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.
Main point summary
Is your faith real? If so, it will be evidenced by practical holiness and charitable attitudes and actions, and by a controlled tongue. If these are lacking, you're only fooling yourself; your faith is empty.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If there is someone who considers [and claims] himself to be devout,
q and does not bridle his tongue
and yet fails to control or use discretion in the way he talks, regularly using it for sinful, negative, and destructive purposes,
but deceives his heart,
such that he makes himself wrongly believe that he actually is devout,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then the religious duties and observances such a person is carrying out are empty and accomplish nothing.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
O n the other hand , true piety and devoutness---that which is holy and blameless and sincere---in the sight of God looks like this in practice:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
It looks after the cares and concerns and needs of orphans and widows (those who typically need help and can offer nothing in return for it),
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
moreover, it does not allow the world to corrupt its morals or destroy its testimony.
Practical holiness and charitable attitudes and actions are the sure result of true saving faith in Christ Jesus. They do not earn one's salvation, nor do they enhance one's standing with God. They will be outward evidence of the inward reality of the Holy Spirit living within the true child of God.
One key sign of the indwelling Spirit of God within a child of God is the a positive change in the use of the tongue.