This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

-{James 1:19-22}


This is a fabulous portion of Scripture which deals with the genuineness of saving faith and how it responds to the Word of God versus that which is delusion, self deception by those who are merely hearers only of the Word and not those who habitually practice what they hear. In verse 21 is the phrase “RECEIVE THE WORD,” which is at the heart of the passage. There is a way to Receive the Word and in verse 19-21 he shows the correct response to the reception of the Word if it is to be worked out what you take in. Jesus said in  Mark 4:24, “Take care what you listen to…”  and in Luke 8:18 He says, “So take care how you listen;…”. Not just what you listen but HOW you listen! In Matthew 13 Jesus gives the story of the Sower who went out to sow and the seed fell on the ground and there were four different soils. Only one of the three of the seeds produced lasting fruit! It fell on good soil. Our heart is like the soil. Some hear and have a hard heart and reject it, other hear and the cares and things of this world choke it out, other seems to take root, but is only surface and due to persecution does not take root. Only the one that is good soil, receives the seed and produces  thirty, sixty a hundred fold. It is the same with the Word of God. Many hear but only the one who receives it in submission to it like the seed produces the fruit of the Word just like the  fruit of the seed that came forth from the ground!

How are we to Receive the Word?


This you know, my beloved brethren.”- {v19}. This is a command to “know, understand” this. What is it they “know?” In the previous verse they “know” of the power of the Word to save them! They have experienced the Power of the Word. “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” -{v18}. Peter likewise testified when he wrote, “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.”-{1 Peter 1:23 NLT}. Paul wrote to Timothy of the power to give the wisdom for salvation, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” -{2 Tim 3:15}. There is Power in the word to save a soul. They knew this. The knew that there is power of God to equip them for every good work, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.-{2 Tim 3;16-17}. They knew and understood this. They knew “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”-{Heb 4:12}. This is the means the Holy Spirit uses and why it is imperative we “know” the truth, apply the truth and share the truth and indeed why the evil one opposes it so vigorously. When Jesus was tempted He responded,” man shall not live by bread alone but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.”-{Matt 4:4,10}. When tempted He responded “it is written, it is written, it is written.” Peter when he knew he was leaving wrote these words, indeed it could be called the “ministry of remembrance,” he wrote in 2 Peter in v 12, 13, 15 “Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.  I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,  knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.  And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.” He wants them to be able to remember… the truth!

James says to them you “know” the power of the Word to save, deliver, redeem your soul. You have experienced it and he wants them to continue to receive the Word and tells them to receive it by being “quick to hear.”  To pull this verse out of context you could say that he wants us to be good listeners. And though we are to be, this is not what he is saying here. The context is regards the reception of the Word of God.  Note he mentions “the Word,”-{v 18}…”the Word” in {v 21,}… “the Word.”…,-{22}… “the Word,”-{v23}… and in verse 25 he again refers to it calling it “the law of liberty.”Context is king, and it is about “the Word” in this passage. He reminds them they have known the WORD, experienced the saving power of it and he wants them to continue to receive the WORD as it is necessary in producing the life God desires for them, “…the righteousness of God.”

And he says to be…

“Quick to listen.”(tachus) is an adverb which literally means quick, swift, speedy as opposed to slow. Be eager to do this quickly and continuously! Listen to understand.

Be eager to hear His Word when you can for it is God conveying His message through His Word which is eternal, inerrant and relevant to our souls spiritual health! The idea of being “quick to hear” is to be eager to seize every opportunity you can to hear His Word. In Greek it means “Be Quick to the Hearing.” Think about a ball game, for some they are excited and be it on tv or at the event, they make haste, remove everything that would hinder them from being able to be at the game in person or see the game on tv. They prioritize their life around the game. They are eager in their pursuit of that which captures their affections!

In v 2-12 James speaks of trials and the need for Wisdom. His Word provides wisdom how to handle trials God’s way!

In v 13-18 James speaks about the realities of Temptation and how to handle them. God’s Word provides the answer to. – {Also Read 1 Cor 1o:13}

In v 19-27 James writes about how to Receive and Respond to the Word of God. And when he says “be quick” he is saying make haste to put yourself in the place you can hear at every opportunity what God teaches from His Word.

“Be Slow To Speak.” Again taken out of context it could be along the lines, “children should be seen and not heard,” but this is not what it is teaching, for again the context is “the Word.” What he is teaching is though you are to be in a hurry to Hear His Word at every opportunity be slow to teach it. For there is a great responsibility and accountability to teach His Word and not to be equipped and end up misrepresenting Him, and leading people astray. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”-{James 3:1}. Does that mean to shy away all together? No, but it does mean be very very careful, respectful and be diligent in your studies. If need be, find someone who can help you to accurately divide it. Paul told Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”-{2 Timothy 2:15}. It is a serious issue to say you are saying what God says.

