1 Jan 2002

Knowing to do good but not doing it?

Submitted by theshovel
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How do you treat the being obedience that is preached is living His Life ? I mean knowing to do something and not doing it??? K

Hello K !

The wording of your question is throwing me off a bit, but I’ll answer based on the “knowing to do something and not doing it”. If I have missed what you were asking then just write back and say so. :)

Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Knowing to do good and not doing it is the experience of one who is made alive in the Spirit but is trying to live by the law.1 In the attempt to live by rules or principles we are brought into a trap where we can see what the right thing would be to do, but also that we cannot do it. We are also made aware of the wrong thing, and yet find ourselves doing that.

In other words, knowing that we’re supposed to love is something ENTIRELY and COMPLETELY different than loving. Approaching the life of Christ as if it is a matter of becoming obedient has nothing to do with life, but only with the LACK of life.

When we preach obedience it means we have probably achieved a measure of success in the specific area we address. Just the fact that we are caught up with the obedience issue is a sure-fire sign that we are struggling with our own sense of inadequacy, believing ourselves to not be doing enough. If our considerations of obedience are not totally intertwined with the miraculous reality that we…

BECAME obedient from the heart… Romans 6:17

…as a work of God we will constantly struggle with that supposed to factor, but will find ourselves on the inadequate end of the stick.

Okay, did I even get close to answering your questions? :)


  • 1. Looking back at this sentence, I think I must have squashed two thoughts together because it doesn’t come across as I would have thought. I think it’s still a good statement, however, the truth James wrote of was geared directly to the same kind of people Jesus referred to as hypocrites, not to the believers. Nevertheless, when those who are born of God try to live according to the laws put upon them by false teachers, this will also become their experience. Jim
New Testament: 

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My assumptions of what grace and life in Christ look like often reflect my former religious imaginations.   source