James 1:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.

New Living Translation
But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

English Standard Version
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

New American Standard Bible
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

King James Bible
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works--this person will be blessed in what he does.

International Standard Version
But the one who looks at the perfect law of freedom and remains committed to it—thereby demonstrating that he is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of what that law requires—will be blessed in what he does.

NET Bible
But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out--he will be blessed in what he does.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But everyone who gazes into The Perfect Law of Liberty and continues in it, he is not a hearer who heard what is forgotten, but is a doer of the works, and this one shall be blessed in his work.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
However, the person who continues to study God's perfect teachings that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don't merely listen and forget; they actually do what God's teachings say.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But whosoever has looked attentively into the perfect law of liberty and has persevered in it, not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, the same shall be blessed in their deed.

King James 2000 Bible
But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

American King James Version
But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

American Standard Version
But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and'so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty, and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Darby Bible Translation
But *he* that fixes his view on [the] perfect law, that of liberty, and abides in [it], being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of [the] work, *he* shall be blessed in his doing.

English Revised Version
But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth, but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

Webster's Bible Translation
But he who looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Weymouth New Testament
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.

World English Bible
But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Young's Literal Translation
and he who did look into the perfect law -- that of liberty, and did continue there, this one -- not a forgetful hearer becoming, but a doer of work -- this one shall be happy in his doing.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:22-25 If we heard a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in hearing only, it would never bring us to heaven. Mere hearers are self-deceivers; and self-deceit will be found the worst deceit at last. If we flatter ourselves, it is our own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man. Let the word of truth be carefully attended to, and it will set before us the corruption of our nature, the disorders of our hearts and lives; and it will tell us plainly what we are. Our sins are the spots the law discovers: Christ's blood is the laver the gospel shows. But in vain do we hear God's word, and look into the gospel glass, if we go away, and forget our spots, instead of washing them off; and forget our remedy, instead of applying to it. This is the case with those who do not hear the word as they ought. In hearing the word, we look into it for counsel and direction, and when we study it, it turns to our spiritual life. Those who keep in the law and word of God, are, and shall be, blessed in all their ways. His gracious recompence hereafter, would be connected with his present peace and comfort. Every part of Divine revelation has its use, in bringing the sinner to Christ for salvation, and in directing and encouraging him to walk at liberty, by the Spirit of adoption, according to the holy commands of God. And mark the distinctness, it is not for his deeds, that any man is blessed, but in his deed. It is not talking, but walking, that will bring us to heaven. Christ will become more precious to the believer's soul, which by his grace will become more fitted for the inheritance of the saints in light.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 25. - Application of the illustration in the form of a contrast. Looketh into (παρακύψας). For the literal sense of the word, see John 20:5, 11; Luke 24:12. The figurative meaning occurs only here and in 1 Peter 1:12. Properly it signifies to "peep into." See its use in the LXX., Genesis 26:8; Proverbs 7:6; Ecclus. 21:23. When used figuratively, it conveys the idea of looking into, but scarcely with that intensive force which is often given to it and for which ἐγκύπτειν would be required (see Dr. Field's 'Otium Norvicense,' p. 147). Its use in St. Peter, loc. cit., is easy enough to explain. Angels desire even a glimpse of the mysteries. But what are we to say of its use hero? Is it that, though the man took a good look at himself in the glass (κατανοεῖν, consider, is a very strong word; cf. Romans 4:19), yet he forgot what he was like, while the man who only peeps into the law of liberty is led on to abide (παραμείνας) and so to act? The perfect law of liberty; rather, the perfect law, even the law of liberty; νόμον τέλειον τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας. The substantive is anarthrous, yet the attributive has the article. This construction serves to give greater prominence to the attributive, and requires the rendering given above (see Winer, § 20:4). The conception of the gospel as a "law" is characteristic of St. James (cf. James 2:8, "the royal law," and James 4:11). A forgetful hearer (ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονής); i.e. a hearer characterized by forgetfulness, contrasted with ποιητὴς ἐργοῦ, a doer characterized by work.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty,.... By which is meant, not the moral law, but the Gospel; for only of that is the apostle speaking in the context: this is no other than the word of truth, with which God begets men of his own will; and is the ingrafted word which is able to save, and of which men should be doers, as well as hearers, James 1:18, and this is compared to a glass by the Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:18, and the word here used for looking into it is the same word the Apostle Peter uses of the angels, who desired to look into the mysteries of the Gospel, 1 Peter 1:12 all which serve to strengthen this sense; now the Gospel is called a law; not that it is a law, strictly speaking, consisting precepts, and established and enforced by sanctions penalties; for it is a declaration of righteousness and salvation by Christ; a publication of peace and pardon by him; and a free promise of eternal life, through him; but as it is an instruction, or doctrine: the law with the Jews is called because it is teaching and instructive; and everything that is so is by them called by this name: hence we find the doctrine of the Messiah, which is no other than the Gospel, is in the Old Testament called the law of the Lord, and his law, Isaiah 2:2 and in the New Testament it is called the law, or doctrine of faith, Romans 3:27 and this doctrine is perfect, as in Psalm 19:7, it being a perfect plan of truths, containing in it all truth, as it is in Jesus, even all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and because it is a revelation of things perfect; of the perfect righteousness of Christ, and of perfect justification by it, and of free and full pardon of sins through him, and of complete salvation by him; and because it directs to Christ, in whom perfection is: and it is a law or doctrine of liberty; , "that which is if liberty"; which has liberty for its subject, which treats of it, even of the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free: the Gospel proclaims this liberty to captive souls; and is the word of truth, which makes them free, or is the means of freeing them from the slavery of sin, from the captivity of Satan, and from the bondage of the law; and is what gives souls freedom and boldness at the throne of grace; and is that which leads them into the liberty of grace here, and gives them a view and hope of the glorious liberty of the children of God hereafter. This doctrine is as a glass to look into; in which is beheld the glory of Christ's person and office, and grace; and though by the law is the knowledge of sin, yet a man never so fully and clearly discovers the sin that dwells in him, and the swarms of corruption which are in his heart, as when the light of the glorious Gospel shines into him, and when in it he beholds the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ; see Isaiah 6:5 and looking into this glass, or into this doctrine, is by faith, and with the eyes of the understanding, opened and enlightened by the Spirit of God; and the word here used signifies a looking wistly and intently, with great care and thought, and not in a slight and superficial manner; and such a looking is designed, as is attended with effect; such an one as transforms into the same image that is beheld, from glory to glory; and happy is the man that so looks into it.

