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True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church
FILIPINO BIBLE FELLOWSHIP

On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.


Dear Brethren and Friends,

Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!

Praise God for the easing of measures! Let us continue to invite and pray that many will come and receive the Word of God. – Bro Jose

HOW TO RECEIVE GOD’S WORD (James 1:19–22)

Be swift to hear but be slow to speak

In a world where everyone is in a rat race, there is no point that you have to slow down. Everyone has to take his every chance to have an edge over the other. Some even has to step on others in order to be elevated. This is sadly the world that we are in. It is so sad that many Christians are found in this arena where survival of the fittest is everyone’s mind-set. Are you one of them?

As children of God, we have to take heed of what has been told to us by the Apostle James. He is the Father of lights and there is no darkness in him. This means God does not allow our sufferings to happen for us to be tempted to do evil but it is for our good. Wherefore, in order for us to be able to face trials and keep ourselves from sinning against God, they have to be “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”

Be swift to hear: The command is to hear swiftly. It must be quick which means to do it fast and immediate. One must find time to listen to God, be it in the reading of God’s Word or hearing the message from a preacher. It must be prompt, as indicating a time without delay. There must also be the spirit of readiness, which is with a prepared heart, not haphazardly but diligently.

Be slow to speak: The command to be “slow” is exactly opposite to “swift.” To be slow also means to give space and time before you react. Solomon counsels, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2). The Book of Proverbs is replete with such similar counsels, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23).

Be slow to wrath: The slowness is applied to wrath. What is wrath? It is a vigorous upsurge of one's nature against someone. It is an emotion of anger and indignation. James exhorts us to be slow in becoming angry or in a natural impulse or propensity to one’s temper. In other words, Christians must be able to control themselves from quick conclusion and reaction. Thus Proverbs 14:29 says, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” Also in Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”

It is better to stop, look and listen first before shouting and cursing. Dear reader, are you slow to hear, swift to speak and swift to wrath? May the Lord have mercy upon you to take heed this warning!

Be humble and be holy

Man’s anger and temperament do not bring good results to the glory and honour of God. The suffering Christians in the time of James were easily provoked and quickly lost temper because of the hardships they went through. They were tempted to complain against God because of the hard times they were in. They might have manifested dissatisfaction in God’s sovereignty over their lives. These are not the righteous ways that God requires from His children. They must therefore be taken away. James concludes that they must put away all vulgarity and surplus of evil. Instead, they must, in humility, receive the implanted word, which is powerful to deliver their souls out of their dismal situation.

Lay apart all filthiness: James continues to exhort Christians that they must happily and willingly put aside all forms of filthy and moral impurity. These refer to all bad and unclean behaviours that may have resulted out of their rebellion against God’s will in their lives. There was a great temptation that instead of doing right, Christians might redress their grievances by doing what is wicked.

Lay apart superfluity of naughtiness: Superfluity or abundance of evil is the act of wickedness, with the implication of that which is harmful and damaging. James is saying, do not sin to the extent of creating more problems and result to something shameful to the name of Christ. There should not be any malignity, malice, ill-will or desire to injure others. These must be put off from every Christian’s heart and mind.

James commands that instead, in humility, the Christian must gladly and eagerly receive the perfectly inspired and preserved Word of God. This is where Calvin’s rule applies in the study of God’s infallible and inerrant Word, “Humility, humility, humility.” The implanted Word of God is described as that which is able to actively save their souls. The word has been implanted in them at the time of their salvation. It has been growing and bearing fruits in their lives. James particularly refer to that continuous implanting of God’s Word to be their guide and light in the context of their deliverance from the adversities they were facing. Christians should be able to accomplish and complete their missions through the diligent reception of the Scriptures. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14–15).

Be a hearer and be a doer

James continues to exhort the believers to be doers of the word. They should not be hearers only. Those who profess as believers but do not apply in their lives what they hear are just deceiving themselves. God’s Word is not truly implanted in the hearts of Christians if they do not apply the words in their lives. They are merely like parrots which memorize words without understanding and without doing. This is the litmus test to them who claim to be believers of Christ.

Be a doer of the word: The apostle commands that we must do what God’s Word says to be done and leaves no option. He describes a doer as he who from the heart embraces God's word. His life testifies that he really believes, according to the Scriptures. It must be borned in mind that no one can perfectly live out in his life everything that he hears. This is exactly the purpose of the command. It is to remind believers that they are still trapped in this sinful flesh which desires not to obey the words of God. The spirit desires to apply but the flesh opposes. Constant reminder is very necessary. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28).

Be not a hearer only: It is not possible for a Christian to continue his life as a hearer only. This kind is an evidence of an unregenerated life. A true born-again believer may at times struggle in obeying the word, but the spirit of God will soon cause him to do it. Eventually, he is dragged to do something of what he heard. Remember Lot! The grave warning is if a person will continue to live a ‘hearer’ only kind of life, he is deceiving himself to think he is a Christian when he is not. To deceive oneself is the greatest tragedy in a man’s life. Imagine, you deceive yourself that you are going to heaven and yet you know you are on your way to hell.

Thus, the Lord Jesus gives us this passage of the importance of doing rather than hearing only, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:46–49). Dear reader, do not deceive yourself. Receive the word not by hearing only!

True Life BPC - Filipino Bible Fellowship on 20 March 2022

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