Follow or obey spiritual guidance otherwise, it is of no value. In other words, the Word of God gives spiritual guidance. Without a doubt, that guidance is worthless if it’s not followed. But please spend 14 minutes (minimum) reading this lesson for more details.
Created: Friday, November 11, 2022
STM Bible Lesson
Lesson focus: James 1:21-27 (21-22 and 25). Bible lesson background: James addressed this letter to the “twelve tribes which are scattered here and there.” I believe it is safe to say to Jewish Christians. However, it applies to all of God’s children. Simply because
- Romans 10:12 says “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [i.e., Gentiles; a non-Jew; other people]”.
- Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek…for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
- Colossians 3:11 says “there is neither Greek nor Jew”.
Some people let pride trick them into thinking they are so good that they don’t need the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s word (verse 21). For those that do accept the advice, God’s Word requires our action, not just hearing, but also doing (verse 22). The person that does, follows, or obeys God’s Word is “blessed” (verse 25). In other words, they are made happy.
Follow the guidance, don’t just listen
So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong you do. Don’t be proud, but accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts. This teaching can save your souls.
22 Do what God’s teaching says; do not just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. 23 A person who hears God’s teaching and does nothing is like a man looking in a mirror. 24 He sees his face, then goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. 25 But the truly happy person is the one who carefully studies God’s perfect law that makes people free. He continues to study it. He listens to God’s teaching and does not forget what he heard. Then he obeys what God’s teaching says. When he does this, it makes him happy. James 1:21-25 (ICB)
- Old Testament-old way
- God gave guidance to His people in a visual form to lead the Children of Israel through the desert to their promised land. That journey was known as the exodus.
- In fact, at that time he used a temporary visible—pillar of cloud and fire to guide his chosen people.
- And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, guiding them on their way; and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light: so that they were able to go on day and night: 22 The pillar of cloud went ever before them by day, and the pillar of fire by night. Exodus 13:21-22 (BBE)
- New Testament-new way
- To show the way; to be a guide, lead on one’s way, to guide—for the Children of God (the church).
- Now he uses the everlasting invisible—Spirit of truth, i.e., the Holy Spirit, and the Bible as ‘spiritual guidance’ to his children.
- I am writing to warn you about those people who are misleading you. 27 But Christ has blessed you with the Holy Spirit. Now the Spirit stays in you, and you don’t need any teachers. The Spirit is truthful and teaches you everything. So stay one in your heart with Christ, just as the Spirit has taught you to do. 1 John 2:26-27 (CEV)
Holy Spirit will guide
I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 Yet when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of his own accord; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall take what is mine, and shall show it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are mine: therefore I said that he shall take what is mine, and shall show it to you. John 16:12-15 (RKJNT)
I cannot speak for you nor can I make you understand this display of love for humans; I can only make it known by posting it. Hopefully, we can agree that we have a loving God who does wonderful things to help us.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16 (NLT)
The Word of God guides
The primary guidance that we have comes from the Bible and the Holy Spirit. In fact, for example, the letters that John wrote are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John and John (the 4th gospel). Yes, God-inspired letters, that were written to the churches and people, are what we have to guide and teach us about spiritual things. The following is a sample of that advice:
My children, I am writing to you to keep you from sinning (to guide you out of sin); but if anyone should sin, we have one who can plead for us with the Father — Jesus Christ, the righteous — 1 John 2:1 (OEBus).
God also gives us people whom he sends to teach us. But for this lesson, we will focus on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
By holding on [firmly] to the trustworthy [faithful] word [message] just as it was taught to them, overseers [KJV: elders (see verse 5)]* can encourage [exhort] people with true [sound; healthy] teaching, and they can correct [reprove; refute] those who are against it. Titus 1:9 (EXB)
- * Thayers Greek Lexicon: The NT uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably.
