“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
James the Apostle was most concerned that true faith must be accompanied with good works. He admonished all those who profess themselves to be believers, that if they are keen only to hear the preaching of the Word and not to put it into practice, then they are deluded into thinking that they are believers. While those who consistently disobey God’s Word prove their lack of faith in Christ, those who consistently obey the Word prove their faith in Him.
Many churchgoers think that listening to in-depth preaching and teaching of the Scriptures would prove that they have faith. However, the above admonition specifically points out that knowing the Scriptures and yet having no desire to live out the profound truths revealed therein, is simply a sign of fake faith!
Genuine believers are not like the audience in a concert hall who, after listening to a singer or a speaker, go away at the end of the programme, having no commitment to what they have heard. Instead, they pay attention to the truths of God’s Word so that they may appropriate them in their lives.
The “hearer only” is on the road to final spiritual ruin. James asserted that being a hearer without being a doer is to fall into the pit of self-deception. On the other hand, Peter assured true believers that “if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10b).