But be ye doers of the word - They had heard this doctrine; they had believed it; but they had put it to no practical use. They were downright Antinomians, who put a sort of stupid, inactive faith in the place of all moral righteousness. This is sufficiently evident from the second chapter.
Deceiving your own selves - Παραλογιζομενοι ἑαυτους· Imposing on your own selves by sophistical arguments; this is the meaning of the words. They had reasoned themselves into a state of carnal security, and the object of St. James is, to awake them out of their sleep.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only - Obey the gospel, and do not merely listen to it. Compare Matthew 7:21.
Deceiving your own selves - It is implied here, that by merely hearing the word but not doing it, they would deceive their own souls. The nature of this deception was this, that they would imagine that that was all which was required, whereas the main thing was that they should be obedient. If a man supposes that by a mere punctual attendance on preaching, or a respectful attention to it, he has done all that is required of him, he is laboring under a most gross self-deception. And yet there are multitudes who seem to imagine that they have done all that is demanded of them when they have heard attentively the word preached. Of its influence on their lives, and its claims to obedience, they are utterly regardless.
There are some in ----- who ought to be men instead of boys and heavenly minded instead of earthly and sensual; but their spiritual vision has become obscured; the Saviour's great love has not ravished their souls. He has many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. You are children in growth and cannot comprehend the mysteries of God. When God raises up men to do His work, they are false to their trust if they allow their testimony to be shaped to please the minds of the unconsecrated. He will prepare men for the times. They will be humble, God-fearing men, not conservative, not policy men; but men who have moral independence and will move forward in the fear of the Lord. They will be kind, noble, courteous; yet they will not be swayed from the right path, but will proclaim the truth in righteousness whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. 5T 263.1
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The matter of presenting true principles of health and temperance must not be passed over as unessential; for nearly every family needs to be instructed on this point. Nearly every person needs to have his conscience aroused to become a doer of the Word of God, practicing self-denial, and abstaining from the unlawful indulgence of appetite. When you make the people intelligent concerning the principles of health reform you do much to prepare the way for the introduction of present truth. Said my Guide, “Educate, educate, educate.” The mind must be enlightened, for the understanding of the people is darkened. Satan can find access to the soul through perverted appetite, to debase and destroy it.—Letter 1, 1875. Ev 515.1
Firmly Linked With Ministry of the Word—The principles of health reform are found in the Word of God. The gospel of health is to be firmly linked with the ministry of the Word. It is the Lord's design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be a part of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message.—Medical Ministry, 259 (1899). Ev 515.2
In Many Places—As a means of overcoming prejudice and gaining access to minds, medical missionary work must be done, not in one or two places only, but in many places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. We are to work as gospel medical missionaries, to heal the sin-sick souls by giving them the message of salvation. This work will break down prejudice as nothing else can.—Testimonies For The Church 9:211 (1909). Ev 515.3Read in context »
Ministers must impress upon those for whom they labor the importance of their bearing burdens in connection with the work of God. They should be instructed that every department of the work of God should enlist their support and engage their interest. The great missionary field is open to men, and the subject must be agitated, agitated, again and again. The people must understand that it is not the hearers of the Word but the doers of the Word that will have eternal life. Not one is exempted from this work of beneficence. God requires of all men to whom He imparts the gifts of His grace to communicate, not only of their substance to meet the demands for the time in successfully advancing His truth, but to give themselves to God without reserve.... Ev 344.1
It is not a trait of the natural heart to be beneficent; men must be taught, giving them line upon line and precept upon precept, how to work and how to give after God's order.—The Review and Herald, December 12, 1878. Ev 344.2
Developing New Attitudes for God's Work—How much means are spent for things that are mere idols, things that engross the thoughts and affections, little ornaments that require attention to be kept free from dust and placed in order. The moments spent in arranging these little idols might be spent in speaking a word in season to some soul, awakening an interest to inquire, “What shall I do to be saved?” These little things take the time that should be devoted to prayer, seeking the Lord, and grasping by faith the promises.... Ev 344.3Read in context »
Because great light has been given, because men have, as did the princes of Israel, ascended to the mount and been privileged to have communion with God, and been allowed to dwell in the light of His glory—for these thus favored to think that they can afterward sin, and corrupt their ways before God, and still keep on as though doing God's will, as though God would not mark sin against them because they have been thus honored of God, is a fatal deception. The great light and privileges bestowed require returns of virtue and holiness corresponding with the light given them. Anything short of this, God will not accept. TM 454.1
But these great manifestations by God should never lull to security or carelessness. They should never give license to licentiousness, or cause the recipients to feel that God will not be critical with them, because they think He is dependent on their ability and knowledge to act a part in the great work. All these advantages given by God are His means to throw ardor into the spirit, zeal into effort, and rigor into the carrying out of His holy will. TM 454.2
You, my brethren, fold your hands, and drift into evil practices, and then wait for God to work a miracle to change your characters and compel you to be pure and holy men. Will you expose yourselves wantonly to temptation, expecting God to force your mind and inclinations that you may not be corrupted? Will you take the viper to your bosom, expecting God to put a spell upon it so it will not poison you with its venomous sting? Will you drink poison, expecting God to provide an antidote? TM 454.3Read in context »