A careful look into the General Epistle of James reveals many exhortations and admonitions concerning living the Christian Life. Consider these:
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (1:22)”. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (1:25).
Seemingly too many present day Christians have “looked into the perfect law of liberty” and either misinterpreted or ignored what is found there. Many of us today seem to think that the freedom extended by the law of liberty permits us to do only that which is pleasant, or in some instances, nothing at all. Too many of us will attend one church assembly each week (usually Lord’s Day morning, if convenient) then go home, never to be heard from again until the next convenient time. In so doing we become as the man described in James 1:23 one who “Beholdest his natural face in a glass, goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was”. An added danger is that soon we deceive ourselves into believing that this is acceptable service. Beware, for this is deception indeed!
Jesus said, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:38). The words “taketh” and “follow” denote actions rather than passivity. One cannot take his cross and follow Jesus from a sitting position! If we are to be true disciples of Christ as every Christian must be, then we must do the work He has commanded us to do (II Cor. 5:10).
As Disciples of Christ we teach and are taught the doctrine of Christ. When a degree of learning has taken place, then a discipline evolves to complete the process. Discipline in this context has been defined as: “training intended to produce a special character or pattern of behavior”. Discipline then, denotes the doing of that which is taught. It is in this context that I humbly beseech you brethren that we teach only that which is becoming of Sound Doctrine and that our behavior be characterized by the discipline of doing to the extent that the world may know us as doers of the word and not hearers only.
Elder Harold D. Cannon (December 14, 2011)
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