A Life That Honors God

Title: A Life That Honors God

Bible Book: James 1 : 16-27

Author: William R. Shively

Subject: Joy; Salvation; Obedience; Christian Living; Tongue; Speaking



Jesus told His disciples they should “rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) He told a woman in Luke 11:28: “…blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” The blessings of God start when the sinner is born anew by the Word of God. Still, it seems to be a lot of anger and bitterness among the people of God when we should be rejoicing. Living in obedience brings joy to the believer’s heart and honors God.



The biblical meaning of regeneration is to have new life imparted to those who are spiritually dead. It means to be born again or to be changed from a natural state to a spiritual state. This is what Paul meant in Titus 3:5 concerning salvation: “. . . he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Salvation of sinners is accomplished by the will of God.

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13

The word “begot” means to procreate or to produce as a father procreates children.

God brings forth the new birth in the heart by the “word of truth.”

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Eph. 1:13

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.” Col. 1:5

The Word of God is the seed that God uses to bring forth salvation.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to bring conviction and conversion in the heart of the sinner.

The evidence of new life is the fruit that it bears.

Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16

In the O.T., the first fruit belongs to God in the O.T. This reminds us that we are God’s possession.


“receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

The Word of God must be received into our hearts.

The word “receive” means “to take the thing offered in speaking, teaching, instructing; to receive favorably, give ear to, embrace, make one's own, approve, not to reject.”

The word “meekness” means a life under the control of the Holy Spirit.

The Word of God that is implanted in the heart is “able to save your souls.” The soul is that part of man that will never die.



1. Swift to hear.

We are told to be swift in hearing the Word of God.

Jesus said: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

Believers should make every effort to be exposed to the teaching, preaching, and reading of God’s Word.

“Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” Eccles. 5:1

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:28

We should be quick to listen to others in conversation.

“The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31

2. Slow to speak.

We are to be slow in speaking. There is power in our words to hurt or to heal.

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

A wise person thinks through the matter before he speaks.

“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

A wise person will limit his words knowing the danger in speaking too much.

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23

“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” 1 Peter 3:10

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.” James 1:26

3. Slow to wrath.

The word “wrath” speaks of maliciousness. It is not anger that explodes quickly and then is gone. Wrath is premeditated, an attitude expressly against God or others. James gives a strong warning in verse 20 concerning this kind of anger. This kind of anger does not produce the righteousness of God.

The Bible does not condemn all anger. There is a godly anger we should have against sin. We should be angry at anything that is an affront to the holy God we love.

“Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Eccles. 7:9

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32


The believer needs to be spiritually and morally clean.

The words “superfluity of naughtiness” means any filthiness and wickedness which remains in a Christian life prior to his conversion.

He is to “to put off or put aside or away” all moral filthiness and wickedness like taking off a coat.

This is the believer’s responsibility.


1. Committed to the Word. (v. 22) “doers of the word”

2. Committed to the Work. (v. 25) “doer of the work”


A saved person will give evidence of his or her conversion by the way they control their tongue, the compassion they have in caring for others, their separation from the world, and a life consecrated to the Lord. They read the Word, they feed on the Word, and they heed the Word of God. Are you living a life that honors the Lord? Maybe you are not saved but the Word of God has convicted you of your sin. Salvation is willingness to turn from sin and to put your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.


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