In Humility Receive The Word Implanted
James 1:21 Repenting of sin and humbly receiving God’s Word will save your soul
“Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”
James 1:21 NASB1995
Looking over the hundreds of daily devotionals published here on Heaven On Wheels since early 2022, it’s interesting how many verses from James 1 have been studied. This epistle was written by James the Just, the brother of Jesus, and has the theme of patient perseverance during trials and temptations. The audience was originally made up of Jewish Christians who had been dispersed from Israel in the days following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.
The letter is written as encouragement to readers to live consistently with what they have learned in Christ. James implores believers to live by godly wisdom in humility humble, to not live as the world directs, and to pray in all situations.
James admonishes his readers to put aside “all filthiness and overflow of wickedness”, referring to an impure manner of living. All impurity is to be cast out of ourselves. In his commentary on the Epistle of James, John Trapp evoked a rather nauseating description of “all filthiness”:
“The stinking filth of a pestilent ulcer. Sin is the devil’s vomit, the soul’s excrement, the superfluity or garbage of naughtiness [wickedness]… as it is here called by an allusion to the garbage of the sacrifices cast into the brook Kedron, that is, the town-ditch.”1
Laying aside sin and impurity, we are then prepared to receive the word implanted, God’s Word, and to do it with humility and a teachable heart. The Word is able to save your souls, not only now, but eternally! God’s Word is so pure that it can preserve our souls even in an impure world.
Charles Spurgeon examined the word receive in more detail:
i. “The first thing, then, is receive. That word ‘receive’ is a very instructive gospel word; it is the door through which God’s grace enters to us. We are not saved by working, but by receiving; not by what we give to God, but by what God gives to us, and we receive from him.”2
James knew that the word of God has spiritual power. When it is implanted in our hearts, it saves our souls. Combine belief in Jesus, confession, and repentance with God’s Word, and eternal life is ours!
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Father in Heaven, I am in a constant battle with pride, trying to rely on my own strength and knowledge. Help me to be more humble, to receive Your Word and accept it in my heart. Teach me to rely on Your wisdom and strength, and remove my wickedness to I can rejoice in the Lord. AMEN.
Trapp, John "A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments" Volume 5 (Matthew to Revelation) (Eureka, California: Tanski Publications, 1997)
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon "The New Park Street Pulpit" Volumes 1-6 and "The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit" Volumes 7-63 (Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications, 1990)