For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
A very successful inventor/business man was once asked: “What is the key to your success?” He answered, “You know what has been said about everyone of my products? Some guy always comes up to me and says, ‘I thought about that too — I should have got it patented.’ Many people have good ideas — they just don’t do anything with them. When I have an idea, I don’t just think about it — I write it down, get a patent, and then find a way to bring it to market.” I think this is the same concept Paul is speaking about in our passage today, hearing Scripture and being saved are two different things. To be saved we must not only hear what Scripture says — we must act upon it.
One of the great dangers for those of us who love to read and study the Bible is spending all of our time reading and studying — not doing what it says. James 1:23-24, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing itÑhe will be blessed in what he does.”
I often hear it said, “People are lost because they have not heard about Jesus.” I always feel compelled to correct this line of thinking because there are many who have heard about Jesus yet remain lost — hearing doesn’t equal saving — people are lost because they are sinners. Knowing Scripture doesn’t mean we are saved anymore than reading a book about baseball makes a person a baseball player. So how does one become a baseball player? That’s right, by playing baseball. It’s pretty simple for us as Christians as well — reading and knowing Scripture is not enough — we must also be doers of the Word. What have you read in Scripture today? I guess the better question is what will you do today with what you have read?
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