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Faith That Does



"22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We would  ask that you would do the same for us. We would also appreciate if you would share our website with all of your family and friends.

The Christian life is all about change. The character of man is decided by his conduct. If our trust in God does not lead us to act for the benefit of others in need, can we really say that we trust God? Salvation is not simply about deliverance from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin. It's about turning ones life around. Those who are truly saved by faith will reveal it by their lifestyle. Simply hearing God’s Word has no lasting value, unless we open the Bible, and do what it says.
However, opposition from within arises when we desire to obey Christ. Deep within us, is a voice  screaming to ignore God's voice and to give in to the voice of our selfish desires.It is at this point, when we are called to obey the Word of God. To exercise love motivated self-control. I believe that we’re all aware of that. How we choose to live is an infallible test, because what is really in the heart of every person governs their behavior. 
In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus said that "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit." He goes on to say that "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits." Therefore, how we live is the infallible test. In fact, Scripture tells us that if we are not being converted then we have not been regenerated.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
In Matthew chapter 12, Jesus affirms that to be true when He says "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil."
Our conduct, therefore, is really the ultimate test for genuine faith. In fact, Jesus says in John 14:23 "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." The point of the Lords commands is that we obey them. Our willingness to keep Christ's commands encompasses our faith. Jesus told the disciples that to show their love for God, they had to keep His commandments. He was sharing with them the calling God has placed on their lives and all our lives. 
Let us bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for Your Word. We are grateful for the wonderful instruction that we have gain. Thank You for holy obedience that has respect for all Your commands, not just some of them. Help us to embrace and obey all Your precepts out of love for You, out of our desire to honor You and glorify You.
Make our hearts long to do what is right.
Lord, we pray for those who have been content to hear Your Word and never apply these truths to their own lives, those who never obey Your commands, who think themselves to be saved, who are deceived and damned to eternal hell. O' Lord, we pray for their souls to be awakened. We pray for those who hear Your Word, that walk away thinking that nothing is required of them, who have cultivated the habit of ignoring Your Word, looking in the mirror and are deceived. May today be the day that they would confess their sins and repent. So that they would be able celebrate the gift of forgiveness.
Father, we know that You do not withhold from us any good thing from those who obey Your Word.  But when we refuse to apply the Word, we take ourselves out of that blessing. Help us to know that.
It is with a heavy heart we pray for those who have never received Christ, that You would reach down and touch their hearts, that today would be that glorious day of salvation. May it all be for Your great glory and for Christ's sake.
In His precious name we ask and pray.
Today's Message: Faith That Does
One of the biggest challenges for every believer, every Christian can be summed up in a single word: Obedience. It is not enough to hear the Word, God expects us to take the next step and to obey His Word. It all comes down to our obedience to the Word of God.
I've heard it said that "If you deceive somebody else you are wicked but smart; if you deceive yourself you are wicked but stupid." In other words, a person who hears God's Word but doesn't do it, deceives himself. He who hears God's Word and doesn't put it into practice, deceives himself. It is a sad reality, that there are many Christians sitting in the pews today are self deceived.
The Word of God is a mirror, it reflects who we truly are. God help the man who forgets about what he saw in the mirror.
If you come and hear and the deepest desire of your heart is to do what God's Word says, that’s the indication of the pulsing of the life of God in the soul of man.  

