ESV - 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
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When examining any one verse, you must seek to understand the context that it was written in. And so first, seek to understand the entire section. EBible breaks down scripture into sections, each section being its own independent "story". The section that this verse belongs to is called "Hearing and Doing the Word". Next read the verses before and after your target verse. What does it say? In this particular case, verses 23 to 25 will illuminate greater understanding. James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 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. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 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. It means you may read the word of God, but if you don't practice it, you will loose all the wisdom and blessing God has in store for you. Therefor do not deceive yourself into thinking that reading alone is all it takes.
Also, anyone can hear God's Word and anyone can believe in God. But even the devil believes in God. If in your heart you truly believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your whole being will change and you will become a doer of the Word. You will do good deeds because they are a result of your faith. They have nothing to do with you getting into Heaven. But a faith without good works is a dead faith. As I said earlier, even the devil and demons believe in Jesus but they are not headed for Heaven. Acts 26:20 New International Version (NIV) 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.
The Bible is the good news, reading the good news is not enough, putting the good deeds into practice is very important. E.g. receiving the Gospel, the gifts of the Spirit, or the revelation knowledge of God's word and keeping them to ourselves is not the way God wants us to be. We must share the gospel, the anointing and the good works, by becoming fishers of men, saving lost souls. This is our commission which pleases God. This I believe is the true essence of the Word, "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only."
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