Pure Religion
James 1:26-27
If you are listening to God's word and living it out, then it will be changing your life!
Published August 3rd, 2017
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Main point summary:
The Arc:
Reflective thoughts:
Main point summary:
Test yourself - pure religion bears tangible, spiritual fruit.
The Arc:
James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious
If anyone thinks he is religious
q and does not bridle his tongue
and does not control his mouth
but deceives his heart,
but instead deceives himself,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then this person's religion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
Instead religion that is worth much before God, the Father, is this:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
First , to care for the outcasts and weak in their needs,
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and second , to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 3:2 - "If anyone does not stumble in what he says, then he is a perfect man, even able also to bridle his whole body." The tongue is the most difficult member of the body to control - if a person can control their tongue, then they can control any other member. James 3:8 - "no human being can tame the tongue. For it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." However, no person can, in their own strength, control their tongue. It is more wild than any wild animal, and so, beyond our ability to tame. James 1:26 - Yet, if we do not bridle our tongue then our religion is worthless. For our religion to be worth anything, we need to be able to control our tongue. We need to do something that we cannot do. What is James getting at? In the previous verses, James has been presenting to us the power of God's word. Verse 18 - God's word created us to be the first fruits of his creatures. Verse 21 - God's word is ABLE to save our soul Verse 25 - If God's word is obeyed than we will be blessed in doing it Therefore, James point is that if you are hearing God's word (v.21) and doing it (v.22), then it will be changing your life. Amazing, supernatural changes will be evident. Even your tongue will be bridled! You will be caring for the poor and afflicted, rather than just showing respect to the rich (2:1-7). And you will be keeping yourself undefiled from the world, instead of committing adultery with it (4:1-10). James 1:26-27 functions as a test for Christians to see if they are simply hearers of the word, who are deceiving themselves, or if they are hearers and doers of the word, who are bearing the fruit of the Spirit. No fruit means no faith - for faith without works is dead (2:17).
Reflective thoughts:
Do you pass this test? Can you see supernatural, spiritual fruit in your life? If you can't then you need to seriously consider if you are deceiving yourself. Your religion might be worthless. But if you can see fruit in your life then you need to praise God! This is His supernatural work in you. You cannot produce this fruit on your own, so you know that it is the Holy Spirit using His word to work change in you. Don't you want more of this fruit in your life. If you do, then you need to prayerfully be hearing God's word and living it out. You can begin by guarding your tongue, caring for the outcasts and weak ones that God has placed in your life, and by keeping yourself unstained from the world.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.