Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves.
How should we hear the gospel when it is preached? God gives us some excellent instruction on how to hear the Word in the book of James (James 1: 17-22).
"Let every man be swift to hear." Since the preaching of the gospel is the means God ordained to call out the sheep, to give us life in Christ, to comfort and feed the sheep, let us grasp every opportunity to hear the Word (Proverbs 8:32-36).
2. HEAR THE WORD QUIETLY!
"Slow to speak, slow to wrath." No one has ever learned any thing by talking. Don't hear the Word with a critical spirit, but rather with an open heart and a closed mouth asking the Lord for understanding (Eccl. 5:1-2).
3. HEAR THE WORD ATTENTIVELY!
"Lay apart all filthiness." Lay aside that which would hinder and keep you from hearing the gospel; pride, self righteousness and all fleshly appetites that would distract your attention. "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them" (I Tim. 4:15).
4. HEAR THE WORD REVERENTLY!
"Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul." Hear it as the Word of God and humbly receive it as God's truth which is able to set us free in Christ Jesus (John 8:32).
5. HEAR THE WORD OBEDIENTLY!
"Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." The Word of God is to be heard, believed and obeyed "Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever command you" (John 15:14).
My encouragement to all of us is to hear the Word, believe it, receive it, rejoice in it, respond to it, and to obey it. May God be pleased to give us needed grace to hear Him speak.