If anyone thinks he is religious
If anyone fancies himself as being religious (a Christian)
q and does not bridle his tongue
yet indulges in gossip, lies and other sins of the tongue...
but deceives his heart,
he is only fooling himself,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
in fact, this person is not a Christian as he does not obey the Word. There is no evidence.
Religion that is pure
Pure religion-that is, without corruption--or sin
and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
and is clean and unsullied and honors God is evidenced by
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
showing God's love by loving and wanting to take care of those who are in need such as orphans and widows
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and to remain pure in thought, word and deed---remaining obedient to the Word--thus bringing honor to God.
I think that we have to look at this text in light of the whole chapter of James 1. What is the main message of the entire chapter? How does these verses fit into the whole of the chapter?
These verses concern themselves with people who possibly really think that they are saved and do all the things a Christian should do such as attend church, help at church activities, however once he walked away from church he reverted back to his sinful self with his foul language and possibly gossip or slander.
This person really believes that he is a Christian but has not been regenerated. His is not a changed person. The evidences of a loose tongue show that he does not live according to the word
A true Christian's behavior does not change once he leaves the church. He behaves in a manner that is pure in motive and doesn't dishonor God with crude talk or actions but his actions are evident of his changed heart.
A truly regenerated man loves the orphans and widows even as God commanded in the old testament and wants to take care of them in their demise and he also keeps himself from getting influenced with the culture around him'
Main point summary
A man's religion is phony who does not control his tongue and he it is deceiving himself, however a man who has a generous and loving heart and who keeps himself pure honors God and his religion is ginuine.
The theme of James1 seems to be: Be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. These two verses illustrate the lives of two different people who attend church and hear the word. Let's take a look at the first person James talks about in these verses. This person goes to church regularly, even participates in church activities and might read a devotional or a scripture. He might even participate in a Bible study but never really "gets" it. He is only fooling himself with his actvity. He has never really been regenerated. But he truely believes he is a Christian. However, once he is away from his spiritual world, he resumes his life as a carnal Christain and does not bridle his tongue and uses foul language or gossips about this person or that even to the point of slander. There is no evidence that he listens and does the word of God. Now lets take a look at what is said about a person who is regenerated and how he behaves. He has a love in his heart for those less fortunate than he is, the orphans, widows and homeless people for example. He has a genuine desire to help these people, either monitarily or physically, by providing shelter, clothing and food as well as fellowship. I believe his desire would be to tell them about the love of Jesus. (Deut 10:18; Isa 1:17; Jer 5:7-9) James exhorts us to not get swayed away from Christianity by the culture. We need to know what the word says so we can decern what is good and what is not, so we do not get entangled with the world. We need to remain unstained by the world. (Ex 12:5; 1 Peter 1:19)
26 If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.