Bite-sized theology for the next generation.
This Podcast is a student ministry of Biblical Seminary of the Philippines.
Our goal for this program is to glorify God by making His grace known throughout the next generation.
Are We Stirred by the Word We Heard?
Welcome to the second episode of Theology Tidbits: bite-sized theology for the next generation.
JOANNA: Hi friends this is Joanna
MIGUEL: and this is Miguel!
JOANNA: We are going to be your host for today’s podcast entitled, are we stirred by the word we heard?
MIGUEL: If I were to ask you to listen to the following scenarios, I wonder whether you would be quick to respond or not at all. First, you hear a statement you disagree with, would you be quick to respond or not?
JOANNA: How about this? You hear people gossiping about you behind your back, would you be quick to respond or not?
MIGUEL: Third, you hear your pastor or your church leaders saying that you should forgive those who offend you, will you respond or not?
JOANNA: with the situations given, friends, have you noticed how quickly we respond to the things that affect us rather than obeying what God’s command tells us?
MIGUEL: in case you are wondering, there is a passage in the Bible which exhorts us to “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” And these three commands are the heart of today’s message as found in James 1:19.
JOANNA: allow me to read James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” As we jump to verse 22, James further commands the believers to be doers of the word and not hearers only. Therefore, instead of being slow to react to the things that affect us, we, Christians should be quick in responding to God’s Word.
MIGUEL: That’s true, Joanna, we are indeed to be more responsive to God’s command because our tendency is to be quick to respond to words that displease us that could lead to arguments, right?
JOANNA: Right,Right, sometimes, we hear God’s Word, yet we do not act when we should; rather, we act when we should not!
JOANNA: Do you know that in Proverbs 15, the character of a person who is fast to listen and slow to speak and one who can control his anger is regarded as a wise person?
MIGUEL: Amazingly, the book of James is likewise regarded as a collection of Proverbs because of its wise sayings. So, in contrary, a person who is slow to listen, quick to speak, quick to get angry is not a wise person and does not manifest God.
JOANNA: I agree, how can a person be wise if he is always the one speaking? How can a person be called wise if he regrets later what he has said?
MIGUEL: Yeah, big talkers are rarely good listeners. I’m sure you have seen a couple of martial arts movies where there’s a master or a sensei involved with his group of students. You’d think of the Karate Kid or you’d think of Kung-Fu Panda, and you’d think of Master Splinter and his four turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, Michael Angelo and Donatello). Yes, I’m talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In those films, who talks more, the sensei or his students?
JOANNA: Oh yeah, Poe and Michaelangelo are always talking and they end up losing and falling into trouble. But those who listen to the wise sayings and teachings of his sensei, we see improvements in their skills and in how they conduct themselves in combat.
MIGUEL: Precisely. No student talks more than his sensei, and by hearing the words of his master, he gains more and more wisdom and knowledge. This is also how a wise person is defined – someone who is a big listener and a small talker.
JOANNA: James continues with verses 23-25, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets, but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
MIGUEL: And this is the perfect illustration James presents to us in verses 23-24 about a person checking the mirror. I mean, who does not look at a mirror every morning? Who doesn’t?
JOANNA: Yes, definitely no one!
MIGUEL: Then, if you do not look at a mirror in the morning, you may not know that you have things on your hair, you may not know have messy hair, you may not realize that there’s something on your face. And one aspect of knowing a kid is maturing is when he becomes conscious in the way he looks and takes a longer time facing the mirror. I remember, it was in grade 6 or grade seven. That was when I started to really groom my hair making sure my hair is perfect. So one day, as we observe our kids in church start to be conscious and change in the way they look, we’ll know they are maturing.
JOANNA: Based on this illustration, we can see how the Word of God serves as a mirror to us. It tells us that we are filthy with sins, it tell us we have the marks of the world, and it tells us that we are in need of a mirror (which is the Word of God) to show us our every flaw in order for us to remove what must be removed. However, hearers of the Word are those who only glance at the mirror and leave without removing the filthiness and rampant wickedness in their life.
MIGUEL: Some scholars would say that the usage of the word “natural face” in verses 23 pertains to the face one has upon birth. This means that the mirror really shows who a person really is – a sinner from birth. Then, that kind of person who does not act on the Word deceives himself as seen in verse 22, who cheats himself from improving his condition. He doesn’t care how he looks. He will not mature in faith.
JOANNA: But not with the doer of the Word because a doer of the word looks into the perfect law intently. A while ago, a hearer just glances into the mirror that he forgets what he even looks like. But a doer of the Word intentionally looks into his face and makes the necessary changes. The doer of the Word does not forget the Word, but he remembers and lives out the law which is more important. The law shows what needs to be changed and once a person abides in the law, he becomes a wise person with wisdom and wisdom is the perfection each of us are to attain that will lead to spiritual maturity that we can live out the righteousness of God through our words and deeds.
MIGUEL: Christ became the solution by fulfilling the law through perfect obedience that even if we fail today, Christ’s perfection achieved the purpose of the Law. In this way, the Law doesn’t only reveal to us our hopeless state, it also gives us freedom as the law of liberty. Galatians 5:1, “For freedom, Christ has set us free…” Under the New Covenant, we are freed and saved from our sins with Christ being the ultimate sacrifice.
JOANNA: Dear friends, if we assess ourselves today, are we just hearers only or are we stirred by the Word we heard? Let us not to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger for these commands reflect a wise and mature Christian.
MIGUEL: Yes, a Christian who consistently abides God’s commands and applies what he hears from the Word of God, is definitely a doer of the word. Thank you for listening to this podcast, once again this is Miguel.
JOANNA: and this is Joanna and may God bless you all.