Open your Bibles with me to the book of James chapter 1. From the very beginning of our study of James, he lays out tests of a living faith. If you will remember, the first test is how we respond to trials. How we respond to trials. Trials reveal the level of our faith and to wean you away from the world. Therefore, how we respond to trials that God brings into our lives, is a direct indication of whether or not you truly believe God. 
The second test is how we respond to temptation. The solicitation to commit evil. How we respond to temptation reveals whether or not we have saving faith or non-saving faith. We can take our life, put it up how we respond to temptation, find out whether we’re really saved or not. The person who hears the truth, he hears the Word of God, but gives into temptation anyway, is a victim of self-deception. He is deceiving himself. The purpose of God's Word is self-examination; so that you can see your flaws, your imperfections and ask God to fix them. How often do we hear the truth about ourselves, and say "I must do something about that," and yet continue to live in our sin. We are to turn from our sin to serve the One true living God. When we continue to sin, we turn our back on Christ, on God's Word, I encourage you to confess your sin, and return to the fight.
The bottomline is, if you want God’s blessing, you have got to obey His Word. To ask God to bless your life while you continue to disobey His Word is foolishness. Delayed obedience is the same as disobedience. In my obedience, I trusted God's love and plan for my life. While I may not always know what He is up to or even understand what He is doing, I trust what God is doing. Obedience to God sets us free to be what God wants us to be. His commandments are not a hindrance, but our freedom. When we obey God's Word, Christ takes our heavy burden and replaces it with His yoke. We all need Christ's yoke.
The Letter of James, is often criticized as having nothing specifically Christian in its content. It is actually a letter most representative of early Christian piety. Throughout his letter, James urges believers to live up to their profession. James writes of the need to have faith and works, for faith without works is dead. That a profession of faith unaccompanied by good works amounts to no genuine possession of Christ. 
There has long been the debate as to how James’ statement that "faith apart from works is dead," compares with Paul’s "justification by faith without works" in the book of Romans. However, I believe that those who would make that argument, have overlooked the fact that Paul speaks about works of the Law and does so with reference to those works that divide Jews and Gentiles. James, however, refers to works of mercy. Therefore, these two statements are not only reconcilable, but they address themselves to very distinct and different issues. 
I invite you to follow along with me as I read our text, to set it in our minds, as we prepare our hearts to receive what the Spirit has to say. James 1:22-25.
"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does."
The Word of God elicits confession; it elicits celebration; and most importantly of all, it elicits a covenant of obedience. The command to love God and love others encompasses all Ten Commandments. Jesus spent His earthly ministry reflecting the love of God, and demonstrating love for others. Jesus clearly affirms this truth in Luke chapter 6 verse 46 when He says "Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"
In fact, Jesus purposely sits down at the well of Jacob on the outskirts of the town. The well is in the Jewish lineage, built by Jacob, who was one of the Patriarchs of the Jewish faith. The God Jacob worshiped, waits to speak to a Samaritan woman, who also happened to be shunned by those in her own town as well. Their differences were astounding; male and female. Hebrew Jew and Samaritan. Holy and sinful. Yet Jesus’ overflowing love for the woman at the well, reflected the love God had for her.
What God offers us is far better than anything the world has to offer. Whether our heart likes it or not. It takes us time and the work of the Holy Spirit, for our wants and desires to line up with God’s wants and desires, and that begins to happen when we engross ourselves in His Word. It requires more than just a casual reading of the Word of God, we must let it absorb our minds, allowing it to transform our lives.
In verse 22, James says "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."
When you attempt to construct a faith on anything else but obedience to the Word of God, your effort is folly. It's unfortunate that so many Christians today have difficulty of understanding that the bottom line in the spiritual life is not a momentary commitment, inspired by the message of the pastor, but the bottom line in the spiritual life is long-term obedience to the Word of God. If you don’t sense that in your heart, that you are being convicted of your sin, if the deepest and truest longing of your heart is not to obey the living God, if you think is saving faith is something less than obedience, then you are deceived. You may want to reach out and grab the forgiveness God provides.
Scripture becomes the focal point in this whole section. How we respond to the Word of God is indicative of our spiritual condition. You will remember, in our last message, James says, true saving faith is demonstrated by a right attitude toward the Word. Verse 19, "This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;" It means you’re willing to receive the Word with submission.
The second part of proper reception of the Word is to receive the Word not only with submission but with purity. And in verse 21, James tells us "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness." Then, we saw that thirdly, a proper reception of the Word involves willingness to receive the Word with humility. Again verse 21," in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." We are to receive the Word with meekness, having a teachable spirit.
Now, we come to James next point. We are to have a proper reaction to the Word. This was introduced, in verse 22, which I just read to you. Allow me to point out, that the word "but" is very significant, its very important. It’s great to hear; it’s terrific to hear with submission; it’s wonderful to hear with purity; it’s wonderful to hear with humility; "but" it is not enough just to hear God's Word. It must be obeyed. Literally, in the present imperative sense the verb, it would indicate "Be you continually doers." I must confess, one of my greatest fears as your pastor, is that you who would hear so much would do so little. I believe that this needs to be emphasized. When you hear something rich, something profound, something that moves you, you attempt to grab hold of that one thing and try to put it into your life, so that you might know the blessing of God.
But, when you are literally drowning in the richness of the Word of God, you tend to treat it as if it is something less than gold. Because you have had so many opportunities to hear and apply it, that eventually part of the application slips over time. Now, that's not to say that every believer puts into practice what he hears every time, or my job would be relatively simple, wouldn't it? However, even when they do not, the desire of their heart that they would and they should and they recognize their failure. Belief leads to faith, faith leads to trust, and trust leads to action. How many times can you hear God's Word and never apply what you hear? The Holy Spirit provides the power to change. He is the invisible source of the change. James reveals to us in these verses, 22–25, that the Spirit uses a visible source to effect the change; namely, the Word of God.
Now, the word doer, is an interesting word, its the word "poiētai," which carries with it a characterization of a whole personality. It’s one thing to teach somebody; it’s something entirely different to be a teacher.As a footnote, the doer seems to be something a favorite of James, as we continue in our study, you'll find that he uses it three times in this section. and in chapter 4, I believe.

