Making Light Of God's Salvation
James 1:22-25- James exhorts us to be “doers” of the word, not just “hearers.”
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it [“continues in it”-3887], not having become a forgetful [1953- “negligent”] hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.
3887 parameno (par-am-en'-o)
from 3844 and 3306; to stay near, i.e. remain (literally, tarry; or 3844 and 3306; to stay near, i.e. remain (literally, tarry; or figuratively, be permanent, persevere):
KJV-- abide, continue.
1) to remain beside, to continue always near
2) to survive, to remain alive
1953 epilesmone (ep-ee-lace-mon-ay')
from a derivative of 1950 [see right below]; negligence, forgetfulness
1950 epilanthanomai (ep-ee-lan-than'-om-ahee)
middle voice from 1909 and 2990; to lose out of mind; by implication, to neglect:
KJV-- (be) forget (-ful of).
1) to forget
2) neglecting, no longer caring for
2) forgotten, given over to oblivion, that is, uncared for
James 1:22-25 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful [“negligent”] hearer but a doer [4163 from 4160 above with David] of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (NKJV)
The Greek for the phrase “continues in it” is parameno. It means “to stay near, to remain beside, to survive, to remain alive.” The David’s stay close to the Lord which will keep them alive and active in the last days. The blessing of God comes to those who do His will. They continue abiding in Christ, remaining close to Him through continued obedience.
The Greek for forgetful in James 1:22-25 above is epilesmone. It is described as negligence and forgetfulness. According to Webster’s Dictionary, to be negligent is to habitually fail to do a required thing. It implies a failure to carry out some expected or required action, either through carelessness or by intention. The Saul’s, the “forgetful hearers,” the habitual offenders (see the definition for  in Zechariah 3:7 above) who do not attend to their spiritual obligation to carry out the Lord’s charge to walk in His ways, keeping covenant with Him, will perish. Due to neglect, their “house,” their dwelling place in Christ will be destroyed. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” Through their own carelessness they have made light of God’s invitation to His salvation (His “good deposit”). After receiving it they treated it with disrespect. They are unrepentant covenant breakers (the foolish virgins in Matthew 25) that will be shut out of the wedding feast of Christ at the end of this age.
Hebrews 8:8-9- In describing the faults of the first covenant, the Lord describes when Israel did not continue (“to persevere, to remain in, to hold fast, to keep”) in His covenant, neglecting it. He says He neglected them, turning away from them because they turned away from Him. Because they had not attended to His covenant of salvation, wandering away from Him, they were left unattended to.
Hebrews 8:5 speaks of God’s warning to Moses when he was about to build the tabernacle. He said, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” The word “make” is taken from the Greek poieo . It means “to make or do” (see 1 Timothy 4:14-16 below). This is the same word interpreted “do” in Acts 13:21-22 above which speaks of David as being one who would “do” God’s will. We must be careful to DO according to the pattern prescribed by the Lord in order for His tabernacle to be built up (established) within us. (See the Bible study Establishing The Covenant.)
8 For finding fault with them, He says, "Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand [see the section below titled Out Of His Hands] to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue  in My covenant, and I did not care for  them, says the Lord.
9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
1696 emmeno (em-men'-o)
from 1722 and 3306; to stay in the same place, i.e. (figuratively) persevere:
1) to remain in, to continue
2) to persevere in anything, a state of mind etc.
3) to hold fast, to be true to, to abide by, to keep
272 ameleo (am-el-eh'-o)
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3199; to be careless of, to neglect:
KJV-- make light of, neglect, be negligent, no regard.
Hebrews 2:1-3- The writer of Hebrews warns us as Christians to pay close attention to the Lord’s word, being careful to apply ourselves (“adhere to”~ see definition for “paying attention” in 1 Timothy 4:1-2) to that which we have come to understand by the Spirit of God “lest we drift away from it.” This is a revealed knowledge (revelation) that only a Christian can receive. To drift away means “to let flow by, carelessly pass.” Again, we are to carefully guard that which has been deposited within us.
The writer then clearly speaks of neglecting God’s salvation, using the same Greek word “amaleo” as Hebrews 8:8-9 above. Using the authoritative word spoken by angels as an example, he speaks of the greater word spoken by Jesus. Shall we escape if we “neglect” so great a salvation? The answer is obviously no. Christians have been entrusted with the knowledge of salvation. We must not be careless with the gift of salvation knowledge, but rather guard our hearts with the help of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Timothy 1:12-14).
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention [4337- same as 1 Timothy 4:1, p.9] to what we have heard, lest we drift away  from it.
2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,
3 how shall we escape [Rev. 12:6] if we neglect  so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
4337 prosecho (pros-ekh'-o)
from 4314 and 2192; (figuratively) to hold the mind (3563 implied) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to:
KJV-- (give) attend (-ance, -ance at, -ance to, unto), beware, be given to, give (take) heed (to unto); have regard.
