O/W/R - Section 3

  1. The Scriptures offer encouragement to the weakest believer, but they declare alarming warnings to those who carelessly presume that they are on God's side. It is possible for an individual to approach the Word of God without any relish for its message. It is possible for a person to have something resembling Christian experience without genuinely knowing Christ. The readers of Hebrews were looking, sounding, and seeming to be like believers; but they were urged to show the reality of their faith by enduring in their commitment to Jesus.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, vv. 4-5 at location 2761.
  2.  James 4:17: So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.   He has urged us to take the Lord into consideration in all our planning. We therefore have no excuse in this matter:we know what we are to do. To fail now to do it, James wants to make clear, is sin. We cannot take refuge in the plea that we have done nothing positively wrong. As Scripture makes abundantly clear, sins of omission are as real and serious as sins of commission. The servant in Jesus 'parable who fails to use the money he was entrusted with (Luke 19:11- 27); the people who fail to care for the outcasts of society (Matt. 25:31- 46) – they are condemned for what they failed to do. Another teaching of Jesus reminds us very forcibly of James's words here:"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows" (Luke 12:47). James's reminder here is an important one. For we have a tendency, when we think of sin, to think only of those things we have done that we should not have done. I know my own confessions before the Lord tend to focus on these kinds of sins. But I should also consider those ways in which I have failed to do what the Lord has commanded me to do. Perhaps I did not reach out to help a "neighbor" in need; or perhaps I failed to bear witness to a co- worker when I had the opportunity. These also are sins for which I must seek God's forgiveness.  - From the Pillar New Testament Commentary by Eerdman Publisher.
  3. The severe warnings of this verse apply only to those who commit apostasy from Christ after having experienced an understanding of the gospel and some influences from Christ. The impossibility of restoration comes because those who turn away from Christ are guilty of crucifying the Son of God all over again. They also hold Jesus up for public contempt. The rejection of Christ after confessing him is an act of relentless hostility.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, v. 6 at location 2767.
  4. While we worship Jesus, people are dying. Jesus holds those dying children in His arms. To come before Jesus means to come before the needy of this world. Jesus said unless you do good unto your brothers and sisters, you have not done good unto Him. We cannot expect Jesus to pay attention to us unless we're willing to pay attention to the things that matter to Him. Let us join with our Lord in being saviors to a world in need. - From the June 5, 2017 Wisdom from the Psalms daily devotional from Dan R. Dick.
  5. Isaiah issues the strong challenge to the people of his day as well as to the people of our day. There is only one way to escape God’s wrath: spiritual separation.
    We must not participate in the behavior of the wicked and idolatrous of this earth (v. 22). It is utterly insane to trust the humanistic, materialistic philosophy of the world. Man is not the supreme being of the universe. He merely possesses the breath of life, breath that can be ever so quickly snuffed out. Standing in his humanistic, secular philosophy and living a selfish and sinful life, man is of no account, no importance. He has value only as he stands in the Lord and lives a life of righteousness, love, and service to mankind. If he rejects the Lord, he will face the terrifying judgment of the Lord. The only way he can escape God’s wrath is to set himself apart from those who are evil or who worship false gods. He must not put his trust in man, nor in humanistic, secular philosophy. - From the reading about Judgment in Isaiah 2:22 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  6. Life on earth is a Trust. This is the second biblical metaphor of life. Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts from God that he has entrusted to our care and management. We are stewards of whatever God gives us. This concept of stewardship begins with the recognition that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth. The Bible says, “The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his.”
    We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we’re here. It was God’s property before you arrived, and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for a while. …
    The first job God gave humans was to manage and take care of God’s “stuff” on earth. This role has never been rescinded. It is a part of our purpose today. Everything we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands. The Bible says, “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” …
    Christians live by a higher standard: “Because God owns it, I must take the best care of it that I can.” The Bible says, “Those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust.” Jesus often referred to life as a trust and told many stories to illustrate this responsibility toward God.