“And Slow To Anger”-Again the context is “the Word.” The word “anger” as used here is not the word that speaks of  a momentarily blowing up and then its over, just like a volcano. But it’s the Greek word that speaks of a deep inner resentment, that smolders, which only you and God know about. Deep beneath the surface. It is rejection, resentment, of what is heard or the one who speaks the Word. It is a persistent animosity, resentment, when they hear the Word and they do not like what it says, or convicts them of some ungodly thing in their life, or you or me, also! It is a resistance, a stiff arming of the truth and or the one who shares, preaching it! Paul experiences this, he wrote, “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?”-{Gal 4:16}. Sometimes we can turn on the person who has delivered accurately, lovingly the truth, simply because that is not what we had believed,or it confronts some sin our lives. We can or are tempted to become defensive. We speak against them in our minds, having imaginary conversations at times with the person! We can leave the place, because we are ‘offended.’ And what has offended us? “The Word!” And so we harbor resentment within our hearts!

Sin causes us to lose our appetite for His Word. It is a barrier. When our twins were born, our son initially would not eat. He was sick and had no appetite. Sin is spiritual sickness and causes us to lose our spiritual appetite. Peter wrote. ” Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,  like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.-{1 Peter 2:1-3}.

The main verb in James 1:21 is “receiving the Word.” And to do so we must put off, sinful attitudes and actions. Recognize them, call them what God calls them, and repent and begin afresh through the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all unrighteousness. What a gift from God that we can begin afresh!  Like dirty clothes we must take these attitudes off and replace with clean clothes, His Word. So we remove the sin and replace with righteousness, that pleases Him and His Word helps us to recognize and to make the appropriate adjustment in our lives.

We must not yield and adopt and embrace the attitude of resentment, deep seated resentment. Why not ? Because it does not “achieve” what God desires in this passage which is “the righteousness of God,” which is His goal.

But what if you hear something that is Scripturally wrong?  The same truth applies, ” Be Slow to Anger,” Why? Because it does not achieve the “righteousness of God,” which speaks of that which pleases God, which is the goal in teaching the Word as James teaches in this passage!  If you or I are “angry” with the Word we can’t be right with God as it is His WORD we are resisting, resentful towards. It is to resist Him whose Word it is. Stiff-arming God! Think about it how crazy is that. He desires our good and we resist and are offended, resentful towards Him whose Word it is, ultimately.  The Goal of receiving His Word is, “Righteousness” which speaks of being right with God. And  when you choose to eagerly hear His Word, being careful regarding teaching it if not prepared and slow to anger against it then you are “right” with God as you are practicing submission to God!

2. Receive The Word With PURITY.

 putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.“-{v 21}.

“Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness… “

“Putting aside.” The main verb is “receive the Word” and the participle defines how you are to receive the Word, namely “putting aside.” In order to receive the Word you have to first deal with sin! Sin twart’s the reception of His Word. The way it is written is “having already put aside receive the Word.” “Putting aside,” is a verb and  was used of taking off your clothes. In those days a person could come home at the end of the day having been in the hot sticky sun and dusty roads and be covered in filth and came home and threw off those filthy, stained clothes. That’s the picture used here. The story is told of John Wesley who traveled by horseback throughout the land and at times when preaching the Word would be pelted with rotten fruit. The first thing he did when he left and arrived at where he was staying was to take off the dirty clothes and replace them. He was not comfortable in filthy clothing, he was not at “home” in them and so he removed them! Sin is to be removed!

“ALL FILTHINESS”-{ruperia} is a word used for dirty clothes. Or to speak of the filth, dirt, grime that gets on the body when you are out working in the hot of the day. Metaphorically it came to speak of moral vice or the filth of sin! The root word “rupus” was used to speak of wax in the ear! What a graphic picture. Get rid of any dirt and wax that builds up in your ear to stop you from hearing the Word clearly. I had a friend once who came to visit from overseas. At times he spoke in a loud voice and had trouble hearing. We took him to see a Dr, who upon examination saw his ears were filled with wax. He cleaned them out and gave him some drops and the first thing I noticed he no longer shouted or spoke in a loud voice when you were near him. He also testified how he could hear better. The problem? Over a period of time his ears had filled up and compacted with wax that hindered his ability to hear clearly. So too with sin, it hardens and makes it harder to hear His Word, not with our ears but with our heart, our mind! As wax builds up and hinders so too sin builds up and causes it harder to hear His Word and affects our appetite for His Word. Throw it off, put it off, get rid of any sin that builds up and hinders you from desiring of the hearing and receiving the Word!

