Religion thinks today that being a “doer of the Word” is doing the letter of the Bible, which it is not. The new Life, Christ in you, the hope of glory, has nothing to do with the Bible in regard to performance “for God.” Performance based religion is a life still under the Law, and the Law is not of faith. The result of being under the Law is death because no one can keep it. Guilty one time of any of it, guilty of allof it.
James is speaking to Jews who wanted to maintain their Jewish traditions and continue to be “doers” of Moses. As a matter of fact, he is scolding them for holding on to the traditions of the Jewish law. He is not saying be doers of the Law. James didn’t say, or insinuate any of that. He says be doers of the Word. What is the Word? The Greek word there is logos. A Buddhist will say he is a “doer” of the word of Buddha. A Muslim will say he is a “doer” of the Koran. A legalist Christian will say he is a “doer” of the letter. What makes the Christian any different than the others who are not doers of a living word, but slaves to a written word of performance? That “word” is originating out of man with the motive being the propagation of a works system and the domination of one over the other to control him. That is religion in a nutshell. For the most part, “Christianity” has done the same thing – justification by works.
Now when a grace preacher comes and says, “Be a doer of the Word,” he’s not talking about the Law of Moses, he’s not talking about church tradition, he’s not talking about the directives, or manipulations of a “pastor.” What is a “doer of the Word?” He is a person that believes in what Jesus has already completed for him at the cross and what Jesus stands for – redemption from being justified by the law of works righteousness, but by grace through faith in what Jesus Christ has already perfectly done for him.
The Word of God is a revelation of a new type of man. He looks into the mirror of Christ’s word, not the requirements of Moses, or any variations thereof. He realizes he is a different type of man; that he is not a law man anymore. He realizes he is not a man that is justified by his works anymore, but the finished work of a Savior. He is a man that is not seeking justification by his own efforts, but that he is a man that finds that God lives in him. He realizes he is a man that has already been justified by the obedience of another Man – Jesus – and that that justification took place over 2,000 years ago when Jesus bowed his head, declared, “It is finished!”, and gave up his spirit to God, who three days later resurrected Jesus from the dead – meaning God was well satisfied by the work of another Man on the behalf of allmen.
The new man in Christ is discovered when he looks into that mirror of grace and hebelieves it. He is a doer of the Word. This man can only forget who he is when he walks away from the mirror, i.e., he goes back and starts to practice the law to be justified. He is no longer a doer of the Word – Christ, but a doer of Moses.
At the time James wrote these words, “Be a doer of the word,” there was no such thing as a Bible. James didn’t talk about Ephesians, Galatians, or the prophets or Moses. James wrote about a Word (logos; the spoken word, not the written word, not the word hat is apart from speech, but that which is connected with inward thought, not written, but of what is uttered, i.e. who Jesus is and what he has done for us by his sacrifice on the cross) that was preached throughout Judea, Samaria, unto the ends of the Earth, the message of Christ. James’ message was that once you discover who you are in that Word, that you become a doer of that Word without going back to the Law. You become a believer in what Jesus has done for you. Now Christ’s life will live in you, not the letter.
He is he man that sees himself as already perfect in Christ, already holy, already sanctified, already righteous, already totally forgiven of his past, always forgiven in the “now,” and is forgiven in his future because of the blood of Jesus and HIS PERFECT work on the cross.
This new man in Christ is not someone who walks away and follows the basic trend of the religious church world so that he can declare himself successful by what he does, by what he drives, his house, by trying to build a big church, get a mega-blast sound system, and put the people into the sowing, reaping, and tithing system of the law so he can make a living for himself, I.e. so there is bread in the pastor’s house. That is selling your life in Christ, who is your identity, for nothing. He no longer stands in the obedience of the One who represents him – Jesus. Do not allow yourself to be deceived with any other gospel that denies the pure grace which came by Jesus Christ, who is our Truth.