Summary: Part 9 in a study on the book of James
A Life of Works Produced by Faith
“Don’t Fool Yourself”
Date: October 6, 2002 PM Service
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: James 1:26-27
What makes you a religious person?
Some may answer that question by saying:
I believe in God
I attend church services regularly
I read the Bible daily
And of course I give some money to the church for the Lord’s work
In these verses James will be addressing true and false religion. That seems to be a hot topic today.
Is all religion the same? Do we all serve the same God? Isn’t one religion just as good as another?
James has already spoken about being doers of the word, and now at the close of chapter 1gives us some illustrations of how to be doers of the Word.
And also gives us some examples of true and false religion.
I. True or False Tongue of the Religious verse 26
A. I looked at an album of Allendale Church the other day, and there was a segment of the dreaded Allendale tongue decease. There were about 10 pages of people posing the same way. Some of our most respected members with their tongues sticking out. Now have you ever noticed that when you go to the doctor, they ask you to stick out your tongue?
B. James wants us to know it is not so much the muscle in our mouth as it is our speech.
1. True religion in the heart controls every part of the life and body, even the tongue and speech.
2. Someone has said; “The tongue will inevitably reveal what is on the inside.”
3. Ephesians 4:29 says; “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
4. James is not referring to those who sometimes fall into this sin, but those who are habitually sinning with the tongue.
a. Once while John Wesley was preaching, he noticed a lady in the audience who was known for her critical attitude. All through the service she sat and stared at his new tie. When the meeting was over, she came up to him and said very sharply, Mr. Wesley the strings on your bow tie are much too long. It’s an offence to me. He asked if any of the other ladies happened to have a pair of scissors. When the scissors were handed to him, he gave them to his critic & asked her to trim the streamers to her liking. After she clipped them off near the collar, he said, are you sure they’re al right now? She said yes that is much better. Wesley said, then let me have those scissors a moment, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if I also make a correction. I must tell you that your tongue is an offence to me-it’s too long! Please stick it out… I’d like to take some off”
II. True or False Religion Shown in Our Caring. Verse 27a
A. James says thinking we are religious and living out our religion is not the same.
1. James was concerned for the less fortunate. Orphans & widows were the most helpless people of the day.
2. False religion offers God and the church attendance, Bible study, and money… all in place of service.
3. I fear we have adopted the attitude of I gave at the office.
4. This attitude does not help the hurting… It is not a sign of true religion nor does it honor God.
B. True religion is about reaching out to those that are in need.
1. 1 John 3:17-18 says; “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed & in truth.
III. True or False Religious Restrictions vers 27b
A. “And keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
B. It is sad to say but the church and Christians are hard to pick out from the crowd.
C. We have lost our sense of moral standard, we have abandoned right from wrong.
1. Isaiah 5:20 says; “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
2. James is saying true religion keeps one from being spotted by the world’s thinking and doing.
3. But I believe the world loves to hear about the Christian that is caught or has fallen in sin.
4. If they can find fault in us, they can sure find fault in our religion.
D. Can they spot us in our…