“ALL THAT REMAINS OF WICKEDNESS.”– “Wickedness” is a general word for evil, but not just the act but the thought, the intent of the heart! “All that remains” refers to “overflowing.” Like a filthy garment or wax that plugs up our ears we need to get rid of it, repent and begin afresh! Then you will be able to continually receive the Word! Sin blocks up the desire, appetite for His Word. -{Read 1 Peter 2:1-2}


3. Receive The Word With HUMILITY.

“…in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

“humility” is the soil that the Word flourishes in a soul. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the…humble!”

The word “humility” speaks of and includes “gentleness, meekness, gentle, willing.” The person is receptive to the Word as seen in a teachable spirit. They eagerly pursue the Word to learn of God, know Him better, submit to Him, His revealed will from His Word, from a heart of love for Him. -{ Read John 14:21}. Jesus in Matthew 11 says “Come to Me, all ]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Note the two descriptions the Lord Jesus gives of Himself. “Gentle and humble of heart.” When the Spirit of God is in control of a life one evidence is “the fruit of the Spirit is…gentleness” -{Read Gal 5;23}. And so to reflect The LORD Jesus, when the Holy Spirit is in control then gentleness will be characteristic of us too. Humility is not to have “poor esteem” but to see ourselves as God sees us “in Christ” and having a true understanding of who we are in Him and submitting to His authority and others to serve His purposes. -{Read Phil 2;3-5; 1 Peter 5:6}. Humility includes the absence of pride. The proud oppose His Word. The Humble submit to it because of whose Word it is, the LORD’S! The humble are teachable!


What a word! Due to a debilitating disease I have, I had to have a port put in my chest as my veins that over two years had been stuck with needles over twenty times a month at times were not in good condition and the difficulty of finding a “good” vein to put the IV in was getting harder and harder and due to my painful disease more and more difficult. So a “port” was placed in my chest. I went to hospital and the Dr “Implanted” it in my chest!

That is a picture that I hope helps you understand that the Word has been “IMPLANTED” in the believers heart. When did this “operation” take place? When you were born again! And at that moment the Author came to reside within to teach, explain and empower you with His Word. ” “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”-{John 14:26}. The Holy Spirit reside within to interpret, explain His WORD to you and me who belong to Jesus Christ. And as we Receive the Word continually through actively Submitting to the Word, with Purity and in Humility, being teachable to the implanted Word we will grow in our understanding of God and our standing with God and also grow in godliness.  It is able to save our souls completely. This includes our justification, sanctification and glorification when we see Him! It can save us continually from sin, the effects of it. It is able to save, deliver us from all that would dampen our enthusiasm for God and divert our attention from being about the Kingdom of God. It is able to build us up in our faith, grow us up, make us wise, give us discernment, change and conform us into the image of Christ. It is able to reveal Jesus Christ to us. In it we have everything we need for life and Godliness. We have “precious and magnificent promises.” Our standing with God is sure, secure, safe eternally so we read in “the Word” our “understanding” of who He is and who we are “In Christ” is what we need to grow in. There is power in “the WORD” to save us from the power, penalty of sin, the bondage to satan and the wrath of God, and deliver us to a new life “in Christ” of eternal acceptance with God through the merit of the LORD Jesus alone. We have all we need in his WORD to guide, govern us and with the application he says the “doer” of His Word will be blessed. there is blessing in obeying God. The blessing of honoring Him. the blessing of His peace, joy, and eternal blessings a head as well as in this life. This does not mean we will be without trails as James as already said “when ” not “if” you encounter trials. But in the trials there is the blessing of knowing how to handle them because of the wisdom God imparts to us in His Word. -{Read James 1:2-5, 12}. The Blessing of obeying Him out of love for Him who first loved us.-{Read John 14:21}

Think on this, Who implanted the WORD in you? God did!! How wonderful that He would have such interest in you  and invest in you at the cost of the life of His SON! This is amazing grace!

How are you to be Continually Receiving the Word?


  1. Submission
  2. Purity
  3. Humility

How are you to Continually Respond To The Word?

  1. Be An habitual Doer of The Word!

The Word is “implanted” in you… and he tells them not to merely hear the word and end up deluding themselves as if hearing is enough but he says, “Prove yourselves to be Doers.”- {v 22}. That which is to characterize them is that they are habitual “doers” of  “the WORD.”  For there is Power in “the Word,” as they already experienced at conversion and he wants them to continue on in the word, “receiving” and responding in a God honoring way, because they can!

Take the Word in and Live it Out!