His sheep because they helped the sick and hungry.

17. You’re not saved by doing good works, but the Bible teaches that if you are truly saved you will do good works.

18. I think this means if you really love God you will go out on visitation.  If you love God you will reach out and help others.  If you love God you will offer to drive people to church.

19. If you love God you will love others.  You will have a burden for souls and a burden for missions.

20. But unfortunately, many church members are deceived.  They think they are good Christians when in fact they are selfish. Let me ask you – are you deceiving yourself? (James 1:22-24).

21. Some are generous when it comes to their immediate family, but stingy when it comes to the work of God.  I knew a deacon in a Baptist church who admitted that sometimes he gave his tithe to his son because the son had money problems.  That is wrong.

22. We ought to take care of our children.  We ought to take care of our family.  First Timothy 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

23. We have to provide for our family, but we’re not supposed to rob God.  “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” (1:22).

24. We hear preaching about prayer but yet many Christians seldom pray.   Our Lord said in Luke 18:1, “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”  “But be ye doers of the word…”

25. Our Lord also had a lot to say about fasting.  He said, “When ye fast” – not, “If ye fast…”

26. We hear preaching about studying the Bible but many Christians seldom read the Bible.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15).

27. People hear all of this but they are not doing it.  Too many other activities (like watching the boob tube) crowd out the Word of God and crowd out prayer and crowd out soulwinning.

28. “Unspotted” means “unstained” (1:27).    We live in a very dirty world.  It is hard to live in this wicked world without becoming soiled and contaminated.

29. Mass media and modern technology such as the Internet have inundated us with every form of filth imaginable. Even some of the commercials on television are lewd and smutty.

30. How can we keep ourselves clean?  We must make every effort to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world.”  We must “lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of wickedness” (James 1:21).

31. If you had a coat and it fell into the sewer you would not want to wear it.  The soul of man is more precious than the body; we must not let it be contaminated by the filthy sins of this wicked world.



1.     James uses an interesting _expression in 1:26 – “seem to be religious.”  There are many people who “seem to be religious” but they are not saved.

2.     Over 100 years ago, William Booth said, “I am of the opinion that the dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and heaven without hell.”

| Customized by Jun Gapuz |