Main point summary
If one thinks he is religious and is blatantly disobedient to the Word of God, then he has deceived himself and his faith is false. Alternatively, genuine saving faith will produce actions/works and obedience that are in accordance with the Word of God.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If one thinks he is religious
q and does not bridle his tongue
And does not control his tongue [thus being disobedient to the Word of God]
but deceives his heart,
but rather fools himself into thinking he is right with God.
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then his faith is a false faith and is not glorifying to God (and therefore worthless).
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God,
Religion that is pure (by His grace) and genuine before God
the Father, is this:
that is the Creator, the Father of lights is this:
s to visit t orphans
by meeting the needs of the orphans (the fatherless)
and also meeting the needs of the widows
in their affliction,
because they are suffering and oppressed
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
Moreover keeping by keep oneself set apart or unblemished from the world.
This God, created the universe, is the giver of every good gift, and has given us his soul-saving Word- He calls himself our Father. This language makes me desire to practice a religion that is pure and undefiled in this God's eyes.
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Ps 34:13
I waiver between Ac/Mn and Id/Exp on this. I read "Religion" as a noun, which makes idea-explanation seem more appropriate, but the explanation portion screams "manner." I'm not sure what to do with this.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36
Our salvation does not depend on our willingness to serve the needy; unsaved people can serve the poor too. However, God has revealed himself in Scripture to be a God of love, compassion, mercy etc. Jesus himself identified with the poor and oppressed. Throughout the Gospel accounts we read of him healing the sick, feeding the hungry, etc. If caring for the fatherless, widows, and oppressed were that of the heart of God, then one should expect it to be the heart of the believer too. Thank you, God, for your Word; for teaching us what pure and undefiled walk with you looks like. And thank you for not leaving us to ourselves to make that walk. I'm forever grateful that it is by grace we are saved, not by works. Please use me as a vessel to accomplish your will and your work as you see fit. - Amen.