Summary: The definition of Christianity is needed today. All clarifications based in God’s word will be helpful. This message evaluates a counterfeit Christianity, or a Concrete Christianity.

Counterfeit or Concrete Christianity

James 1:26-27C:\MyData\JAM-OLD But Good\JAMES1-5.WPD

{26} If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his

own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. {27} This is pure and undefiled religion in the

sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.


A minister loved children and always preached tolerance in discipline. One day the pastor and some men of the church poured some concrete. Children came and put their hand prints and names in the wet concrete. The pastor became very angry. A friend said "what about the love and tolerance you always preach." The pastor responded " I love children in the abstract not in the concrete."

The text points out concrete or counterfeit Christianity. In these verses James makes a contrast for us. Let us notice these two emphasis.

1. First Notice A . . Counterfeit Christianity.

2. Second Notice A . . Concrete Christianity.

1. First Notice A . . Counterfeit Christianity. v 26

{26} If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his

own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.


A. The thoughts . . of a Counterfeit Christianity.v 26 a

" If anyone thinks himself to be religious, . . . "

KJV Seems = Thinks

Strong’s # 1380 dokeo (dok-eh’-o); a prolonged form of a primary verb, doko (dok’-o) (used only in an alternate in certain tenses; compare the base of 1166) of the same meaning; to think; by implication, to seem (truthfully or uncertainly):

Strong’s # 1166 deiknuo (dike-noo’-o); a prolonged form of an obsolete primary of the same meaning; to show (literally or figuratively):

Same word 1380 translated think KJV James 4:5

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

religious only time used

Strong’s # 2357 threskos (thrace’-kos); probably from the base of 2360; ceremonious in worship (as demonstrative), i.e. pious: KJV-- religious. (DIC)

B. The tongue . . of a Counterfeit Christianity. v 26 b

" . . . and yet does not bridle his tongue . . . "


A few years ago I went to the hospital to make a visit to one of our members. A church member ask me to stop in and say hello to a person in the same hospital who resided in Mountain View. I had never met the person but stopped in and talked for a while. I asked the man about his spiritual condition. He said you don’t have to worry about me I’m alright. I don’t go to church but I am alright.

This person came home and within a month died. I asked someone about this person and they said "you could not be around him without him using God’s name in vain". I make the judgement that man was not a Christian. You can’t regularly curse God and be His child. Your tongue is not bridled.

1. Note the connection of the tongue and heart in Rom. 10:9-10

[9] that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; {10} for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

2. The mouth expresses what’s in the heart.

C. The trash . . of a Counterfeit Christianity.

" . . . but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. "


Strong’s # 538 apatao (ap-at-ah’-o); of uncertain derivation; to cheat, i.e. delude: Vain

Strong’s # 3152 mataios (mat’-ah-yos); from the base of 3155; empty, (literally) profitless, or (specifically) an idol:

Strong’s # 3155 maten (mat’-ane); accus. of a derivative of the base of 3145 (through the idea of tentative manipulation, i.e. unsuccessful search,

1 Cor 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (KJV)


Recently my wife and I helped our son in law and daughter with a remodeling project. We

had a area where we threw trash. Some of this trash still had value to it. That made me think of my childhood days in the city of St. Louis. A man with an old dump truck would come around and go through peoples trash looking for anything of value. Today he would be called a man in recycling. It sounds better to say a man in recycling than a trash man doesn’t it?

The trash produced by counterfeit religion has no value at all. It will not produce anthing of value or worth. It is worthless!


2. Second Notice A . . Concrete Christianity. v 27

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