It’s unfortunate that many believers think it’s “spiritual” to have a low opinion of themselves. They either give up on trying to please God, or they become self-righteous Pharisees. The truth is that there’s a better way to deal with our sin nature.
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.
The book of James holds some incredible truths. Unfortunately some of them are “lost in translation”. This is a particularly important verse that should help us in our walk with God.
The problem is that this verse, as translated, can be used as a tool to make believers feel guilty. It sounds like James is telling us that we need to straighten out our lives in order to properly receive the Word of God.
We should all know by now that whenever I try to make myself acceptable to God – I fail. It’s never God’s will that you deal with your faults before you come to Him. He’s the only One with the power needed for victory over our sin.
What’s the solution to all this? It all comes down to the little word and. Look at the verse above. You’ll see that I highlighted a word in red. The fact is, that word and doesn’t exist in the original Greek. That’s why if you read this verse in different translations, half use and, half don’t.
Here’s what I believe that James is saying in this verse. Humbly accepting the Word planted in us is the means by which we remove our sin. That’s how the ongoing work of salvation is accomplished in our lives.
It has nothing to do with me trying harder, or keeping my New Year’s resolutions. I’m not going to please God by strengthening my will power. It will only come as I yield to the life-changing power of the Word of God.
Of course, this is what’s taught to us throughout Scripture. Even the Psalmist, David, understood it.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
This should be good news to all believers. You might feel like dirt, because of your sin, but dirt is what’s needed for planting the seed. You must humble yourself and admit your condition.
If I have sin that needs correcting, what do I do? I go to the Lord and receive His Word into my heart to let it renew my life.
That’s how lasting change is accomplished in us. Guilt may work for a day. But it’s the power of the Word of God that can perform a permanent change in our lives.
Feel like dirt? Run to the Word of God. That’s where the power is!
Question: Has this helped you in your walk with God? Does it change the way you view the Word?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016