Example value #1
Example value #2
The Holy Spirit will lead or guide us into all truth. Keep in mind, that was from John 16:13 (mentioned earlier) “when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth. And the truth is:
Jesus is the Word and they are truth
- Jesus answered him, “I am the way [to God], and the truth [to believe], and the life [to live]. No one can go to the Father, except through [believing in] me. John 14:6 (AUV)
- Jesus is the Word
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 The Word became flesh [Jesus], and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1 and 14 (WEB)
- The Word is the truth
- Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17 (KJV)
Remember, James 1:22 told us to follow the Word and not just listen to it. So, we should do what the truth tells us and not just hear the truth!
- In Luke 11:28 (FBV) Jesus said,
- “Even more blessed are those who hear God’s word, and follow what it says.”
Example value #3
The main points of James 1:25 are as follows and are taken from three different translations.
- Point 1: Those who study and continue to do it [keep studying]. 2: They listen. 3. Don’t forget. 4: But they put it into practice in their lives. Will be blessed in whatever they do [from the CEB].
- The truly happy person is the one who: Point 1. Carefully studies and keeps studying. 2. Listens. 3. Does not forget. 4. Then obeys. [from the ICB].
- Point 1. Listen. 2. Keep on thinking about it. 3. Don’t forget it. 4. Do everything it says. God will make you really happy… [from the PEV].
- NOTE: God’s perfect law that makes people free [of liberty] refers to the new law brought into being by Jesus, who freed us from the bondage of the Law of Moses.
- Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again. Galatians 5:1 (CEV)
- When Jesus became the high priest, he brought in a new law: Hebrews 7:12 (AUV) For with the changing of the priesthood, it was necessary for a change to be made in the law also.
- Another reason for a new way (law): Hebrews 7:19 (ERV) The Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. But now a better hope has been given to us. And with that hope, we can come near to God. NOTE: So, the law of Moses was definitely not the perfect law.
- So Jesus brought about a new way (testament) which is the perfect law of freedom: Hebrews 7:22 (MSTC) And for that cause was Jesus an establisher of a better testament.
Spiritual Guidance – wrap-up
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28 (RKJNT) ♦ The man who has knowledge of how to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17 (BBE) ♦ And if any man will not obey our instruction in this letter, note that man, and do not associate with him, that he may be ashamed. 2 Thessalonians 3:14 (RKJNT)
The 3-point take away
So this is what you should take away or get from this lesson.
- When obeyed, the teachings from the Word of God can save your souls (James 1:21). In a single word, Salvation.
- The guidance from God’s Word has more value when we follow it. After all, that is what a guide is for (James 1:22). Follow.
- A person that studies the Bible (our holy guide) is truly happy or blessed (James 1:25). Studying, listening, remembering, and obeying God’s guidance=Happiness.
As stated, spiritual guidance, teaching, and instructions are of no value if we fail to follow them or listen to them. So often we do not understand the guidance that the Word of God or the message from God gives. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Word. So study, enjoy the benefits of, and follow God’s guidance through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
I pray that you have enjoyed and will make the most of this Bible lesson. Blessings to you and your loved ones—♥ Tim. ☺
Related studies/lessons/snacks for further Spiritual growth:
♥ Question for Spiritual Guidance Has More Value When You Follow It: Are you allowing the Holy Spirit and Word of God to guide you?
Scriptures to read/study
James 1:21-27 (21-22 and 25) and 4:13-17 (17); Romans 10:1-13 (12); Galatians 3:26-29 (28) and 5:1-6 and 16-26 (1 and 16); and Colossians 3:1-11 (6 and 11). Exodus 13:17-22 (21-22) and [40:34-38; Numbers 9:15-23; 1 Kings 8:10-11]. 1 John 2:1-2 and 24-27 (1 and 26-27) and 16:5-15 (12-15); Titus 1:5-9 (9); and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 (13) and 3:6-15 (14). Ephesians 5:1-7; John 1:1-18 (1 and 14), 3:1-21 (16-17), 14:1-6 (6), 16:5-15 (13), and 17:6-19 (17). Luke 11:27-28 (28); Hebrews 7:11-28 (12, 19, and 22).
See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.
Remember James 1:21 said, “This teaching [God’s teaching (word)] can save your souls.” Actually, the Word tells us how to be saved, i.e., to receive salvation. But it also lets us know what will prevent us from being saved.