How to be a DOER – Lesson One


Scripture Reading: James 1:22-25


James 1:22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”


            James tells us we must be doers of God’s word, not just hearers only and Jesus taught this principle to all of his disciples from the very beginning of his ministry:


Matthew 7:2121Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”


Paul repeats this teaching to the Roman brethren very early in his epistle to them:


Romans 2:13For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”


            But someone would ask what more should we do?  Just what is expected of us?  Most of our brethren understand that in order to become children of God we must hear the word preached, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah the Son of God, confess his name before men, repent of our past sins and be baptized for the remission or removal of our sins.  But a lot of folks want to stop there.  Oh, they will come to “church” on Sunday morning; most of the time, or when it’s convenient; they may even participate in other activities of the congregation but the real meaning of what it is to “DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER” as Jesus tells us escapes them.  There’s a difference between just “coming to church” and coming to worship God.  The apostle Paul gives instructions on how to be a doer.  He gives us a remedy for this weakness in our souls.  It’s found in Romans chapter 12 where we will spend the rest of this lesson in study.


We Must Be a Living Sacrifice


Romans 12:1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”


            We are to present ourselves as a living, holy, sacrifice to God, why Paul?  Because we were bought for a price, for we are now God’s possession, we are not ours anymore:


For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:20


            We who have become his children have made a vow to God, to follow his Son and his law, his teaching; the Psalmist of God understood this concept, his instructions were simply:




            We are to become lively stones, living stones in the house of God;


5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” I Peter 2:5


            We are to enter a new way of living; a way that Jesus has consecrated for us by his sacrifice for our sins.


19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” Hebrews 10:19-20


            Is it any wonder that Jesus tells us that we must:


33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33


            In order to be a doer of God’s Will we must make ourselves a living sacrifice to God.  Not in the sense that we become a cult like the organization that calls itself the International Church of Christ, not in the sense that we neglect our families as that organization required when they were the Crossroads and Boston Movements, not in the sense that we refuse to work at making a living, because doing all of these things are part of being a faithful child of God; part of being a doer of God’s will.  But we do these things with a different focus.  That job we have, our possessions in this world, our material goods, our position or power are no longer the central focus in our lives. They are no longer the overriding factor in our daily decisions.  But rather what becomes our focus in our lives is our service to God and the ultimate destiny of our souls; a destiny that I know all of us wants to be a home in heaven for eternity.  In becoming a living sacrifice to God we will immediately be a lot different than the rest of the people in this world.  So consequently the next thing that Paul tells us:


We Must Not be Conformed to This World


2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2


            The Apostle John, writing at the direction of the Holy Spirit, tells us this way:


I John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”


            Be not conformed or fashioned after the ways of this world, they are the ways of Satan.  Neither love the world, neither love the things of this world or the things that make up this world.  Our focus has changed; our vision is set on heaven and the eternal, not those things that are going to be destroyed when God brings this world to an end.  When we were in our sins, we were enemies of God:


And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” Colossians 1:21-22


            And because we have been reconciled, we are to be presented to God by his son Jesus as “HOLY AND UNBLAMEABLE AND UNREPROVEABLE”.  Do we know what we do when we reconcile something?  Being an accountant by profession I understand the concept thoroughly and can explain it this way.  At the end of the month we would look at various accounts in our ledgers and test their accuracy.  Any inaccurate entries, anything that did not belong or is not appropriately classified had to be removed.  We make note of it so that next month we make sure that the proper corrections have been made.  Our lives are reconciled to God the same way.  When we submit to him in obedience He looks into our souls and tests their cleanliness and godliness, anything that does not belong, any sin that creates a stain and anything that is not appropriate is removed.  And after we have been reconciled, after our souls have been cleansed, the last thing we want to do is to put those things that had to be removed back into our lives!  We are to be as the Apostle Peter instructs:


