“But he who looks closely into the perfect Law--the Law of freedom--and continues looking, he, being not a hearer who forgets, but an obedient doer, will as the result of his obedience be blessed.” James 1:25
My study of Christian liberty has led me to hundreds of hours of Biblical research and I have printed most everything I have found with the intention of organizing the ideas into a book. God has been so faithful to my efforts to understand freedom in Christ, and what I am finding is nothing short of amazing.
I know I will not be the only one that admires the commentary I found today on James 1:25. The following illustration is by Alexander Maclaren, titled The Perfect Law and its Doers (emphasis mine):
I. THE PERFECT LAW.
1. No word of the New Testament is given to us only in order that we may know truth, but all in order that we may do it. Every part of it palpitates with life, and is meant to regulate conduct.
2. In the very central fact of the gospel there lies the most stringent rule of life. Jesus Christ is the Pattern, and from those gentle lips which say, "If ye love Me keep My commandments," law sounds more imperatively than from all the thunder and trumpets of Sinai.
3. In the great act of redemption, which is the central fact of the New Testament revelation, there lies a law for conduct. God's love redeeming us is the revelation of what we ought to be, and the Cross, to which we look as the refuge from sin and condemnation, is also the pattern for the life of every believer.
4. This law is a perfect law. It not only tells us what to do, but it gives us power to do it: and that is what men want. The gospel brings power because it brings life.
II. THE DOERS OF THE PERFECT LAW.
1. Cultivate the habit of contemplating the central truths of the gospel, as the condition of receiving in vigor and fullness the life which obeys the commandment.
2. Cultivate this habit of reflective meditation upon the truths of the gospel, as giving you the pattern of duty in a concentrated and available form.
3. Cultivate the habit of meditating on the truths of the gospel, in order that the motives of conduct may be reinvigorated and strengthened.
4. The natural crown of all contemplation and knowledge is practical obedience.
III. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE DOERS OF THE PERFECT LAW.
Notice the in, not "after," not "as a reward for," but "blessed in his deed." "In keeping Thy commandments there is great reward." The rewards of this law are not arbitrarily bestowed, separately from the. act of obedience, by the will of the Judge, but the deeds of obedience automatically bring the blessedness.
This world is not so constituted as that outward rewards certainly follow on inward goodness. Few of its prizes fall to the lot of the saints. But men are so constituted as that obedience is its own reward.
There is no delight so deep and true as the delight of doing the will of Him whom we love. There is no blessedness like that of increasing communion with God, and the clearer perception of His will and mind which follow obedience as surely as the shadow does the sunshine.
There is no blessedness like the glow of approving conscience, the reflection of the smile on Christ's face.