Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. ~James 1:27
When shopping in a foreign country, you always want to be careful that the brand you are considering is real and not a knock-off brand. A knock-off brand has the appearance of being real, but beneath the surface, it is fake. This is like the difference between a real Christian and a hypocritical Christian. Hypocrisy is pretending to be someone or something that you are not. The original idea of the word means "to be a play actor." To live in hypocrisy is to live in self-deceit. This morning, let us see what it means to have pure religion.
There is the concept.
Religion refers to the persuasion of a devotion and worship to a deity or form of belief. For Christians, we worship the Lord our God. Our religion is centered first on the need of a complete faith in the shed blood, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins. It is faith alone in Christ that saves a sinner from his sins and places him into the family of God. Once this first step is accomplished, the expression of our faith is exercised through a worship and walk with the Lord.
There is the contamination.
James speaks of “pure religion and undefiled.” Our devotion to God and worship of God is defiled when we live with unconfessed sin and in denial of our disobedience to God. Pretending to be religious or spiritual is hypocrisy in action. Hearing the Word of God and not being obedient to what we hear defiles us. An uncontrolled and critical tongue contaminates our spirituality. It shows how “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
There is the correction.
Pure religion and undefiled demands that we are truthful about who we are and what we are doing. It is not looking at the sins and faults of others but on our sins and faults. It is realizing that we are accountable to God, Who is our Father and Creator. It is humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God and making full confession of our sins of pride, hypocrisy, and disobedience. It must be an action that we do daily and frequently.
There is the compassion.
Pure religion cares about people. James said that we are to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” It is to care for others in their disadvantage and loss. It is to put the needs of the hurting before your own needs. It is bringing a meal to someone who has not eaten for a long period of time. It is putting your arm around a person who has suffered the loss of a loved one. It is helping to lift someone who has fallen on their face and feels like there is no way up. Pure religion is compassionate and cares about the needs of others.
There is the consecration.
James said that we are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. We are not to allow ourselves to get so close to the world in its thinking, its pursuits, and its entertainment that it morphs us into becoming like it! It is like wearing a clean, white shirt and being careful not to get food stains on it when you are eating. It is guarding your soul from the spotting of the world’s mud. It is putting barriers around our heart and thoughts so that we are undefiled.
Pure religion is real religion! It is a spiritual life that is not fake but genuine! What do others say about your religion? Is it devoted or defiled? Is it pure, or is it polluted?
Have a holy God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 16-18
#James #Genuineness #Holiness #Hypocrisy #Religion #Spirituality