“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)
Whenever we take the bywords and homilies of modern-day Christianity and substantiate—or seek to substantiate—our lives upon them, we potentially miss the power of having God speak these truths to us directly. Of course, any Christian adage is going to have an element, a kernel of truth within, but close scrutiny is necessary to make sure that a Christian-ism is true as based upon God’s word.
When Jesus said that any “scribe unto the kingdom of Heaven” brings forth out of “his (or her) treasure” (Matthew 13:52), He’s saying (I believe) that the things have been made the scribe’s own and weren’t borrowed from anyone else. In other words, anyone who teaches can’t just borrow the truths they seek to express and expect those words to be imbued, backed up—empowered by the Holy Spirit to be life changing. How else can I express this? I think this is a very valid and important topic with reference to our coming into our own in the family of God.
“And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed (tried) to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.” (1 Samuel 17:39)
When David went to fight Goliath, Saul offered his armor. David refused, citing the fact that he hadn’t “proved” it. A fuller definition of that word implies “tested through use”. The same word is also translated in the King James as “adventure”. And while it may not be adventure in the sense of dragons and swords, it does refer to using something for a long time and being sure that it won’t let you down when you need it most. The truths that the Holy Spirit wants to give you and fill you with will necessarily need to go “through the waters”, “through the fire” as it says in Isaiah (43:2). That’s pretty much how a sword is forged, by the way. That and a lot of incessant hammering.
“The words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
Jesus is the “Word made flesh” as it says in John 1:14. He is the absolute—the truth. He is the purest expression of God the Father. The “express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3) and when He speaks, miracles happen. People rise from the dead. He could have spoken the command and received “more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53) to do whatever he said. But don’t think that it didn’t come with a price. A lot can happen—and certainly did—in the thirty years before Jesus began His public ministry. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) Jesus was making it His own.
The concept of “conversation” has changed since 1611, the year the King James was published. When you read the word “conversation” in the King James, it’s not talking about two or more people having a chat. The word conversation in the King James refers to the manner in which we live out our life with reference to God, others and the world at large. When we take words and phrases and homilies and adages—the patois of a society, to put it differently—and actually live it out in our behavior with the help of the Holy Spirit, then we’re doing as Jesus does. We make it our own.
Effectively marrying the potential dichotomy of words and actions.