    At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you. That means everything you do, even simple daily chores, has eternal implications. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity. First, you will be given God’s affirmation: He will say, “Good job! Well done!” Next, you will receive a promotion and be given greater responsibility in eternity: “I will put you in charge of many things.” Then you will be honored with a celebration: “Come and share your Master’s happiness.” - From the book “The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  7. John 15:7 - If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.” This is a point that we have seen earlier in other contexts. It is in chapter 14, for instance. There Christ speaks of love and the expression of love through obedience to his commandments. He says, “If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (v.23). Or again, even in this present chapter Jesus says, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (v.3). - From the commentary on John 15:7  from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) from James Montgomery Boice.
  8. This agricultural analogy also applies to the spiritual realm. Those people or groups who produce no “good fruit” demonstrate their barrenness. The image of “burning” suggests that divine judgment lay ahead for them. Those who produce fruit give evidence that they are receiving God's blessings. God will increase their productivity. Believers who persevere in faith are like fertile land and can expect further blessing from God. Those who profess Christ but turn from him and never produce credible evidence of commitment need the reminder that God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29).   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, vv. 7-8 at location 2787.
  9. The Christian labor and love of the readers prove their genuine commitment to Christ. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, vv. 9-12 at location 2794.
  10. Transformed lives convince others that our Christianity is genuine. Transformed lives attract others to Jesus. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, v. 10 at location 2810.
  11. Professing believers who produce no evidence of conversion face God's judgment. God provides strength to lead us beyond elementary teaching to maturity. It is impossible to rekindle faith in those who deliberately turn from Christ. Good works provide a clear proof of genuine Christianity. We must imitate the lives of those who believed God's promises. God has promised his blessings to those who follow the hope he offers. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, Principals at location 2922.
  12. Hebrews 10:26-27 - These verses contain a warning which resembles the words of Hebrews 6:4-6: Neglecting to fellowship with believers can lead to a rejection of Christ's sacrifice for sin.  As believers, we have assurance that "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins" (1 John 1:9a).  The New Testament is quick to offer forgiveness for all types of sins for people who confess and repent.  Willful sins can receive divine forgiveness, but people involved in these sins often fail to seek God's forgiveness by repentance.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10:26-27,  at location 4562.
  13. Society today is anything but righteous. A quick glance at any form of news media sadly exposes this fact. Our society is gripped with a spirit of lawlessness and wicked behavior. Nevertheless, we as believers are to do all we can to establish a moral and just society, to bring God’s kingdom to earth. His kingdom is the rule of righteousness, love, joy, and peace—peace among nations and peace within the human heart. Thus we can make no greater contribution to society than to live and teach righteousness, for in so doing we bring peace to the earth. Listen to God’s Holy Word:
    “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:20).
    “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Co. 15:34).
    “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ep. 6:13-14).

    But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Ti. 6:11-12).
    “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; ” (Tit. 2:12-13).
      - From the Thought 1” reading in Isaiah 11:3 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  14. Hebrews 10:36 - What did they need to endure?  They needed stamina or staying power. You need to persevere described a persistence in the face of persecution and difficult circumstances.  Staying power comes through learning to trust God in trials.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10:36,  at location 4511.
  15. Because Christ's sacrifice had power to change people, three appeals were given (10:19-25).  These believers were urged to draw near to God, to hold fast to their commitment, and to stir up fellow believers to love and unselfish deeds.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10,  at location 4645.
  16. Hebrews 10:26 - Sinning Christians break their fellowship with God (Eph 4:30). and they experience God's discipline in their lives (Heb. 12:10).  Sinning Christians damage their usefulness in service for the Lord. They weaken their spiritual lives (John 15:4).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10 IV Deeper Discoveries, H. Deliberate Sinning (v. 26)  at location 4742. 
  17. Hebrews 10:36 - Perseverance - Perseverance involves endurance in the face of difficult circumstances.  It is a spiritual grace developed by facing and overcoming hardship and adversity with divine strength (Jas. 1:2-4).  Christians must endure to reap the benefits of God's promised blessings.  Those who are believers will persevere.  Those who are not believers will fall away in the face of persecution, life's difficulties, or the worries of life.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10 IV Deeper Discoveries, I. Perseverance (v. 36)  at location 4742.
