Talk is cheap; pure religion is costly.
Published March 19th, 2018
Main point summary
To rightly relate to God, let your religion be evident in acts of service and sanctity, rather than talk.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If anyone believes himself to be rightly relating to God...
q and does not bridle his tongue
...and does not control his tongue...
but deceives his heart,
...but instead deceives his own heart [puffing himself up with wrong ideas of his degree of sanctity]
this person’s r religion is worthless.
This one is not related rightly to God; his pious acts in all other areas are for naught.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
Rather [by contrast] religion that IS pure and rightly related to God is defined by actions, such as...
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
... 1) giving aid to widows and orphans [the poor, despised and shunned of ancient society]...
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and 2) keep oneself unstained from the world.
What does “unstained” mean here? Does it relate back to the tongue? Or to “pure” and “undefined”?
Most talk is cheap and (for most) easy; acts of service and the disciplines that are necessary to resist the temptations of the world are costly and (for most) difficult. Jesus’ death for us cost God everything. Our religion (our right relation to God) was both expensive and difficult for Him, and He is our role model. Pure religion is costly (and usually quiet), but sweet.