What to Do with God’s Word?

February 23rd, 2020

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
James 1:19-27 NIV
ヤコブの手紙 1:19-27 JLB

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:19-27

19 愛する皆さん。人のことばにまず耳を傾け,自分はあとから語り,怒るのは最後にしなさい。 20 怒りは,神の義から私たちを遠く引き離すからです。 21 ですから,自分の生活を総点検して,どんな悪をもすっかり取り除き,神のことばをすなおに受け入れなさい。神のことばには,私たちの心をとらえ,たましいを救う力があるからです。
22 また聞くだけでなく,それを実行することも忘れてはなりません。みことばを聞くだけは聞いて,自分を偽った行動をとることがありませんように。 23 聞いただけで実行に移さない人は,鏡に映る自分の顔をながめているようなものです。 24 鏡から離れると,自分がどんな表情をしていたか,すっかり忘れてしまいます。 25 しかし,〔完全な律法,自由の律法である〕神の教えを一心に見つめて離れない人は,すぐに忘れたりしないばかりか,その命令を実行します。神は,そのような人の行いに大きな祝福を与えてくださいます。
26 もしも,「私はクリスチャンです」と言いながら,平気でとげのあることばを口にする人がいれば,その人は自分を偽っていることになります。そのような信仰には何の価値もありません。 27 父なる神の目から見て,純粋で汚れのない信仰とは,みなしごや未亡人が困っていれば世話をし,この世から自分をきよく守ることです。
ヤコブの手紙 1:19-27


Our message today is about divorce. Not the kind that occurs between spouses, but the kind that occurs in a Christian hearing the Word and doing it. The basis for this type of divorce is not incompatibility but inconsistency.

A.W. Tozer’s comment is poignant. He said, “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun… It is the glaring disparity between theology and practice among professing Christians… It appears that too many Christians want to enjoy the thrill of feeling right, but are not willing to endure the inconveniences of being right.”
アメリカの牧師A. W. Tozer(エイデン・ウィルソン・トウザー)氏による,胸を突かれるようなコメントがあります。彼はこう言いました。「この世にある諸悪のうちの一つが白日の下にさらられるのをわたしは見ました。それはクリスチャンであると自称する人たちにおける,神学と実践の間にある明らかな落差です。正義を欲していながら,そのことに付随して強いられる不便さを厭うクリスチャンがあまりにも多すぎるのです。」

James comes to the central theme behind his epistle – the importance of behaving as we believe. He presents it in a very logical way. And, we’ll follow along as he has articulated the truth.

James identifies three (3) responsibilities toward God’s Word; and if we fulfill these responsibilities, we will have an honest walk with God and men.

  1. Accept the Word – 1:19-21

James describes the truth as “the word planted in you” (v.21). It’s reminiscent of our Lord’s Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9). In the parable, our Lord Jesus compares the word of God to seed and the human heart as the soil.
ヤコブは御言葉を「私たちのこころをとらえるもの」と説明しています(21節)。英語では”the word planted in you”(私たちのなかに植えつけられた言葉)と述べられています。マタイの福音書13:1-9にある,イエス様の「天国の例え話」に似ています。ここでイエス様は神の御言葉を「種」,そして人間の心を「土」にたとえています。

Jesus describes four (4) kinds of hearts: the hard heart (which doesn’t understand or receive the Word and hence no fruit); the shallow heart (which is very emotional but has no depth, and bears no fruit); the congested heart (which lacks repentance and lets sin to crowd out the Word); and finally, the fruitful heart (which receives the Word, takes root, and produces a bountiful harvest of fruit).

The Word of God cannot work in our lives unless we receive it in the right way. One essential ingredient for receiving truth is having the right attitude. James wants our attitude to reflect humility, which means “with gentleness, openness; having a teachable spirit.” Together with this, he says there must also be an action – “accept” – or simply, “welcome.” So, whenever truth knocks, we’re to open the door and welcome it with great warmth.

Don’t shoot the messenger. When the pastor preaches on something and it pricks your heart and conscience, don’t ever think that he is targeting you. It could be the Holy Spirit using the Word preached to awaken your soul to the truth and He is redirecting your life. Accept the correction, ask forgiveness and change your ways.

  1. Answer the Word – 1:22-25

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:22

22 また聞くだけでなく,それを実行することも忘れてはなりません。みことばを聞くだけは聞いて,自分を偽った行動をとることがありませんように。
ヤコブの手紙 1:22

Many believers live their lives divorced from the truth because they think that simply agreeing with Scripture is the same as obeying it. Many have the mistaken idea that hearing a good sermon or Bible study is what makes them grow and get God’s blessing. It is not the hearing but the doing that brings the blessing.