  18. Have you made that discovery? If you have not, I can tell you how it must be made. It is made as you obey Christ’s commands. He may seem distant and unreal to you. That is natural, because sin separates us from him. But if you will obey him, he will work in your life and you will find him as surely as the disciples did when they obeyed him beside the lake of Galilee. Do you ask, “But what should I do? What does he command?” If you are a Christian, you must follow his leading as I have already indicated. If you are not a Christian, you must turn from your sin and call upon him as your Savior. The Lord said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). John says to believers, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteouness” (1 John 1:9). - From the commentary on John 21:1-11  from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) from James Montgomery Boice.
  19. Christians who fall into sin and disobedience break their fellowship with God, but they never lose their position in his family.  Confession of sin can restore this fellowship (1 John 1:9).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10 IV Deeper Discoveries, A. Cleansing (v 2.)  at location 4693. 
  20. Pursue holiness, for without holiness no one will see the Lord.  God is the judge of all men, and you are heirs of a kingdom that cannot be shaken, so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, Quote, at location 5223. 
  21. We gain strength to face trials by considering Jesus' endurance of hardship as well as the divine purpose of discipline. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, A. Encouragement from Jesus' Example (vv. 1 -1 11), Supporting Idea, at location 5252.
  22. Hebrews 12:5 -  Do Not Grow Weary - And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?  "My son,  do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,  nor be weary when reproved by him.  For  the Lord disciplines the one he loves,  and chastises every son whom he receives."  From the Glo Bible, ESV version Hebrews 12:5-6
  23. If we follow Jesus, his priorities should be our priorities, his values should be our values. This means that we are not at liberty to borrow our culture from the world. We are not at liberty to assume the world’s values and adopt the world’s theology. Our theology and values must be his. - From commentary on John 18:25 from the Bocie Expositional Commentary Series (27 vol.) by James Montgomery Boice.
  24. Rejecting sin's entanglement lets us run our race with staying power.  Perseverance calls for stamina or staying power.  The race is that path marked out for us.  We cannot select our own program.  We must faithfully follow the route God himself has marked.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, A. Encouragement from Jesus' Example (vv. 1 -1 11), Supporting Idea, 1. Jesus as Our Pioneer and Perfecter (vv. 1-3), at location 5271.
  25. Christian athletes must keep their eyes fixed on the goal.  This calls for us to focus attention on jesus without being diverted to anything else.  Our Lord's steadfast obedience provided a perfect example of commitment for struggling believers.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, A. Encouragement from Jesus' Example (vv. 1 -1 11), Supporting Idea, 1. Jesus as Our Pioneer and Perfecter (vv. 1-3), at location 5271.
  26. John 14:21 - Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
  27. Unlike earthly parents, God never finishes disciplining his children, even after they grow up.  God disciplines us for a lifetime.  For this we should be thankful.  God knows precisely what he is doing and disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  God will never commit an overkill nor will he neglect to give discipline.  The fact that we receive discipline from a wise, omniscient God who never errs in his work gives us cause for commitment to his loving discipline.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12,  (vv. 7 -10),  at location 5308.
  28. Hebrews 12:11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields  the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  This verse contrasts a short-term and a long-term response to discipline.  Whenever discipline hits us, it causes pain.  We tend to complain under its burden.  We find nothing pleasant about the experience.  Later, for those who submit to its training, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12:11,  at location 5308.
  29. This is a clear warning against evil associations. Forming alliances or getting involved with evil people will lead to catastrophe. If we associate with evil people, they will encourage us to join them in their sinful 1. And if we continue to associate with them, eventually we will cave in to their seduction. We cannot resist the lust of the flesh continually. Eventually we want a second helping of pie or cake, and if a young lady continues to date an immoral young man, eventually she caves in to the lust of the flesh and commits immorality. If a person associates with thieves, eventually he will join in the stealing. The same is true with those who smoke, take drugs, drink alcoholic beverages, look at pornographic material, or commit a host of other sins and misbehaviors. If a person associates with the disobedient and sinful of this world, eventually the person will join in the forbidden 1. Consequently, the hand of God’s judgment will fall upon him. God’s hand is raised against all sin, against all evil associations. Listen to God’s Holy Word:
    I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat” (1 Co. 5:9-11).
