Main point summary
If you assume your piety is fruitful and and do not guard your speech, nevertheless you deceive your heart, then your religion is false. On the other hand God's standard of true piety is measured by means of unselfishly caring for others in great need and to keep oneself from the unrighteousness of the world.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If you think that your rituals and ceremonies are of spiritual value
q and does not bridle his tongue
and do not carefully watch over your speech
but deceives his heart,
nevertheless, you deceive your heart,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then your religious piety is unfruitful.
Religion that is pure
On the other hand, true piety is clean
and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
and unstained unto God, who is our Father, and will reflect in our lives:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
by means of unselfish displayed compassion [taking responsibility] for the fatherless and widows in their distress,
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and to pursue righteousness [by submitting to the word of truth] keeping yourself from conforming to the desires of this world.
James 1:26-27 As James brings the first chapter of his epistle to a close, he reminds us yet again of 3 major points that have flowed throughout this chapter. 1) We have no righteousness outside of Christ, or as he puts it, turning to the "the word of truth", "law of liberty", God's righteousness ways as our standard. (James 1: 5, 10-11, 14, 20-22,24,26) 2) God's standards for righteous living are given to us a litmus test of our genuineness [it exposes our sinfulness]. (James 1: 2-5, 9, 12, 17-18, 25, 27) 3) God's desire for us to live in light of his righteous standard by being a "doer" and not only a "hearer". (James 1: 3-4, 12,19-20, 23-25, 27) Other supporting scripture: 1) There is no righteousness of our own. Romans 3:10-18 Isaiah 53:6 Titus 3:5 1 Peter 1:18-19 2) God is the author and standard of what is righteous. Leviticus 19:2 Matthew 5:48 John 13:34-35 3) God desires for us to live holy, and as "doers" of his righteous decrees. Jeremiah 7:6-7 Joshua 1:8 Matthew 12:33-36 1 John 2:15-16