True Religion
God does not want a people who do religious things but whose hearts and lives remain unchanged.
Published November 22nd, 2018
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True religion or complete deception?
James 1:26-27
Main point summary
An Old Testament Case Study
Isaiah 1:10-17
True religion or complete deception?
When we can check off the items on our lists of religious activity , we may feel good about ourselves and our standing with God. But are we deceived? If our checklist consists of church gatherings attended and Bible passages read, but does not include humility and love toward God and man, then we are, in fact, miserably deceived. God our Father has redeemed a people to model his heart for their pleasure and his glory. He does not desire that we participate in a weekly prayer meeting but speak harshly to our family. He does not desire that we read the Bible regularly but remain unchanged in how we live.
James 1:26-27
James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious
Si alguno se cree religioso,
If anyone thinks he is pious/righteous,
q and does not bridle his tongue
pero no refrena su lengua a ,
and doesn't hold his tongue in check,
but deceives his heart,
sino que engaña a su propio corazón,
but instead blinds himself [to his sin],
this person’s r religion is worthless.
la religión del tal es vana.
then his religion is worth nothing.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
La religión pura y sin mácula delante de nuestro Dios y Padre a es ésta:
On the contrary, in the eyes of God the Father, pure and unblemished religion [that is worthwhile] is this:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
visitar b a los huérfanos c y a las viudas en sus aflicciones 1 ,
visiting those in suffering, particularly the orphans and widows,
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
y guardarse sin mancha del mundo d .
and also keeping oneself un-corrupted by the evil influences around him.
Main point summary
True religion will have an effect on your heart and your behavior.
An Old Testament Case Study
You can see this expression of God's heart clearly in what he says to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah. The people were dutifully fulfilling their religious checklists, but God was displeased, to say the least.
Isaiah 1:10-17 ESV
Isaiah 1:10-17
10 Hear the word of the Lord , you rulers of y z Sodom! Give ear to the teaching 1 of our God, you people of z Gomorrah! 11 a “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord ; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 12 “When you come to b appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? 13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. c New moon and Sabbath and the d calling of convocations— I cannot endure e iniquity and f solemn assembly. 14 Your c new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you g spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; h even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; i your hands are full of blood. 16 j Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; k cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; l seek justice, correct oppression; m bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
Oh Lord, forgive us for participating in Christian disciplines while our hearts were far from you. Save us from the deception of religious performance and into the joy of walking with you. May we be a people that care for the least of these as you do. May we stand in the gap for the oppressed and destitute, as our Mediator did for us. May our hands get dirty doing the work of the Kingdom but our hearts stay unstained from the evil ways of this fleeting world.
I love this. Thanks for uploading this. Our hearts,minds,and soul needs to be the ultimate worship when it comes to our love for Christ.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.