“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  I Peter 1:13-14


            We are to take control of our thoughts and our lives.  We are to gird up the loins of our minds, be sober, follow the hope and faith that is within us living as obedient children not following the lusts of the world that we lived in before becoming a child of God.  Lusts and wants that we followed in ignorance.  Because we are a changed people, we have been enlightened:


18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18


            And because we have been enlightened we know the hope of our calling, we know the riches of our inheritance from God, we know the glorious reward waiting for those who are faithful children of God.  In order to perfect, to complete our preparation, we not only need to avoid the enticements of this world; but we also need to know what the will of the Lord is; as Paul tells us:




            In order to know “WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD is” is why Paul tells us that we must:


Study to show thyself approved unto god, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15


            We need to spend time seeping, soaking and immersing ourselves in the word of God.  We turn off the television set and get out our Bibles.  Now there’s a radical thought for some folks.  We turn our focus from things of this world to the things of the world to come, we spend our time talking to God, we spend our time learning what it is that we need to do in order to be prepared for eternity.  We bow our heads to God’s will, we conduct ourselves as humble servants of God.  This is the reason that Paul gives us the next instruction.


We Must be Humble


3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3


            No man should think of himself more highly than he ought.  Oh, I’ve worked with people who need to learn this lesson.  When we start to get a high opinion of ourselves, frequently, something or someone will find a way to bring us back to earth.  But still its easy fall into this trap, every one of us likes to have our ego stroked, don’t we?

            How did the apostles handle this kind of situation?  Scriptures tells us.


“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” Galatians 2:9


            Here we have Peter, James, John, Paul and Barnabas, four of them apostles, the fifth a tremendously powerful worker for the cause of the Gospel; a situation that if encountered by lesser men would be ripe for contention and jealously.  Jealousy perhaps especially of Paul or Saul who was a former enemy of the church.  I think we have some that this going on amongst some of our most faithful brethren in this country right now.  But how did these men handle this situation?  They divided up the work and got busy.  Paul tells us that he accomplished what he accomplished by the “GRACE OF GOD”:


10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” I Corinthians 3:10


            What did Paul say?  Did he say that he was able to become perhaps the most prolific preacher and teacher of God’s word, the most recorded writer in the New Testament because of his tremendous ability and education?  No, that’s not what he said at all.  He became the most prolific preacher and teacher, the most recorded writer in the New Testament because of the grace of God, it was God’s gift.  He gives God the credit and accepts the role of being God’s tool.  Just as all of our talents, all of our abilities, all of our accomplishments that we may have achieved came because of God’s grace and providence to provide mankind with the talents and abilities we need; God provided the talents and abilities to Paul that he needed.  God could have left Paul blind on that Damascus road, but he had a purpose for him, a purpose that Paul was willing to serve.  But the humility that Paul exhibits wasn’t found in all first century Christians was it?  They were just like some of us and they had problems; observe with me if you will:


Read I Corinthians 12:4-10


            The brethren at Corinth were having humility problems.  They were holding some gifts of the Holy Spirit to be greater than others.  At the same time they were holding those that had been given those gifts in higher esteem than others in the congregation.  But just as all things come to us by the grace of God, the works and gifts of the Holy Spirit came as a result of grace or favor as well;




            As faithful children of God we are not to hold ourselves more highly than we ought.   We are not to consider ourselves to be any greater than any other child of God.  We’re told that God is no respecter of persons and we are to imitate that characteristic of God:


I Peter 1:17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:”


            Pass the time of your living or sojourning here in fear, awe and respect of the Lord, God!  Why Peter?


18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” I Peter 1:18-19


            Every man, woman or child that walks the face of this earth, or who ever walked this earth, has the same offer of redemption, is the same in the eyes of God, is just as precious as any other.  God gave his son to die for everyone and none is any better than the other.  Those who think of themselves as higher or better than others make themselves such that is contrary to God.  If we do not understand this, if we insist in strutting around thinking about how wonderful, great and valuable a person we are.  Jesus gives us warning:


for whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:11


            Whosoever, that covers everybody, whosoever exalts himself shall be brought down and whosoever humbles himself will be exalted. 


