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.
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.
Service Brings Reward—While the great final reward is given at Christ's coming, truehearted service for God brings a reward even in this life.—Testimonies for the Church 6:305, 306. WM 311.1
Brought Closer to Jesus—When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.—Testimonies for the Church 2:25. WM 311.2Read in context »
Break the Spell: “Go to Work, Whether You Feel Like It or Not.”—My brethren and sisters, do you desire to break the spell that holds you? Would you arouse from this sluggishness that resembles the torpor of death? Go to work, whether you feel like it or not. Engage in personal effort to bring souls to Jesus and the knowledge of the truth. In such labor you will find both a stimulus and a tonic; it will both arouse and strengthen. By exercise your spiritual powers will become more vigorous, so that you can with better success work out your own salvation. The stupor of death is upon many who profess Christ. Make every effort to arouse them. Warn, entreat, expostulate. Pray that the melting love of God may warm and soften their icebound natures. Though they may refuse to hear, your labor will not be lost. In the effort to bless others your own souls will be blessed.—Testimonies for the Church 5:387. WM 103.1
Carrying the Atmosphere of Heaven—Visiting the sick, comforting the poor and the sorrowful for Christ's sake, will bring to the workers the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and even the countenance will express the peace that dwells in the soul. The faces of men and women who talk with God, to whom the invisible world is a reality, express the peace of God. They carry with them the soft and genial atmosphere of heaven, and diffuse it in deeds of kindness and works of love. Their influence is of a character to win souls to Christ. If all could see and understand, and be doers of the words of God, what peace, what happiness, what health of body and peace of soul, would be the result! A warm, kindly atmosphere of love, the pitying tenderness of Christ in the soul cannot be estimated. The price of love is above gold and silver and precious stones, and makes human agents like Him who lived not to please Himself.—Letter 43, 1895. WM 103.2
“Hundreds and Thousands Were Seen Visiting Families.”—In visions of the night representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God's people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lighted with the heavenly influence. Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God. I heard voices of thanksgiving and praise, and there seemed to be a reformation such as we witnessed in 1844.—Testimonies for the Church 9:126. WM 104.1Read 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 »
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 »