Key Verse: Verse 27 - "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."
Key Words: Pure religion
James says pure religion is clean and undefiled. It is more than sitting through a church service. It is a service for God that involves two things.
First, we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction. Now, we define “visit” a lot differently than God does. The word “visit” carries the idea of going to those who are fatherless and a widow with the idea of helping to relieve them of their affliction.
Secondly, pure religion is keeping oneself unspotted (unstained) from the world.
The 19th – century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard identified two kinds of religion – Religion A and Religion B. The first is “faith” in name only (II Timothy 3:5). It’s the practice of attending church without genuine faith in the living Lord.
Religion B, on the other hand, is a life-transforming, destiny-changing experience. It’s a definite commitment to the crucified and risen Savior, which establishes an ongoing personal relationship between a forgiven sinner and a gracious God.
This difference explains why for many years British author C. S. Lewis had such great difficulty in becoming a Christian. Religion A had blinded him to Religion B. According to his brother, Warren, his conversion was “no sudden plunge into new life, but rather a slow, steady convalescence from a deep-seated spiritual illness – an illness that had its origins in our childhood, in the dry husks of religious church-goers, but not doers of the Word of God. People went to church out of duty but not out of desire. There was no zeal or love for God, no service for God in their lives.”
C. S. Lewis had to overcome impure religion in order to be saved. So I ask you: is your religion pure or impure? You can tell by what you do and why you do it.
What to do:
✞ Ask God to help your religion to be pure.
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