What is true religion? Serving those who are in need of assistance, those who are overlooked, those who oppressed, and those who are distressed. True religion is also keeping ourselves in purity, walking in holiness before God. We're to represent the heart of God, allowing the fruit of the Spirit to move us to obedience to "Love God with all our heart and to love others". We love God by obeying Him, believing in his promise of satisfying our hearts and rejecting the promise of sin to satisfy us. We love God and in turn love orphans, widows, and others in their affliction by giving support, resources, a listening ear, and encouraging conversation. These actions are pure, holy, good, uncontaminated works as we represent God's love by our works of faith and labor of love. Why do we do this? Because God has done this for us through His Son Jesus Christ. When we were afflicted, God the Father sent Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus kept himself pure and sinless, He served us, His speech full of grace and truth so that we would experience His generosity and be comforted in our affliction. What we have experienced, we give to others freely as we have freely received from God, but we must listen to James warning and not be fooled. We can perform countless humanitarian acts but if we don't control our tongue it's worthless. Our speech and our service must represent God and not in complete contrast to the faith we proclaim. We are pure and undefiled before God by serving and controlling our tongue.
Main point summary
True religion is shown by controlling our tongue, serving others and living pure before God in a contaminated worldly culture.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If anyone believes he's religious or has faith in Christ
q and does not bridle his tongue
and doesn't control his tongue from ungodly speech.
but deceives his heart,
this person is fooling themselves
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then this person's outward devotion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
on the other hand, outward devotion of our faith in Christ that is approved before God is pure and undefiled
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
this person is to visit orphans and visits widows who are in distress and to keep yourself from trusting in the promises of sin and being conformed to worldly standards. It's important to maintain our personal purity.
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
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