The Religion God Approves

We are continuing our studies in James tonight. Last week we saw how important it is for us to continually look into the mirror of the Word, the perfect law of liberty – that which brought our salvation and go forward doing the work of God for our blessing.

Today we want to see James 1:25-26. What a great passage of the word. I like how these verses begin … if you seem to be religious … a worker of righteous work, not a person with a religious facade, or with just words. Not just with a form 2 Tim 3:5 – but if you believe you are (Spanish – cree) then some things will be evident:

First, it is about WORDS. It is about bridling or controlling the tongue. In Spanish it says refraining the tongue. In studies further along we will cover this more in depth but to touch on it look to James 3:5-6. It is little. It is deadly. It is like a fire. It is powerful. Just to name a few things. But we also read that it is uncontrollable. So what are we to do. The key and truth is in the text. Your tongue and mine are connected to our heart. Did you know that? We should. Luke 6:45. You cannot control it without a changed heart. This means God has to control it. So be careful what you say, how you say it, etc – it will show right away if you are truly religious or not. You will judge your own “religion” by what you say. It actually says it is “vain”. Your Christianity is vanity depending on this. Words are important. Proverbs 25:11 and so much more. But to move along we show if our religion is worthwhile by our works.

Secondly, it is about WORKS. “Pure religion and undefiled” Pure our religion should be FIRST positive. Doing the right thing. Then we read “undefiled” (Spanish – not spotty). Lot of spotty religion about. Pure speaks to the issue as to whether our religion is positive ie. In line with the Word of God. Accomplishing things for God’s glory and the blessing to others. “Undefiled” is the negative side. There are some religious who absolutely destroy. False doctrine. (Series about the popes- wickedness) The crusades. So much evil done in the name of religion. Oh we could go on and on here. But we must work our religion positively and compassionately. Some peoples religion is just neutral. Does nothing. But in our text we see this – “to visit the fatherless and widows”. This touches me deeply. Our orphans. Our widows. Haiti. Guatemala. Mexico. This is important to God. Exodus 22:22; Isa 65:8 – like our Father. Helping the most needy who cannot reciprocate. True sacrificial Christian love. True Religion is true work.

Thirdly, it is about WATCHING. Velar “To keep unspotted from the world. We have to keep watch. This will effect the other two areas we mentioned. Our words and or work. Jesus said – Luke 21:36; Mark 13:33-37 X 4 Watch and Pray. Watch for times. We are told what to watch for in our text: the world. James 4:4; 1 John 2:15; 1 Pet 1:19
If we are not careful we will only “SEEM’ to be religious. Is that what your goal is. To seem, to have a form? We need the power of God in our lives and we need to let the Holy Spirit control our lives to have the right, worthwhile religion. The time is getting close. We will stand before God. Keep yourself unspotted. Have a worthwhile religion.

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