“Don’t Forget Who You Are” ( James 1: 22- 25, WYC ) by Carley Evans

Mother and child union, immediately after birth
Mother and child union, immediately after birth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23 For if any man is an hearer of the word, and not a doer, this shall be likened to a man that beholdeth the face of his birth in a mirror [this shall be comparisoned, or likened, to a man beholding the cheer of his birth in a mirror];

24 for he beheld himself, and went away, and at once he forgot which he was. [for he beheld himself, and went away, and anon he forgot what manner man he was.]

25 But he that beholdeth into the law of perfect freedom, and dwelleth in it, and is not made a forgetful hearer, but a doer of work, this shall be blessed in his deed.

Imagine the cheer of your birth. Your mother is relieved and over-joyed simultaneously, glad to be rid of the pain of childbirth and overwhelmed at the sight of your existence. Your father is glowing with pride and happiness. Everyone is thrilled to greet you as you enter the world.

Imagine God’s cheer when you are born again. James says, Don’t forget the cheer of your birth. Don’t see it, then turn and forget the Word who brought your freedom to you. Don’t be “a forgetful hearer.” Don’t forget who you are, and so deceive yourself.

“As He Is Holy” (1 Peter 1: 15 – 16, ESV) by Carley Evans

“Be holy in all your conduct,” writes Peter. We are to be holy because Jesus is holy.

“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.” (1 Peter 2: 4 – 5)

After all, do not forget that “you have been born again through the living and abiding Word of God.” (1 Peter 1: 23) Jesus Himself tells Nicodemus, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God;” (John 3: 3) for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3: 6) Once we are born of the Spirit, we cry “Father” to God, looking to Him as a child looks to its own parent.

“David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.’ ” (Romans 4: 6 – 8)

Paul assures us that we “who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” are reconciled to God by Jesus’ death “in order to present [us] holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.” (Colossians 1: 21, 22)

Our task is to “continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel.” (Colossians 1: 23)

We are holy because He is holy. This is our hope; the fruit of our faith.

“A Living Hope” (1 Peter 1: 3 – 5, ESV) by Carley Evans

“He has caused us to be born again to a living hope.” We are born again, just as Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” (John 3: 7)

“You, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation.” Our salvation is guarded by God Himself, via the power of His Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

“Therefore…set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1: 13) Our hope is in the grace and mercy of our God and Father.

Our inheritance is presently “kept in heaven for [us].” This inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” (1 Peter 1: 4) Our salvation is “ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1: 5) Our salvation is a future event. Presently, we are “obtaining the outcome of [our] faith, the salvation of [our] souls.” (1 Peter 1: 9) Yes, we are saved now; but our ultimate salvation is to be had in the future, outside of this limited time and space, in eternity.

In the meantime, “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8: 23 – 25) Our hope is sometimes painful as we long for the other country, the better place, the close fellowship with God, the three in One.

And, “though you have not seen [Jesus Christ], you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” (1 Peter 1: 8)