I'd like to draw your attention to "and not just hearers," the Greek word used refers to auditors.It comes from the root word akroatérion, which is used for a place of audience. Much like a court room is used for hearing cases. It conveys the idea of those who have the privilege to hear the Word, however, they want no commitment to actually do the work.May I submit to you, that hearing itself is not an end, but a means to an end, and that end is obedience! Obedience is the desired goal.
Just as there are several elements to hearing God's Word, which are submission, purity and meekness. There are also three elements to applying the Word. We are to apply it without deception. If you are merely a hearer of the Word and not a doer, you are self deceived. Any response to the Word of truth other than obedience, is merely a deception. That's the point James is making here. Admiration of the preacher, enjoyment of the mental stimulation, good feelings about the emotional exhilaration of discovering truth are all merely self deceptions. 

The word used for deception, is the word paralogizomai, it is a mathematical term, meaning to miscalculate. The meaning behind it is that if you think hearing is enough and not applying it, you have made a gross miscalculation. If we simply rest satisfied with the means of grace without surrendering our hearts to its power, so as to receive the grace and exhibit its working in our lives, is manifestly foolishness. Imitation faith is a very real and serious issue in the church today, just as it was at the time of the New Testament writers.

The Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?" 
In order to explain this deception, James develops a very graphic analogy, which we see here in verse 23, "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;" Notice that he begins with saying "For if anyone," that’s a generic reference, meaning across the board, it applies to anyone. Then, he quickly identifies the subject of his analogy, by saying "a hearer of the word and not a doer." He gives us a a graphic illustration of someone who hears and does not do, "he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror." 
The word James uses here is katanoounti, its a forceful word, it means to look carefully. Not to take a casual glance, but to observe closely, cautiously. In other words, it means he is looking in the mirror at his natural face. It’s actually very  interesting terminology used by James. In the Greek, it is literally the face of his birth. Now mirrors at that time, were usually made of polished bronze beaten flat, polished to a high gloss. It was very primitive in terms of mirrors, a copper-tin mixture used to make that polished bronze. If you looked long enough and moved it around a little, the little dents and dings would be shifted away from what you were attempting to see and you could actually get a fairly good image of yourself. It was admittedly an imperfect reflection, but if you looked cautiously, you could get a pretty good idea of your image. The hearer and not the doer, just sees his natural face, the face of his birth.

