If you ever come across James 1:21 in your Bible, you might not find Christians living in profligacy quite a surprise, particularly if the Christian in question is a Pastor or someone of high position in Christian circles.
I do not seek to justify profligate living in the Church, or justify why some Christians get caught in scandal. Far from it. I seek a far reaching understanding of the Word of God in its purpose to help us lead full lives.
James 1:21-just in case you never ever read it-says,
‘Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly receive the word planted in you, which can save your souls.’
This scripture is by no means addressed to non-believers but Christians. In today’s lingo, you are asked to get rid of incitements to immorality and worldly viewpoints about situations because you can and should; because these things are contaminants that can keep you in depression; in bondage to a bad habit or perpetually broke even though you are rich (I’ll blog about this some other time)
God won’t do it for us. It’s our job.
And then, it goes further to admonish receiving into your inner being-through repeated listening, meditation and study-the Word of God so that your soul can be saved.
So though your spirit got saved the moment you pronounced the Lordship of Jesus over your life, your soul (the composite of your mind, emotions and memory) need the Word to begin to bear fruit unto salvation.
To the Christian who struggles with addictive urges, the urges are in your mind and the more you wash your mind with the Word, the more saved your mind will become.
To the Christian with anger issues, go for the Word. Listen to it every day with an open heart. It will supplant it from your emotions.
To the Christian troubled by guilt from your past, God’s mercies are new every morning (according to Lamentations 3:22-23). Rehearse God’s Word, forgive yourself and keep riding on with the Lord.