Q. The “message” at our church last week centered around James 1:22-25 “be doers of the Word and not hearers only..”. I can’t help but think that this was a plea for a “works based faith” to help the church building and keeping our “good works” confined within the walls of the building. Of course, sprinkled within the message was “help the person in a broken down car on the side of the road, etc.” but the pastor kept coming back to “our church” and “doing the Word”.
A. Some pastors use James 1:22-25 to stimulate action among their members. Along with the phrase “be followers of Christ, not just believers” this has almost become a slogan in the emerging church movement and its emphasis on what they call the “social gospel”.
It is a fact that true belief will always result in some kind of expression. But in speaking of the vine and the branches Jesus said in effect that for believers the only work that has any merit is work we do at His prompting and in His strength. All other motivations are of human origin and of no value to the Kingdom. (John 15:1-8) Ultimately, being doers of the Word means following His will for our lives.