1) to bring to, to bring near; to bring a ship to land, and simply to touch at, to put in
2) to turn the mind to, to attend to be attentive; to a person or a thing: of caring for, providing for
3) to attend to oneself, that is, to give heed to oneself; to give attention to, to take heed
4) to apply oneself to, to attach oneself to, to hold or to cleave to a person or a thing
a) to be given or addicted to
b) to devote thought and effort to
3901 pararrhueo (par-ar-hroo-eh'-o)
from 3844 and the alternate of 4482; to flow by, i.e. (figuratively) carelessly pass (miss):
KJV-- let slip.
to glide by: lest we be carried by; to pass by
a) lest the salvation which these things heard show us how to obtain, to slip away from us
b) a thing escapes me
c) it slips my mind
Matthew 22:1-14- Jesus describes the wedding feast at the end of this age.
1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying,
2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son.
3 "And he sent out his slaves to call [2564- see Proverbs 1:24 below] those who had been invited  to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.
4 "Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast."'
5 "But they paid no attention  and went their way [see Proverbs 1:31 below], one to his own farm, another to his business,
9 'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.'
10 "And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
The call is going out to His people first to come, just as it was with Israel when Christ came the first time. He’s calling the called, inviting the invited. Most are not paying attention, neglecting (treating lightly) His invite. They’re choosing their way over His. It will cost them their salvation. Many are called (invited), but few are “choice sons.”
We are then given an interesting commanded to go instead to the “highways and byways” people, both evil and good, and gather them together, filling the wedding hall. Luke 14:16-24, a parallel passage, says to “compel them to come in that My house may be filled.” The churches rejection is there invitation.
This is why we shouldn’t be surprised at the present reaction of the church in regards to prepare themselves through repentance in anticipation of the Lord’s return. They are the Laodicean church who thinks they’re rich and in need of nothing (Revelation 3:17). Their doctrines tell them they have peace with God when they don’t. They have a false sense of security that, if unrepented of, will put them in a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:13). Presuming on the goodness of God (His grace- see Psalms 19:13), they have not put on the wedding clothes of righteousness provided through daily obedience to Christ.
In speaking of unfaithful Jerusalem the Lord says in Ezekiel 16:49, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.” The Hebrew for “careless” is shalvah. It is defined as “security (genuine or false), quietness, ease, prosperity.” Their worldly riches produced a false sense of security, as well as much vice. This aptly describes present day America.
1 Timothy 4:14-16- Paul exhorts young Timothy to not neglect the gift given to him. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He was to attend to it carefully, “persevering in these things.” How important is it for Christians to persevere and be “doers” of the word? If not obeyed it will affect your salvation as well as everyone who hears you!
14 Do not neglect (272) the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.
15 Take pains (3191) with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all.
16 Pay close attention (1907) to yourself and to your teaching; persevere (1961- to abide, to tarry, to continue, to remain”) in these things; for as you do (4160- our “do” word again; see Acts 13:21-22 above) this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
3191 meletao (mel-et-ah'-o)
from a presumed derivative of 3199; to take care of, i.e. (by implication) revolve in the mind:
KJV-- imagine, (pre-) meditate.
1) to care for, to attend to carefully, to practice
2) to meditate that is, to devise, to contrive
used of the Greeks of the meditative pondering and the practice of orators and rhetoricians
1907 epecho (ep-ekh'-o)
from 1909 and 2192; to hold upon, i.e. (by implication) to retain; (by extension) to detain; (with implication of 3563) to pay attention to:
KJV-- give (take) heed unto, hold forth, mark, stay.
1) to have or to hold upon, to apply, to observe, to attend to, to give attention to
2) to hold toward, to hold forth, to present
3) to check, to delay, to stop, to stay
Philippians 2:12-13- “Working” out our salvation with fear and trembling.
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out  your salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who is at work [1754- “active, efficient, to be operative, be at work, to put forth power”] in you, both to will and to work  for His good pleasure.
2716 katergazomai (kat-er-gad'-zom-ahee)
from 2596 and 2038; do work fully, i.e. accomplish; by implication, to finish, fashion:
KJV-- cause, to (deed), perform, work (out).
1) to perform, to accomplish, to achieve
2) to work out, that is, to do that from which something results;
used of things: to bring about, to result in
3) to fashion, that is, to render one fit for a thing
This is our charge, our function, our spiritual obligation (see Zechariah 3:7 above) before the Lord. You see within this passage our charge to work together with Him, not receiving the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1). Through the power of the Holy Spirit ( in verse 13), the Lord is in the process of bringing our spirit into submission to His will. This is the process of sanctification. (See the Bible study Consecration).
To “work out” means to “do work fully, to finish, to fashion.” Again, completion of salvation implies a “doing” on our end, with fear and trembling! (See Hebrews 4:1, 12:28-29; Romans 11:20-21, 1 Peter 1:17-19, 2 Corinthians 7:1, and Exodus 20:20 for more on fearing God.) This is a “guarded” heart that daily walks in repentance. It’s not a one time shot. Repentance is a continuous state that allows the Holy Spirit to finish, to bring to completion that which he began. We have the promise of Him bringing to completion that which He began (Philippians 1:6), but as Israel learned, the promise alone without obedience on their end wasn’t enough to bring them into the Promised Land.
