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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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How To Fortify Your Faith?

James 1:18-25

Tonight we will see how faith responds to truth (19-25)
-How we respond to truth will determine how we are able to respond to trails as well as temptation
-James tells us there must first be a ...

I. READINESS TO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD (v. 19 Swift to hear)
A. How we hear has a direct effect on our faith
(Rom 10:17) faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (To have faith we have to hear the word)
(Rev 2:7) "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says
B. The source of what we are ready to hear has a lot to do with wether our faith will be fortified or fail
1. Readers digest or revelation (Secondary literature or scripture)
2. Jn 17:20 Jesus indicated that we would come to faith through the word (testimony) of the apostles
B. How we hear the word (scripture) says a lot about our faith and fellowship with God
(I Jn 4:6) We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.
(Jn 10:16) Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice (our readiness to hear will reflect a right relationship with God)
C. There are basically three kinds of listeners
1. There are those who are slow to hear
a. These listeners can hear sermon after sermon and never give any thing said a second thought (never act)
b. The sad part is some day they will surely regret the fact that they weren’t ready to hear the word
c. Moses said God would raise up another prophet like him and he said this Prophet you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. `And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed...(Acts 3:22-23)
2. The second type of listener are those who are selective in what they hear
a. These are those who only hear what they want to hear (mostly things which suit them) (slow speak / wrath)
b. Sometimes we are selective listeners on a subconscious level (Kelly and the girls crying)
c. "We all listen for what is important to us." (If not good listener we can learn to be if we want to be!) School!
3. God want each of us to be listeners who are seeking the truth (This is the third class of listener)
a. This is the kind of listener Cornelius was (Acts 10:30-33)
D. The characteristics of a good listener are (awake, alert, in tune, interested, avail themselves to opportunities!)
-if we are ever going to fortify our faith we must first be ready to hear and be seeking the truth
-Now then secondly James says if we are going to fortify our faith then we must ...

II. REMOVE THAT WHICH HINDERS (v. 21 lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness)
A. In the original the idea of filthiness is an individual with excessive ear wax
(it’s of little help if we are ready to hear but we have our ears plugged but that is the picture here)
B. (v.18) would seem to indicate that James is speaking to and about Christians in this context
1. It seems some still had sin left over from their past (prior to becoming Christian) pop up now & then
2. Their hindrance here was what James called an overflow of wickedness (James says remove that remnant)
C. Sometimes our repentance, our severance with the past, is not as complete as it should be. (Stop short)
(Matt 5:29) if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you (v.30) if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you (we must swiftly severe sin from our lives)
(Heb 12:1) the Hebrews writer exhorts us to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us
-as long as sin is left to linger in our lives our faith will never really flourish (sin in the camp stifles spiritual growth)
D. James says we must put off or lay aside this sin (like someone removing a dirty garment - get rid of it)
E. There are two things required in this removal (this putting off or laying aside)
1. It starts with our obedience to the gospel (Col 2:11-12)
2. Secondly it requires ongoing individual attention (Col 3:8)
-so that is the second step "removing those things which hinder" but we can’t stop there
-James says if we are going to fortify our faith we must...

(v.21 receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls)
A. In order for the word to effect us it must be first be implanted in us
1. The idea of implanted is that it becomes a permanent fixture in our lives being an influence and aid to us
(Ps 119:11) Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
2. If the word is only on the surface it can never have the kind of influence Christianity calls for
a. The parable of the sower shows us that the word when on the surface is soon stolen by Satan or scorched
b. But when the word is planted in a good and honest heart it yields a crop
B. In order for the word to reach our heart we must receive it with the right attitude
1. We need to be hungry for the word of God
a. The idea of receiving in the original is more than accepting it expresses an attitude of eagerness anticipation
(Acts 17:11) the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
b. Jesus said we ought to have a hunger and thirst for the things of God
2. In addition to this hunger we need an attitude of humility (meekness) if the word is ever to reach our heart
a. Prerequisite to receiving the word in our hearts we must have the attitude of submission, humility, meekness
b. Remember Naaman and his rage after hearing what he was to do? Can’t receive the word like that
c. This attitude applies to those who are already Christians as well (maybe more so)
1) some have the attitude "I already know that, or that doesn’t apply to me!
C. Without this attitude we may fail to recognize this word for what it is "the word of God" (won’t receive it as such)
-now there is one more thing we need to look at (most important, also most overlooked)
-James says if we are ever going to fortify our faith we must...

IV. RESPOND TO WHAT GOD HAS SAID (v.22 be doers of the word, and not hearers only)
A. You may hear the word, you may even have it in your heart, but until you act on it your faith will never increase
1. The beatitudes describe characteristics of a disciple who is blessed but these are powerless if not possessed/ part
2. One can know that salvation is in Christ but until they step forward and surrender they are still in sin
B. Many are waiting on something to happen when they themselves are the hold up (they have failed to act / apply)
C. Forgetful hearers never fortify their faith (they will fail the test or they will fall when tempted!)
-next week we will look deeper at pure and undefiled religion but for now we just need to know that...

-By applying these four principles in our life faith will create an environment in which faith will flourish! Start to finish
(Rom 1:16-17) the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith
-faith is never fully finished in this life (as long as we live we’ve got to keep growing)
-It all begins with that first step (to receive forgiveness of our sins!)

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928