In order to be doers of the laws of God:


We Must Understand that We are All Part of One Body

And that Each Part Has Purpose


Romans 12:4-54For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”


            Just as we must remember to be humble, we must also remember that we, though individuals and individual members are part of a greater body of people.  Paul explains this to the Corinthian brethren in much more detail:


I Corinthians 12:1212For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”


            The body of Christ is one, but has many members, many members that yet are all of one body.  Paul wrote to these brethren when they were bickering among themselves about spiritual gifts as we noted earlier is this lesson.  He goes on to explain to them that the church is just like the human body with its different members that serve different purposes.


I Corinthians 12:14-1714For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?”


            Yet by the wisdom of God all these things are joined together to serve one purpose.  Not only in the human body, which God created, but in the church as well:


16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16


            This physical body fitly, purposefully, joined together works together effectively and provides the earthly house for our spirit and sustains our being until death divides it.  In the same way the church is to be fitly, purposefully, joined together working together effectively providing the earthly house for God our father in our hearts and minds.  Oh, yes, we have different talents, different purposes:


6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;” Romans 12:6


            The inspired writer here is talking about gifts; is talking about talents for doing work in the church.  All of us here have different talents, some different measures of different talents; some can do several things fairly well.  Like my grandfather was fond of saying; some of us are kind of a jack of all trades, master of none.  I would submit for your consideration that there are none of us that does not have at least one talent useful to God.  The mentally competent person that has no gift, no talent; that has no ability just doesn’t exist.  There are a few things we need to remember about these talents:


 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” I Corinthians 12:4


            We are to be of the same spirit, or as Paul tells us in I Corinthians 1:10 we are to be “PERFECTLY JOINED TOGETHER IN THE SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGMENT.”  And that all the talent in the world is useless to God without that other ingredient that is a must in our lives, love, especially love for God’s people, God’s kingdom and Gods’ way:


I Corinthians 13:2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”


            We all have at least one purpose in God’s kingdom, we need to find what it is and get on with the work:


7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:7-8


            Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul is telling the Romans and us that whatever our talent or talents might be we should get on with the work.  If it was to prophesy, then prophesy, if it was in the ministry, then minister, if in teaching, then teach, etc.  Again what did God do when a congregation had an abundance of talent?


Acts 13:11Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”


            The Antioch church had a wealth of talent, five men are named including Barnabas and Saul and what did the Holy Spirit do?  He directed them to send some of that talent out to preach and teach others and Paul’s first missionary journey was begun.  They were to get on with the work at hand.  We too should get on with the work at hand.  It doesn’t matter what our talent or what that work might be.  It may be visiting and ministering to the sick as many of our ladies do very well, it may be sweeping and cleaning the building, it may be making sure that the baptistry is filled and ready for the service, it may be something that we feel is little or insignificant.  But to God it is something that he gave us the ability to do and all these things are essential to the wellbeing of the church in this place.  In closing I would have us remember what Paul tells us about bearing our own burden, doinig our own work, for we will reap what we sow:


Galatians 6:5-75For every man shall bear his own burden. 6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”


            A beginning of what we must do and doers of God Holy Word is to first make our lives a living sacrifice to God.  We are to shun, turn away from the ways and enticements of this world.  We are to be humble before God and our fellowman.  We are to see that we are all part of a greater whole, the body of Christ, find that work that we have the talent to do, whatever it is; and get busy.


If there is one who has not obeyed the gospel, as we mentioned at the beginning:


We must hear the word of God for that is where we get our faith – Romans 10:17

We must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Mark 16:15-16, Hebrews 11:6

We must repent of our past sins, Luke 13:3, 5

We must confess Jesus before men; Matthew 10:32, Romans 10:9-10

And we must be baptized to wash away our sins: Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, John 3:1-13


Or if we are a child of God that has forgotten how to be a doer of his Will and need to beg for his forgiveness we are to repent and pray; Acts 8:22, James 5:16