    “Be not deceived: evil communications [companionships] corrupt good manners” (1 Co. 15:33).
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Co. 6:14-16).
    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ep. 5:11).
    “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Th. 3:6).
    “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment” (Ex. 23:2).

    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Ps. 1:1).
    “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men” (Pr. 4:14).
    “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.” (Pr. 24:1).
    “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Is. 52:11).
     - From the “Thought 1” reading in Isaiah 29:13-14 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  30. What is our duty with respect to this Jesus. We must, [1.] Look unto him; that is, we must set him continually before us as our example, and our great encouragement; we must look to him for direction, for assistance, and for acceptance, in all our sufferings. [2.] We must consider him, meditate much upon him, and reason with ourselves from his case to our own. We must analogize, as the word is; compare Christ's sufferings and ours; and we shall find that as his sufferings far exceeded ours, in the nature and measure of them, so his patience far excels ours, and is a perfect pattern for us to imitate.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 12, vv. 2-4.
  31. The greater the privileges of the new covenant demand greater responsiveness from believers.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12 vv. 18-24,  at location 5342.
  32. Hebrews 12:1-11 - The readers of Hebrews must endure their trials with a desire to apply the lessons which God is teaching and with a trust in God's purposes.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 5558.
  33. Challenge to Action (Hebrews 12 vv. 12-17) - God's people must show courage and follow holiness.  They must avoid giving a bad example which will infect and harm the spiritual lives of fellow Christians.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 5558.
  34. Hebrews 13 - Three sacrifices God is always pleased to find:  First is costly commitment (v. 13), a commitment to Christ capable of holding firm during trial and opposition.  Second is praise and gratitude to God (v. 15).  Such praise implies a trust in God and a submission to his will.  Third is unselfish service to the needy (v. 16).  Such service prevents greed, glorifies God, and meets the needs of the lonely and destitute.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, In a Nutshell, at location 5652.
  35. Hebrews 13:16 - Do not neglect to do good and  to share what you have, for such  sacrifices are pleasing to God.  Hebrews calls us to commitment to Christ, to praise for God, and to do good and to share with others.  This demands that we share our material plenty with the needy.  We are to be on the lookout where we can give spontaneous help.  Christians respond to Christ's atoning death with good deeds and praise.  God finds great pleasure in these responses.    - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, B. A Right Response to God (vv.10-16), Supporting Idea, at location 5755.
  36. Hebrews 13 - Accomplishing God's will demands that we choose to obey God.  We must make the right choices between those lifestyles which follow the Lord and those that turn away from him.  We must accept the sovereign hand of God in our lives when we "face trials of many kinds" (Jas. 1:2).  We cannot avoid our share of sickness, financial challenges, disappointing circumstances, and plain hardship.  In these circumstances we must demonstrate a heart of praise for God, trust in his sovereign leadership, and desire that he be glorified.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, III. Conclusion, Concluding Words Carry Weight, at location 5833.
  37. Devotion to doing God's will is the only important issue in life.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, III. Conclusion, Concluding Words Carry Weight, at location 5833.
  38. It is surprising to many in the 20th century, who feel that issues of right and wrong are to be determined by each individual.  Those who practice sexual immorality may escape human disapproval, but in the end they will find that none other than God will judge them.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, VI. Deeper Discoveries, B. God's Judgement (v.4), at location 5906.
  39. The sacrifice of Christ rendered animal sacrifices forever obsolete, but certain sacrifices still pleased God.  All who had experienced the benefits of Christ's perfect sacrifice should offer those sacrifices which pleased God.  Christians are to offer the sacrifice of praise continually, to offer tangible gifts such as money to those in need, and to delight in fellowship with other believers.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, VI Deeper Discoveries, E. Non-Animal Sacrifices (vv. 15-16)  at location 5936. 
