Main point summary
Bridle your tongue, because if you don't it will render your religion worthless.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If anyone thinks he is religious
q and does not bridle his tongue
and yet doesn't bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart,
and therefore deceives his heart,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then this person's religion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
Because religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
that is, to visit and serve orphans and widows in their affliction,
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and also to keep oneself unstained from the world
Some devotional thoughts: The heart, and the bridling of the tongue: In this passage we are shown a key part to pure religion: the controlled tongue. As we see in the passage, the controlled tongue plays a decisive role in whether your religion is worthless or not. Therefore, we should pay close attention to the bridling of the tongue. I believe scripture shows us that the controlled tongue is the result or product of something else: a heart set on Christ and the things that are above. The reason I say this is because of Matthew 15:18a: " But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart..." A heart and mind set on Christ and the things that are above (Colossians 3:1-2) won't result with a mouth overflowing with evilness, but instead a mouth overflowing with God-glorifying words. How do we set our hearts and minds on Christ? we treasure him ( Luke 12:34 ) through his word, and through prayer. Submitting your tongue: The final step to a controlled tongue is to, through prayer, submit your tongue to God. Not to say that God isn't in control of your tongue, because no matter if you willingly submit it or not, God is still in-control. But in the offering of your tongue to God, you are offering more than that, you are offering your whole being, not just your body (James 3:3) but also your heart ( Matthew 15:18 ). Pure religion: Other than the controlled tongue, Scripture also shows us that pure religion involves serving orphans and widows ( verses: 27a-27b) , and this comes from the joy overflowing from our hearts (Luke 6:45). Therefore when your heart bursts with the eternal joy within you, it shows itself in the selfless act of loving and caring for the needy and helpless. In these acts of kindness it shows that your heart posture is on the right course. Being unstained from the world: Finally, to be unstained from the world we need to be separated from the sin that covers it. Therefore, instead of seeking sin, our hearts and minds need be set on Christ ( Colossians 3:1 ). Sin cannot be spewing from our mouths, but instead we need to be constantly speaking in a way that glorifies God. We should be selflessly serving those who need help with joy. In and through these God-glorifying actions we are stepping, straining for sanctification that only comes through Christ. We are pushing against the "rip-current" of the world that tries to pull us out into the ocean of sin to drown us. Through these things we are showing our heart posture: we aren't set on sin; we are set on Jesus Christ. Application: Fellow Christians, strain, strain with all your might for a pure religion: your religion depends on it; furthermore your life depends on it. Set your heart and mind on Christ and the things that are above, because if you are controlled by sin then you will be led to Hell. Therefore, submit your tongue, your heart, your entire being to Jesus Christ, for he will lead you faithfully to heaven, and beyond into eternity. Don't take pleasure or joy in a lie, instead take pleasure in Christ, an eternal joy . Serve those in affliction with joy, the joy that is overflowing from the eternal joy within you. Do this for the glorification of God. Having Jesus as our treasure (our only treasure) is the reason why having a bridled tongue, serving those in affliction with joy, and being unstained from the world is possible. When we seek Jesus, and he is our treasure (Colossians 3:1-2) then pure religion will flourish. Religion that is unstained by sin: 1. Setting your heart and mind on Christ and the things that are above by treasuring him ( Colossians 3:1 ) ( Luke 13:34 ). 2. submitting your tongue to God. 3. Out of the overflow of your heart, serve those in affliction.
18 But a what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart , and this defiles a person.
Put On the New Self 3 1 b If then you have been raised with Christ, seek c the things that are above, where Christ is, d seated at the right hand of God .
3 If we put g bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well .
4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs .
45 t The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good , and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces u evil, v for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks .
38 Whoever believes in me , b as 1 the Scripture has said, c ‘ Out of his heart will flow rivers of d living water .’”
34 z For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also .