What Does James 1:25 Mean?

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:25(NASB)
Picture courtesy of Kevin Carden

Verse Thoughts

Not a day should go past without the believer in Christ checking him or herself to make sure that they are in the faith and not tossed about by every doctrinal ‘wind-of-change’. There should be a regular examination of one’s biblical principles to ensure that we are not straying from the path of righteousness, becoming embroiled in legalist practices or claiming that our liberty in Christ is a licence to sin.

Living the Christian life in this fallen world, is not an easy path to tread. Jesus warned that while on earth we would suffer tribulation and be hated of all men because of Him. But we have His assurance that He has overcome this world and that His victory is our also victory.. for His triumphant, resurrected life has become our new-life-in-Christ, and His perfect righteousness has been imputed to us.

Praise God that all who persevere under trial, for Christ’s sake, will be approved of Him, and receive the crown of life – which the Lord has promised to ALL who love Him. But how easy it is when we are beset by difficulties and dangers to forget the precious promises that are ours in Christ Jesus – yet how important it is to appropriate ALL that is ours in Him.

We are reminded in many places in Scripture that we are no longer under the curse of the Mosaic Law, which it the tool our Creator established to expose our sin and bring us to the cross for forgiveness. The Law was given to the ungodly, the sinner, the unholy and the profane person.. to bring them to Christ. Once we are saved, however, we are transferred from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of His dear Son.

Once we are born again we are no longer under the Law of sin and death but under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. But how quickly we can be tempted to view the problems of life as being God’s fault, instead of taking responsibility, by responding to them in a biblical manner – by taking every thought captive to Christ and trusting Him to navigate us through the stormy times we are facing, as well as praising Him on those sunny days.

It is easy to look away from the Lord towards the blackening storm-clouds of life and the tumultuous waves of discontent, that are designed to shipwreck our testimony, and set us adrift from the Anchor of our soul, but James encourages us to keep our eyes on Jesus, and reminds us in this verse that the one who looks intently at the perfect law of liberty, which is already ours in Christ, and abides by it… will be blessed in what he does.

We are to look intently into the mirror of God's Word. We are to look earnestly and continuously at the perfect Law of the Spirit of life, which is ours, by faith, in Christ – and we are to keep on concentrating on Him and focussing on His Word, which sustains us with spiritual strength; guards and protects us from the ravages of the enemy and guides us into all truth as we grow in grace and mature in the faith.

One of the ways that believers go astray is to forget the things we have been taught. We can become careless in our Christian walk and drift away from the narrow pathway that leads to life. But James insists that the one who looks intently at the perfect law of liberty and abides by it will be blessed. The one who is not a forgetful hearer of the Word but an effectual doer of God’s Word, will be blessed in all he does. However, our ears can quickly become blocked and our eyes can soon become dim, if we take our eyes off the truth of God’s word.

We can become forgetful hearers, powerless in our ministry and ineffective in our testimony if we do not take this warning to heart – but the one who looks intently at the perfect law – the law of liberty, which is already ours in Christ, and abides by it… not having become a forgetful hearer but being an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in all that he does.

May we be quick to hear and slow to speak so that we prove ourselves to be sincere doers of the word and not hearers only. May we keep looking intently at the mirror of God’s Law of liberty, knowing that it is a true representation of Christ’s perfect character, which should be reflected in all we say and all we do. 

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus and our hearts focussed on the truth of Your Word. Thank You that I am no longer under the curse of the Law of sin and death but have been set free to follow the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. As I look to Him, I pray that I may become increasingly like Him, and that I may not only hear Your truth but act on it in word and in deed, for Your greater glory, this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.

Picture courtesy of Kevin Carden

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