  40. The incentive for obedience is that God's word planted in you can save you.  Obedience to God's Word promotes holiness and develops godly character.  We demonstrate a genuine likeness toward Christ as we get rid of the flaming desires for filth and evil.  This shows the presence of a real experience of salvation.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I v. 21  at location 6359.
  41. In our obedience we must display humility.  We must not quarrel or quibble with God as we receive his message.  We must receive the spiritual medicine which our divine physician prescribes for us.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I v. 21  at location 6359. 
  42. James 1:22 - James command is literally to "keep on becoming doers of God's Word."  He insisted on an obedience which lasts.  This does not minimize the importance of hearing God's Word.  It does emphasize strongly the need for acting.  Too often Christians view a sermon as an interesting moral or theological lecture.  We need to do something other than sitting and listening.  Jesus pronounced a blessing on those "who hear the word of God and obey it" (Luke 11:28).   God wants a listener to become a disciple, an obedient follower of Jesus.  One who hears the message without doing anything is self-deceived.  Such a listener has made a false estimate of the situation.  Jesus warned against this error (Matt. 7:21-27). - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I v. 22  at location 6359. 
  43. "Love, and do what you will." - Love is the most powerful force in the world. Those who truly love God will do nothing but what is pleasing to Him. Indeed, it is well-nigh impossible for them to do what is displeasing to God. True love will find a way to do good! - From the Introduction from the book "Daily Meditations with Saint Augustine." by John E. Rostelle.  
  44. It is not enough merely to "listen to the word" or, by the same token, merely to read it. Those who congratulate themselves on being hearers of the truth are deceiving themselves. If they assume that this is all that is needed, they are sadly mistaken. If they think that merely listening to the message earns them a position of special favor with God, they are duped by their own faulty reasoning. In reality, the responsibility of those who hear is far greater than that of those who have never heard. If they do not combine doing with hearing, they put themselves in a most vulnerable position. The call to "do what it says" lies at the center of all that James teaches. It sums up the message of the whole book: Put into practice what you profess to believe. Indeed, 1:22 may well be the key verse of James's epistle.  - From the "Expositor's Bible Commentary, James 1, verse 22.
  45. Far too much worship is routine, ritualistic, formal, and hypocritical. How many worshippers are truly following the Lord, obeying His commandments, and living righteously? How many are daily seeking the Lord, studying His Word, and trusting Him to guide their steps as they walk throughout the day?
    Many people sit in worship services with their minds elsewhere, not listening to the Word of God being preached. They simply go through the motions of worship, participating in the rituals and ceremonies while their thoughts are elsewhere. To them, worship is no more than a custom, a practice or tradition they must observe. When they walk out of worship services, they do what they please instead of obeying God. Listen to what God’s Holy Word says about hypocrites who profess to follow the Lord but only go through the motions of worship:
    “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Mt. 7:3).
    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mt. 7:21-23).
    “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Mt. 23:28).
    “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mk. 7:6).
    “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Lu. 6:46).
  46. The purpose of listening to truth is to act upon it. Theoretical knowledge of spiritual truth is never commended in Scripture. In fact, it is discouraged and condemned. In the Judeo Christian context, knowledge is inseparably tied to experience. The believer gains knowledge through experience, and his knowledge is intended to affect subsequent experience.   - From the "Expositor's Bible Commentary, James 1, verse 24.
  47. God's Word is the perfect law that gives freedom.  Obedience to Jesus' commands in Scripture brings freedom from sin and death.  Whenever we submit to God's message, this law of liberty produces a disposition to obey God's will joyfully.  We have freedom because we truly want to serve God.  Jesus promised this freedom in John 8:31-32.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I v. 25  at location 6389. 
  48. Obedient people are promised a blessing.  We do not need to wait for a future blessing.  We already should have the blessing in our grasp. Doing what God requires brings a blessing with it.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I v. 25  at location 6404. 
