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.
James is writing to the church in this passage of Scripture. As I’ve stated before, I believe that the book of James was the first New Testament Scripture to be written. If that’s true, then the Word he refers to could not be the Bible, since that was unknown at this point in church history.
What James is telling us is that the Word has been planted in us and is continuing to grow in us. It’s there to change us. Actually, what he says in the original Greek, is that this seed has the power (dunamis) to save your soul. James is telling us to allow the seed of the Word to do its job, the saving of our souls.
Wait a minute! I thought that if I accepted Christ, then I’m saved already. The answer to that is an important one. Yes, you were saved from sin and hell. If you died right now you would go to heaven to be with the Lord.
However, in the broadest sense, salvation is not a one time thing. It’s ongoing. I’m saved (from sin and hell), I’m being saved (from the effects of sin in me), and I will be saved (from my flesh). It’s this ongoing process of salvation that James is writing about.
Salvation itself is a package deal. It includes everything that Christ paid for on the cross. That same Word that brought me over from death to life also works God’s health and provision in me. But for this to work, it has to start in my soul and work its way out.
That’s why the Word is called a seed. Much of its work is done in the unseen places, below the surface. Then, as it continues its work, it bursts out into the sunlight to bring the work in my life to completion – the bearing of fruit.
The question may arise – where does the seed come from? The answer is simple. It comes from the processes of the Spirit. The seed grows, produces the plant and then the fruit. The fruit itself contains more seed. That seed is then planted in new ground to produce even more – and the cycle continues.
So, in reality, the seed comes from those who at one time received the Word, allowed it to grow, and then brought forth fruit. The seed comes from someone who accepted the Word. According to the parables of Christ, there can be 30, 60, or even 100 times what was originally sown. God wants an abundant harvest. The greater the harvest, the greater the next planting will be.
Question: How much has your life changed since you first made Christ Lord of your life?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013