James 1:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 1:25, NIV: "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."

James 1:25, ESV: "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."

James 1:25, KJV: "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."

James 1:25, NASB: "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."

James 1:25, NLT: "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."

James 1:25, CSB: "But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works--this person will be blessed in what he does."

What does James 1:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous two verses, James made a useful analogy. He compared someone who hears God's Word, but doesn't do what it says, to a man who forgets his own face immediately after looking into a mirror. Both ideas should seem ridiculous to us. Why look, if you're not going to act on what you see? Why look, if you aren't going to remember what you just saw?

Here, James explains how believers ought to handle their study of the Word of God. Christians should look intently into the perfect law, the law that gives freedom. When they routinely do that and obey what they see there, they will be blessed in what they do.

When James uses the word "law," he is not likely talking about the Law of Moses. James was one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem and was likely writing to a very Jewish audience who knew all about that Law. More importantly, though, he was writing to Christians about what it means to live out our faith in Christ.

James is not calling believers to see legalistic rule-following as the path to being blessed. He is writing to people who believe that Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses by obeying it perfectly Himself. In Christ, the Word has been planted in us (James 1:21). That's the Word we hear and obey because we trust our Father. That Word is the perfect law, the law of the love of Christ, which brings freedom.

We will be blessed in what we do, this verse promises, as we look intently into that law and obey it.