What True Religion is like
Published September 10th, 2020
Main point summary
Pure religion in the sight of God the Father is caring for the oppressed and keeping yourself unstained by the word.
If someone thinks he is religious
yet does not bridle his tongue,
and so deceives his heart,
his religion is futile.
Pure and undefiled religion before 31 God the Father 32 is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
How can we say that something is true? If you are a consumer, you want know first if what the product claimed to be true is really true. We look for reviews, or even ask others who tried it to make sure that we're not going to waste our money on it. If you are on court hearing, in order to prove a person guilty they need a strong evidence that would show that such person is guilty of the crime. In short, we want evidence. People want evidence. People want something that can prove the genuineness of something or someone. Here in James 1:26-27, James is talking about 2 kinds of person. First is the person who claims to be religious but his actions says otherwise, and the other is a person who shows the genuineness of his religion through his actions Contrast of two religions: Religion that is worthless: - Verse 26 is an example of what James is telling us in verses 22-24. Does not bridle his tongue (v.26b) - In v.21 we are told to be quick to listen to and receive the word and to be slow to speak. -A person who is slow to speak is able to bridle his tongue. -A person who does not bridle his tongue is the opposite of a person who is slow to speak. Hence, such person is not a doer of the word of God. He is quick to speak and does not listen and receives the word that is able to save his soul. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45). The mouth reveals the truth about our hearts. But deceives his heart (v.26c) - In v. 22-24, we are told how the hearers of the word only, deceives himself. Such person is compared to a person who looks in the mirror (reads and knows the word of God) and then goes away and forgets what he looks like (after reading, he forgets what he had just read and does not apply the word of God in his life.) - He deceives himself by living as if the word of God has not told him to do something. 2. Religion that is pure and undefiled in the sight of God: Visits the orphan and cares for the widows in their afflictions -In v. 18, we are told that we are saved by God by the word of truth that we should be a kind of firsfruit of his creatures. (James 1:18) - We are able to care for them because we love them. When God changed our hearts, He gave us a heart that feels. A heart that cares for the oppressed, a heart that is capable of thinking about others first than himself. - Same message applies in Paul's epistle when he told the Ephesian believer that we are God's workmanship created for good works. (Ephesians 2:10) So then, we can say that this characteristic naturally flows from those whose hearts are changed by God. Keep oneself unstained from the world - Only those whose hearts are changed have this kind of mentality. - We've been told in the scriptures that we are to keep ourselves and our conduct holy for the one who called us is holy.(1 Peter 1:14-16) - We are told to abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22) So with all these definitions, we can conclude that all of this works/actions are just manifestations of what's truly in their hearts. All of these actions serves as an evidence of what we can't see, namely our religion.