  49. James 1:19-27 — THE TONGUE. THE WORD. PURE RELIGION - Watch your tongue (vv. 19-21 ). Control your temper. Be a good listener. Abstain from filthy talk. Be doers of the word (vv. 21-25 ). In v. 18 the word is called the instrument of the soul’s birth. In v. 21 it is the agent of the soul’s salvation. In v. 23 it is represented as a mirror, showing us ourselves in our true light. If we act on what we are taught in the Word—if we do what it says, we will be blessed! Pure religion (vv. 26-27 ). A magnificent passage. The tongue is involved again. An uncontrolled tongue in a religious person indicates that his or her religion is useless. A life of charity and kindness, free from too much attachment to earthly things, is religion’s glory. (Compare what Jesus said on the simplicity and importance of kindness; Matthew  25:31-46 .) - From "Halley's Bible Handbook, Classic Edition by Henry Halley.
  50. Two evidences demonstrate pure religion:  deeds of compassion and inner purity.  This does not reduce Christianity to mere benevolence. True religion has more features than James has mentioned.  The emphasis here is that for God to accept our worship it must be accompanied by loving ministry and a holy life.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I v. 27  at page 267, at location 6421. 
  51. We must follow God's instructions devotedly if we want to produce a lifestyle honoring to God.  Obeying God's Word demands control of the tongue, a compassion for others, and a separated life.  These are the identifying marks of pure and faultless religion.  God wants his people to triumph over their trials and to live in obedience to his commandments. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I at page 268, at location 6436.   
  52. James called us to respond to God's commands with obedience.  This obedience demands endurance in trial, resistance to temptation, and a reverent submission to God's commandments.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I at page 268, at location 6453.
  53. God’s plan of redemption included the most wonderful blessings in life (vv. 18-19). Note the appeal of the Lord, the longing of His heart for His people to obey His commandments. If they obeyed Him, they would receive the blessings. But the opposite is also clearly implied: if they disobeyed, they would not receive the blessings of redemption. Four blessings in particular are mentioned:
         1) Being redeemed and obeying God bring peace to the human soul (v. 18). Notice the comforting comparison of peace to a deep river that flows steadily, strongly, consistently. God’s peace is not shallow but, instead, reaches to the depth of the human soul, giving perfect assurance of God’s presence and guidance. Neither is God’s peace like a flash flood that only occurs every so often. God’s peace is a continuous flow of assurance, fulfillment, satisfaction, and well-being.

         2) Being redeemed and obeying God will bring righteousness to a person (v. 18b). Note that the righteousness will faithfully roll on and on like waves of the sea. A person who obeys God becomes more and more conformed to the image of the Lord. He bears more of the fruit of the Lord: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, control (Ga. 5:22-23). The obedient believer becomes more moral and just in his dealings with others, treating others as he himself wants to be treated (Lu. 6:31). He becomes more compassionate and merciful, more caring and benevolent, reaching out to help those who are in need. Simply stated, the genuine, obedient believer becomes an ambassador for the Redeemer. He seeks to rescue people from the bondages of this world. Righteousness that is consistent and true is one of the great blessings of redemption.  From the reading in Isaiah 48:18-19 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  54.  We are taught what is to be done after hearing ( 22): But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.Baxter. Observe here, (1.) Hearing is in order to doing; the most attentive and the most frequent hearing of the word of God will not avail us, unless we be also doers of it. If we were to hear a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in bare hearing, it would never bring us to heaven. Therefore the apostle insists much upon it (and, without doubt, it is indispensably necessary) that we practice what we hear. "There must be inward practice by meditation, and outward practice in true obedience." It is not enough to remember what we hear, and to be able to repeat it, and to give testimony to it, and commend it, and write it, and preserve what we have written; that which all this is in order to, and which crowns the rest, is that we be doers of the word.   - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 22.  
