19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law the law that sets you free and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.
Paul emphasizes the purpose of faith is to bring salvation and James emphasizes the results of faith are a changed life. We are not saved by works but we are saved for works. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study and prayer time by the effect they have on our attitude and behaviors. Because we are freed from sin, we can do whatever we desire. And if we are freed from sin, we only desire to do the will of God. We are free to live as God intended for us from the beginning. We live and move and have our being because of God’s Spirit in us. We desire to please Him and therefore we control the aspects of our sinful nature that are contrary to the Word of God and He will bless us for it. It is not anything in us but God in us that sets our spirit free to choose to have a positive attitude and to behave according the Word. We care for others as God cares for them and we are not corrupted by the world. This is faith in action, this is Christ in us. Guard your attitude and actions well and do not be controlled by your sinful nature but be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Have a God Day!