The Bible Instructs Us to “Receive the Word in Spite of Filthiness and the Remnants of Wickedness” (James 1:21). It Is Impossible to Listen to God’s Word and Keep Sin in Your Heart at the Same Time

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The psalmist acknowledged a vital aspect of spiritual growth when he remarked, "I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word" (Ps. 119:101).

Peter said the same thing when he said, "Put aside all malice, all trickery, all hypocrisy, all envy, and all slander. Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in terms of salvation" (1 Pet. 2:1-2). In the same way, James told us to give up sin and accept the Word (James 1:21).

James and Peter were not talking to people who don't believe, because without Christ, people can't give up sin or listen to God's Word. But as Christians, we are known by our ability to do both, and we must keep our lives clean by confessing our sins, turning away from them, and making good decisions. Paul said, "Just as you gave your bodies over to impurity and lawlessness, which led to more lawlessness, give your bodies over to righteousness, which leads to sanctification" (Rom. 6:19).

In James 1:21, the Greek word for "putting aside" came from the idea of taking off dirty clothes. "Filthiness" comes from a Greek word that could mean both bad behavior and dirty clothes. Its root word was once used to describe earwax, which makes it hard to hear. In the same way, sin makes it hard to hear the Word. "Wickedness" refers to any bad thought or plan. Together, they show how important it is to give up all bad actions and thoughts.

Simply put, you should never take God's grace for granted by coming to His Word with sins you haven't acknowledged. David prayed, "Don't let my sins be presumptuous. Don't let them rule over me. Then I'll be blameless" (Psalm 19:13). He wanted to be clean in front of God. I hope you want the same thing as he does and will always hear the Word in a pure way.

Tips on how to pray

Learn Psalm 19:14 by heart. As you learn God's Word, make this your prayer.

Check out Colossians 3:5–17.


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