And continueth therein; is not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, nor carried about with divers and strange doctrines; but is established in the faith, stands fast in it, and abides by it; or continues looking into this glass, and to Christ, the author and finisher of faith, who is beheld in it; and keeps his eye upon it, and the object held forth in it; and constantly attends the ministration of it:

he being not a forgetful hearer; but takes heed to the things he hears and sees, lest he should let them slip; and being conscious of the weakness of his memory, implores the divine Spirit to be his remembrancer, and bring to his mind, with fresh power and light, what he has heard:

but a doer of the work; of the work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope, and of every work and ordinance the Gospel ministry points unto; doing and being subject to all in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God and Christ.

This man shall be blessed in his deed; or "doing", and while he is doing; not that he is blessed for what he does, but "in" what he does; see Psalm 19:11 he having, in hearing the word, and looking into it, and in submitting to every ordinance of the Gospel, the presence of God, the discoveries of his love, communion with Christ, and communication of grace from him by the Spirit; so that Wisdom's ways become ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace; see Psalm 65:4, moreover, in all such a man does, he is prosperous and successful; in all he does he prospers: and so he is blessed in his deed, by God, whose blessing makes rich, both in spirituals and temporals: there seems to be an allusion to the blessed man in Psalm 1:1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

25. looketh into—literally, "stoopeth down to take a close look into." Peers into: stronger than "beholdeth," or "contemplated," Jas 1:24. A blessed curiosity if it be efficacious in bearing fruit [Bengel].

perfect law of liberty—the Gospel rule of life, perfect and perfecting (as shown in the Sermon on the Mount, Mt 5:48), and making us truly walk at liberty (Ps 119:32, Church of England Prayer Book Version). Christians are to aim at a higher standard of holiness than was generally understood under the law. The principle of love takes the place of the letter of the law, so that by the Spirit they are free from the yoke of sin, and free to obey by spontaneous instinct (Jas 2:8, 10, 12; Joh 8:31-36; 15:14, 15; compare 1Co 7:22; Ga 5:1, 13; 1Pe 2:16). The law is thus not made void, but fulfilled.

continueth therein—contrasted with "goeth his way," Jas 1:24, continues both looking into the mirror of God's word, and doing its precepts.

doer of the work—rather, "a doer of work" [Alford], an actual worker.

blessed in his deed—rather, "in his doing"; in the very doing there is blessedness (Ps 19:11).

James 1:25 Additional Commentaries
Context
Hearing and Doing
24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. 26If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.…
Cross References
John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

John 13:17
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Romans 2:13
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Romans 8:2
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Galatians 2:4
This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

Galatians 6:2
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

James 1:24
and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

James 2:12
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,

1 Peter 2:16
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.
Treasury of Scripture

But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

looketh.

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this …

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. …

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any …

the perfect.

James 2:12 So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

Psalm 19:7-10 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony …

Psalm 119:32,45,96-105 I will run the way of your commandments, when you shall enlarge my heart…

Romans 7:12,22,23 Why the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good…

liberty.

John 8:32,36 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…

Romans 8:15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but …

2 Corinthians 3:17,18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, …

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us …

1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, …

and.

1 Samuel 12:14 If you will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and …

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue …

John 15:9,10 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love…

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, …

Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious …

Acts 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing …

Romans 2:7,8 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and …

Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which …

Colossians 1:23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved …

1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue …

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself, and to the doctrine; continue in them: for …

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning…

a forgetful.

James 1:23,24 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to …

this.

Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of them there …

Psalm 106:3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that does righteousness …

Psalm 119:2,3 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with …

Luke 6:47 Whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will …

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yes rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, …

John 13:17 If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always …

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are …

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right …

deed. or, doing.

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