Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doers of the Word

But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself and went his way and presently forgot what manner of man he was. But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work: this man shall be blessed in his deed. And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation and to keep one's self unspotted from this world.
(James 1:22-27 DRB)

This was today's Epistle reading (traditional lectionary) and it speaks volumes to what true Christians should be DOING. We are not called merely to hear the Word of God, but to DO the Word of God! What does it say of one who hears but does not do? St. James compares him to one who beholds his countenance in a glass - and forgetting who he WAS did not DO the Word of God. The DOER of the WORK is the one who is BLESSED IN HIS DEED. And what is "religion" according to St. James the Apostle? It is to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation - AND to keep one's self unspotted from this world. In short - we must DO things to be DOERS of the Word of God! Those who reject that true Christians are DOERS and preach the false gospel of "sola fide" lose the right to even call themselves Christians for they stand in rejection of the Word of God to support the man-made concept of sola fide which is flatly denied later in James:
Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?
(James 2:24 DRB)

This is the only place in Scripture where the words "faith" and "only" are used together - and it is in flat denial of the concept of sola fide!

Another fact adherents to sola fide seem to ignore is the fact that "sola fide" is Latin for "Faith Alone" or "Faith Only," one of the battle cries of the Protestant revolt. Ironically, in ALL the volumes we have from the Early Church Fathers, and for the Western Church who primarily wrote in Latin, the terminology of "sola fide" is absent! In fact, we don't see this terminology used until just about the time of the Protestant revolt and only then used by those who oppose the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church built by Jesus Christ Himself and founded upon the Apostles.

Yours in JMJ,

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