Then, in verse 24, he sees himself, here he uses the same verb again, exactly, and then he goes away. "for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was."
Literally, in the Greek text, this is a perfect tense between two, what is called gnomic aorist, and the perfect tense, in other words, with a mirror no longer in front of him, he immediately forgets what kind of man he was. Real faith,will produce righteous behavior. In a sense, I believe that we have all experienced this to some degree, perhaps you were shaving and the phone rings, the calls takes longer than expected and realizing the time, you rush off to work, having forgotten what you were doing before the phone rang. You get to work with shaving cream on your neck or behind your ear. And someone at work, keeps looking at you strangely, then you realize that something mustn't be quite right, so you check yourself out in the bathroom mirror, only to find something went left when it should've went right. That's kind of what James is saying here. You become distracted in the busyness of life and forget what you saw in the mirror. If you didn’t fix it while you saw it, you may forget it and never fix it.
In verse 25, James clarifies the analogy by contrasting the other person. The guy who comes to the mirror, or the Word of God, it reveals his ugliness to him, his sin. He examines the truth, carefully and sees what’s wrong in his life, he recognizes it, it demands that he fix it, but he becomes distracted and does nothing to address the issue. That’s a hearer only. "But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does." Here's the contrast. This time he uses the word parakuptō, it means to stoop down and examine something with care and precision. Stooping down represents humbling ones self. Looking intently, wanting to discern what is revealed in the mirror.
I love what James say at the end of verse 25, "this person will be blessed in what he does." You want a blessed life, a successful way, then you stick with the Word of God. It will change your life! And, as it begins to reveal to you who you are, and the nest part is, you find that the obligation of the law of God is a yoke, a yoke that as Jesus Himself said, is easy and a burden that is light.
I believe when it comes to the hearing of the Word of God, your attitude is the key to everything. We must prepare our hearts before looking into the mirror, asking God to show your true face, show me where the problem is, so I can fix it. When you open up the Word of God, are you concerned that the Holy Spirit wants to use the Word as a mirror to show you where you failed, or you context with the face you see and walk away from the truth? James gives us the prefect analogy, "the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it." The Word of God that frees us from bondage, and you continue in it.
I want to make something clear, because there is grace for sin does not mean that there is no law! The authoritative instruction from God is called the law, God's law. God’s Word is called the law in both the Old and New Testaments. It is the moral code that God wants us to obey. It is comprehensive, complete, sufficient and it is flawless, and without error. True faith must be something more than just hearing, it requires doing. It is faith that results in obedience.
In Closing..
Jesus says in Matthew chapter 7, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Clearly, there are two roads; one leads to destruction, and the other one leads to life. The one that leads to life is the road with blessing, and the one that leads to destruction is the road without blessing. You cannot receive God's blessing unless you make sure you're on the right road.
Think about this, at some point in your life, you decided to follow Jesus. Then, it became difficult. We all know it can be tough at times. You look around and notice there aren't many people on your road, but there are lots of people on the other road. Life seems to be so easy for them. Before you even realize it, you've switch roads, you're on the road to destruction. 
I'm not talking about someone who slips up and get back on the right road. I'm talking about the one who knows they're doing wrong and continues walking down that road.  God is looking for people who have real faith, the kind of faith that brings obedience. Even when the road gets rough!

I believe man's most serious obstacle to salvation is, to salvation is his natural aversion to serious spiritual thought life. People don't really want to see themselves as they are, but how they want to be seen. They don’t want to be honest in their self-examination.
I don't know about any of you, but when I open up God's Word, I want the Holy Spirit to show me where the ugliness of sin is hiding, so that having seen it I can come to Christ for the cure. I want to see my short comings and my failures, so that I can cry out to God, change my life! When a true Christian sees things as they really are,  his will is brought into union with God’s will, so he loves to do what the Word commands to be done. 
God's blessing is not in the hearing, the blessing is in the doing of His Word. When I teach the Word of God, what are you going to do about it? Not for my sake, but for your sake and for the sake of God Who gave you His Word. If you will put it into practice, you will see progress, that’s true faith at work.
May it be so.. 
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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