  55. He that meditates in the law of God, and walks according to it, the psalmist says, shall prosper in whatsoever he does. And he that is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work which God's word sets him about, James says, shall be blessed. The papists pretend that here we have a clear text to prove we are blessed for our good deeds; but Dr. Manton, in answer to that pretence, puts the reader upon marking the distinctness of scripture-phrase. The apostle does not say, for his deeds, that any man is blessed, but in his deed. This is a way in which we shall certainly find blessedness, but not the cause of it. This blessedness does not lie in knowing, but in doing the will of God. John xiii. 17, If you know these things, happy are you if you do them. It is not talking, but walking, that will bring us to heaven.   - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 23-25.
  56. Christian living means living on the written Word of God, the Bible. In true Christian living, our relation to the Word is intentional, not haphazard. It's active not passive. We pursue it and don't just wait for it to happen. The Christian life is a joyful project that calls for energy and aim and resolve and determination. It is not coasting or drifting or something that just happens to you like the weather. The Word of God, soaked in prayer, is the substance (in the sense of "the material" or "the fuel") of that joyful project. Our delight is in the Word of the Lord, and on this Word we meditate day and night (see Psalm  1:3 ).  
    If you don't read the Word and memorize the Word and meditate on the Word daily and delight in the Word and savor it and have your mind and emotions shaped by the Word, you will be a weak Christian at best. You will be fragile and easily deceived and easily paralyzed by trouble and stuck in many mediocre ruts. But if you read the Word and memorize important parts of it and meditate on it and savor it and steep your mind in it, then you will be like a strong tree planted by streams of water that brings forth fruit. Your leaf won't wither in the drought and you will be productive in your life for Christ (see Psalm  1 ).  - From the Sermons of John Piper, January 2, 2000, "Christian Living Means Living on the Word of God” 
  57. Real Christianity produces stamina and obedience in the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James I at page 274, at location 6601.
  58. The Law of Addition:  The Measure of Our Commitment is Action - James 2:1-26 -  James reminds us that we are called to serve others.  The measuring stick of our commitment is not our lip service, but our life.  Leaders must act on their values; action is the gauge, not mere words or thoughts.  The Law of Addition reminds us: If you want to add values to others as a leader, don't just say something, serve.  Six principals conveyed by James: 1) Selfish motives prevent a servant's ministry. 2) Following rules cannot save us, but following Jesus can. 3) A lifestyle that costs nothing is worth nothing. 4) A faith thtat's only in my head is dead.  5) Faith justifies the leader; works justifies the faith. 6) A worthless past is resolved by a present that works.  - From the Kindle version of the John Maxwell Leadership Bible at James 2, at location 64278. 
  59. The New Testament goes one step further. Not only may the righteous suffer despite their righteousness, but often they will suffer because of their righteousness. “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 1825.
  60. Christ's yoke is like feathers to a bird. They are not weights but the means for flight, and without them the body falls "(Bishop Taylor). - From commentary about Proverbs 21:21 from Crossway Classic Commentary - Proverbs by Charles Bridges.
  61. God does not discipline us to subdue us but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.  In His wisdom, He knows that an uncontrolled life is an unhappy life, so He puts reins on our wayward souls that they may be directed into the paths of righteousness.  - Excerpt from page 115 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney. 
  62. Matthew 24:45 - Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Every believer has been given a divine stewardship and responsibility in the work of Christ on earth, and in that stewardship he is to be faithful and sensible. His life, breath, energy, talents, spiritual gifts, and every other good thing he has are trusts from God to be used in His service and to His glory.  Jesus is teaching that every person in the world holds his life, possessions, and abilities in trust from God, whether or not he acknowledges that trust or even acknowledges God. He will therefore be held accountable by his Creator for how he uses what he has been given. - From MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur.
  63. Jesus cares about even His weakest children. Yes, they might be spiritual babies, spoiled brats, scared children—but they’re all His, nonetheless. And He cares about them so much that He died for them. Therefore, before I say, “I’ll do what I want, go where I want, eat what I want,” I must realize that if, flaunting my liberty and boasting of my maturity, I knowingly cause my weaker brother to stumble, I sin not only against him but against Christ. - From Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:12 by Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson.