Summary: We can have religion but no religiosity. Know what true religion that pleases God.
TOPIC: ACCURATE LIFE (PART 3)
(6th of a Series in the Book of James – A Life That Make a Difference Series)
Text: James 1:26-27
“26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
(ILL. First, Look in the Mirror - A man prayed complainingly to Almighty God about a neighbor, saying, "O Lord, take away this wicked person." And God said, "Which?") Our text for today is still in the context of listening and doing, hearing and doing, knowing and acting, learning and applying. Last two Sundays we learn about how our Ways should be, how our Walks should be in relation God’s Word should be in order to have an accurate life. Today we will see the last part of accurate life, what our Welfare (concerns or interest) should be? Let’s open our Bible in James 1:26-27 (read). From this verse we can see what should be our Welfare with regards to our religiosity. Two kinds of religion and its welfare:
1. Worthless Religion – v. 26
- Those consider themselves religious – The welfare of this people is outward. There are thousands of religions in the world today and everyone claim to be the only one true, making others as false. The Pharisees consider themselves as super religious and yet only in form, many in our times like the Pharisees that they consider themselves religious and yet their religiosity is just a form without the real essence. We can become religious because of what we do, we go to church every Sunday, every Wednesday, we do the penitence, etc. People consider themselves religious because of their religion, because they are part of a certain group or a religion. Many people consider themselves religious because of this, or because of what they do. Here James point out that if that is the case then you are just deceiving yourself and your religion is worthless. If your religion doesn’t bring change in your life it is really a useless one, if your religion doesn’t seen in practical way and feel by others then it is worthless. (ILL. Hitler’s religiosity – Hitler knew how to dissemble (magpaikot). One had to look very closely at his terrible book Mein Kamf very carefully to see the cloven (segment) hoof beneath the angel’s luminous robes. He made free use of the Christian vocabulary, talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions, which become the pillars of the new state; he rang bells and pulled out all organ stops. He assumed the earnestness of a man who is utterly weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious (religious, devout) stories to the press, especially the church papers. It was reported, for example, that he showed his tattered (torn) Bible to some deaconesses and declared that he drew the strength for his great work from the Word of God. He was able to introduce a pietistic timbre (quality, character) into his voice, which caused many religious people to welcome him as a man sent from God. And a skilled propaganda machine saw to it that despite all the atrocities (murder, slaughter) which were already happening and despite the rabid (extreme, militant) invasions of the Nazis in the churches, the rumor got around that the good Fuhrer knew nothing about these things.”) (ILL. Some folks thinks if they wear their best clothes on Sunday they’re observing the Sabbath.”) There are people who are dedicated, sincere, self-sacrificing, well behaved like the Cheyenne Indians in Minnesota and yet they are not Christians. Being good is not necessarily being godly. To be godly, though is good.