Hey! Are you a religious person? Prove it!
Published June 1st, 2017; Updated June 1st, 2017
Main point summary
James reminds his readers that to claim to be "religious" but to fail to act in accordance with that religion is "worthless". Instead, religion that is true and pure should result in holiness in commission and omission.
Do you think you're a religious person? Do you think that you stand rightly before God? Do you consider your religion pure and holy? These are all questions that we should ponder from James' exhortation to us in James 1:26-27. But how can we know the answer to these questions? James gives us an answer - your walk must match your talk. If you claim any of the above but your "walk" is inconsistent with that talk then it may be you're not as religious as you'd first thought. However, the converse is also true! Do you actions, deeds and love demonstrate that your belief is real? If so, then take comfort in knowing that he has created, in you, a new heart - a heart inclined to visit orphans and widows and to keep itself pure and holy, separated from the defilement of this present age.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If someone thinks to himself, "I am very religious"
q and does not bridle his tongue
[but] does not control what he says
but deceives his heart,
[or] lies to himself
this person’s r religion is worthless.
[then] this person's "religion" is not true; it is not worth anything.
Religion that is pure
True religion; religion that isn't defiled
and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
[and] religion that is not corrupted in the sight of God
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
[is this] : to care for the needy
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
[and] to be untainted by this world's sin