Receive with Meekness

James 1:21 “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

Dear CBC Family,

One of the things I was asked recently by a listener was “Why do you say things that seem so controversial”? To be honest, I don’t see the things the Bible states as controversial, I simply see them as truth. A pastor’s job is not to present THEIR truth but THE TRUTH of God’s word. That truth, when it comes in contact with human flesh, is what causes what people call controversy.  

If we are being honest, some of the things that God has to say are at the very least inconvenient, and sometimes offensive to our worldly feelings. If we spend any time in scripture, we will eventually come into contact with one of these texts. It is at that point when we have a choice to make. So, when you run into one of these passages, how are we to respond?

If only God would just let us follow our whims and desires and believe those things, we wish were true. How much easier would presenting a God to the world that does NOT speak about His giving mercy or grace to whomever He wills, hardens people, is sovereign, who elects some to salvation and passes over others? We finally start getting comfortable with who we think God is and then we run into a passage like this one:

James 1:21 “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

Do you see where I am going here? You may be thinking what does this have to do with “hard texts”? Everything! Sanctification is tied directly to hard doctrinal texts in the Bible. Follow along:

James is not mincing words with us. Another way to read that would be moral filth and superabundant depravity. We all have that dark, sinful nature tucked away inside. And every now and then, when we’re put under pressure, it raises its ugly head and we’re left wondering, where did that come from?

Maybe you find that it happens again and again, almost as though you don’t have any control over it. You may be saying: Great! God’s telling me to put away all that filthiness and rampant wickedness, but how? Well, the “how” comes in the second part of the verse: “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul.”

A powerful, transformative, life-changing transaction takes place when we receive the Word of God with an open, humble heart. Did you catch it? It saves our souls. It sets us free. It restores us back into the image of God in which we were created.

Those difficult, inconvenient, even offensive passages of Scripture have been put there by God to save your soul. Therefore, receive them in meekness. Why do I say “controversial” things? Because I care about your soul and I know these truths will save it!

Receiving all the hard truths of Romans will not only sanctify you by enabling (empowering you by the Holy Spirit) you to “put away” sin but it is part of the means God is using to save your soul! The teachings of men blind and deceive but the teachings of Christ deliver and set you free.

That’s why I try and give you the whole counsel of God. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.

Join me this weekend in one of the most amazing sections of Romans 11 in a sermon God called “The Fulness of the Gentiles.” We will jump a bit ahead so that we can back track to fully understand Paul’s amazing argument.

Blessings to you dear one,

Pastor Scott