Receiving the Engrafted Word with Meekness

James 1:21 – Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

…We are therefore to receive into our hearts the preaching as the powerful word of Christ. We are to receive it by being swift to hear and slow to wrath. And we are to receive it as the word, ‘which is able to save [our] souls.’

The figure breaks down here. The soil where the seed is lodged and receives the rain and sunshine is passive. The soil of our hearts is passive in the initial work of God when he implants the seed of regeneration, but our hearts are then made active. The responsibility is ours to see to it that that seed grows, and we fulfill our responsibility when we receive that word.

The reception of the implanted word is not a work we perform by our own strength and ability, for it always remains true that God works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil.2:13). Nevertheless, God works his salvation in us consciously, and we have our calling in that work.

We are to receive that word with meekness. …The Christian virtue of meekness is the way in which we are to receive the word implanted in our hearts in regeneration. Meekness is much the same as humility. It is the gift of grace given to elect by which they submit themselves entirely to the preached word by confessing their unworthiness, acknowledging their total dependence on Christ and his grace, and realizing with profound awareness their total need for the word of Christ to live a life pleasing to him.

faithmadeperfect-hhanko-2015Quoted from Herman Hanko’s commentary on James 1:21, Faith Made Perfect (RFPA, 2015), pp.66-67.