Too many Christians mark their Bibles or create verse images (a Bible app feature), but their Bibles never mark them!

James puts value in listening to the word. However, he qualifies it with the adverb, “merely” (only). God is not looking for activists who don’t know His Word. Nor is He impressed by those who “merely listen” but do nothing. The Greek word, akroatai,(hearers) is interesting. It refers to those who audit a course at a university – like someone who listens carefully and takes notes, but has no assignments, tests, or responsibilities. In short, someone who only consumes information and stack up knowledge.

James clearly reminds us that those who simply audit the faith are deceiving themselves about Christianity, and that sincere believers will prove their authenticity by putting into practice what they hear.

  1. Apportion the Word – 1:26-27

The word threskeia (religion) means “the outward practice, the service of a god.” It is used only five (5) times in the New Testament (NT): Acts 25:19; 26:5, I Timothy 5:4 and James 1:26-27. Pure religion has nothing to do with ceremonies, temples, or special days. Pure religion means practicing God’s Word and apportioning/sharing it with others, through speech (v.26), service (v.27a) and sanctification (v.27b).
宗教の語源である”threskeia”という単語の意味は「外への実践,神への奉仕」です。新約聖書にこの単語は5回しか使われていません(使徒の働き25:19, 26:5;テモテへの手紙5:4, ヤコブの手紙1:26-27)。本来の宗教は儀式や礼拝所や特別な日とは無関係です。本来の宗教の意味は,「ことば」(26節)「奉仕」(27節)と「罪の清め」(同)を通して,神様の御言葉を実践し他者と分かち合うことにあります。

  1. Speech

v26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” There’s a hint that this early church had a speech problem, given the many references to it (James 1:19; 2:12; 3:1-3, 14-18; 4:11-12). It is the tongue that reveals the heart (Matthew 12:34-35); if the heart is right, the speech will be right. A controlled tongue means a controlled body (James 3:1ff).

  1. Service

v27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress….” After we have seen ourselves and Christ in the mirror of God’s Word, we must also see others and their needs. We cannot simply close our eyes and ignore them.
27 父なる神の目から見て,純粋で汚れのない信仰とは,みなしごや未亡人が困っていれば世話をし,この世から自分をきよく守ることです。

The prophet Isaiah in the Old testament (OT) first saw the Lord, then himself, and then the people to whom he would minister (Isaiah 6:1-8).

Words are no substitute for acts of love (James 2:14-18; 1 John 3:11-18). God doesn’t want us to pay for others to minister as a substitute for our own personal service. We cannot outsource works of service. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
言葉は愛を込めた行いに代わるものではありません(ヤコブの手紙2:14-18;ヨハネの手紙1 3章11-18)。自分がやるべき奉仕を,お金を払って他人に代行してもらうことを神様は望んでおられません。奉仕を外注することはできないのです。
エペソ人への手紙 2:10 Japanese Living Bible (JLB)
10 私たちをこのように造り変え,キリスト・イエスによる新しい生活に入れてくださったのは神です。この新しい生活は,神がずっと以前から計画してくださったものであり,私たちが互いに助け合って過ごすためでした。
この箇所は英語で「私たちは神の手仕事によって造られた(For we are God’s handiwork)」と書かれています。

  1. Sanctification

The 2nd half of verse 27 says, “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” By “the world” James refers to “a society without God.” Satan is the prince of this world (John 14:30), and the lost are the children of this world (Luke 16:8).
27節の後半部分に「この世から自分をきよく守ることです」とあります。ここでの「この世」は「神なき社会」を指しています。その支配者はサタンです(ヨハネの福音書14:30)。そして迷い人はみなこの世界の住人なのです(ルカの福音書 16:8)。

As God’s dearly loved children, we are in the world physically but not of the world spiritually (John 17:11-16). Our Lord Jesus sends us into the world to win others for Him (John 17:18). It is only as we maintain our separation from the world that we can serve them.


The effective Christian obeys what the Bible says and, in turn, becomes a mirror reflecting Christianity. How can we know when someone is an effectual doer?

When there’s no divorce between the truth and the tongue. 

When there’s no divorce between the truth and the needs of others.

When there’s no divorce between the truth and our Christian uniqueness in a fallen world.

Is your life on the rocks because you’ve allowed truth and practice to drift apart? Have your mind and will become estranged from one another? If so, it’s time to start reconciling the two; you can by taking James’ counsel to heart … accept the Word, answer/apply the Word and apportion/share the Word.