Jonah 2:8 says “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (NIV). The Hebrew for “cling” is shamar  (the same word in Zechariah 3:7 above) which means “to keep, to guard, to protect, attend to.” By guarding the idols in our heart through resistance to the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit (the cleansing of His temple, our body), we say no to His power within us, grieving Him, that is there to conform us into His image. This is what it means to “receive the grace of God in vain.”
Paul speaks in 2 Timothy 3 about the condition of people’s hearts in the last days. One of his descriptions is that they will have a form of religion that denies the power of God within them. They are denying, saying no, to the Lord’s salvation through His Spirit. This is the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).
David prayed in Psalms 19:13, “Keep your servant also from willful [2086- “arrogant, proud, insolent, presumptuous”] sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression” (NIV). The Hebrew for “blameless” is tamam. It is defined as “to be complete, to be finished, to perfect.” When we allow sin to rule over us AFTER turning to Christ, we hinder the work of the Holy Spirit, denying His power to save us from our sins. In this state of rebellion salvation is NEVER brought to completion.
In Luke 14:27-30 Jesus informed the large crowds going along with Him what it would cost them to continue following Him. He said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” The cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ becomes too great for some, causing them to walk away. The building of God’s temple within them through the work of daily salvation is carelessly, and foolishly, left unfinished.
In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul exhorts us to be careful how we build upon the only sure foundation, which is Jesus Christ. He states that fire will test the quality of our work. In Luke 6:46-49 Jesus said the one who calls Him Lord, and then does not “do” [4160 again] what He says is like the man who builds a house upon the ground without any foundation. His carelessness to put into practice what the Lord instructed him to do will cause his house to collapse when the floods come against it. The Lord said it’s “fall” will be great. This is the great falling away from the faith described in 2 Thessalonians 2. The floods of God’s judgment that are about to be poured out upon the entire earth will reveal how each Christian has built; upon the solid rock of obedience to Jesus Christ, or the unstable ground of neglect and disrespect.
Hebrews 10:26-31- The devastating consequences of willful sin AFTER receiving Christ.
26 For if we go on sinning willfully  after receiving [“to take, to make one’s own”] the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has set aside [114- “to do away with, to disregard, to nullify, to make void, to reject”] the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot  the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean [2839- “common, ordinary”] the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people."
31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
1596 hekousios (hek-oo-see'-ose)
adverb from the same as 1595; voluntarily:
KJV-- wilfully, willingly.
voluntarily, willingly, of one's own accord;
to sin willfully as opposed to sins committed inconsiderately, and from ignorance or from weakness
2662 katapateo (kat-ap-at-eh'-o)
from 2596 and 3961; to trample down; figuratively, to reject with disdain:
KJV-- trample, tread (down, underfoot).
1) to tread down, to trample underfoot, to trample on
2) metaphorically, to treat with rudeness and insult,
to spurn, to treat with insulting neglect
This is a truth that will help us to become “holy as He is holy.” Willful sin AFTER receiving (which means “to take, to make one’s own”) the truth, or becoming a Christian, makes the sacrifice of Christ null and void in your life. The fear of the Lord (a New Testament principle) is to keep us from sinning. Due to the false teachings accepted as truth within the majority of Christianity, many no longer have the proper fear and respect of God and His salvation. Their blood will be on their deceived shepherd’s hands.
The writer of Hebrews STRONGLY warns Christians, those who received Christ’s sacrifice for themselves, not to “trample under foot” Jesus through their attitude toward the covenant in His blood. To “trample under foot” means “to treat with rudeness and insult, to spurn, to treat with insulting neglect.” In doing so they insult God’s Spirit of grace toward them.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, to insult someone is to treat or speak to them with scorn, insolence, or great disrespect. It’s also defined as to attack, and to behave arrogantly. Arrogance and disrespect towards the Lord will remove you from your “place” in Him (John 15:1-6).
Using the Israelites who were “saved” from Egypt and then destroyed for unbelief, and angels who exceeded their boundaries and lost their place in heaven, Jude 1:4 warns Christians not to turn the grace of God into a license for immorality (excess), and deny [720- “to contradict, to reject, to refuse something offered”] Jesus Christ as their Lord. Once again, this is the spirit of antichrist.
According to verse 36 in this passage from Hebrews, the only way to receive the salvation that has been promised to us from God (entering the “Promised Land”) is to “do”  His will. The picture of Eve as the future bride of Christ has been strongly impressed upon me as the Lord takes me through this study. She is the one removed from mankind (“Adam”) in a crude and shapeless form who allows the Lord to make, fashion, and form her  into what He desires so that, like Eve, He may re-present her back to mankind as His obedient bride, His faithful helpmate on earth. Wow…