Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller, pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Church in Austin, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study James 1:19-27.
The Word of God that begets Christians has ongoing effects. This Word is not heard only once. Instead, Christians are quick to listen to God. His Word produces a similar effect toward our neighbor; we are quick to listen and slow to speak so that we do not fall into anger, which would seek to justify sin instead of rejoice in God’s free righteousness. The implanted Word that saves our souls rids us of filthiness and wickedness. This Word is so powerful that it produces deeds when it is heard. One who does not act on the Word has forgotten what the Word has said about himself and about Christ. The Christian rejoices in the freedom God has shown him and the blessings that are given as he does lives according to the powerful Word. True religion is not found in the empty words of a man, but in the efficacious Word of God that directs our attention to those for whom God cares and away from the deceit of the world.
“Wisdom from Above” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Epistle of St. James. Contrary to what some might claim, this short epistle does not contradict St. Paul. Instead, St. James makes different, yet complementary, points concerning the Christian life. Written in a style similar to the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, this insightful epistle comforts, confronts, and strengthens Christians to live a life of good works that flow from God’s gift of faith, even in the midst of trials.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.