Summary: 1 of 2. James revealed the practical aspects of true Christianity. True Christianity is both conceptual & inherently tangible & practical. So...How is true Christianity manifested? Tell-tale traits of True Christians are...
TRAITS of TRUE CHRISTIANS—James 1:26—2:13
Two daughters often tease their grandfather about being stubborn, a trait he strenuously denies.
One day Grandpa was telling them about a horse-pack trip he had taken up the Continental Divide. "The guides felt that the personalities of horse and rider should be compatible," he related. "They matched us up carefully."
"What was your horse like Granpa?" one daughter broke in.
Grandpa’s answer was reluctant. "They gave me a mule," he said.
Grandpa had a distinguishing trait which others easily recognize.
Likewise, true Christians possess traits which distinguish them from the world.
James revealed the practical aspects of true Christianity.
True Christianity is both conceptual & inherently tangible & practical.
How is true Christianity manifested?
Tell-tale trait of True Christians are...
1—A tell-tale trait of True Christians is...
1:26—“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, & does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
1)Many people have convinced themselves that they are “religious,” in that they ‘do the right thing.’ However their ‘right thing’ can be merely that which is learned by observation from those who actually do know ‘the right thing to do.’
One brand of religious behavior is gained thru 2nd-hand observation.
While true religion is one gained thru a personal observation of God Himself. This observation is acquired thru a personal relationship with God in Christ.
A merely “religious” person who does nothing to hold his tongue in check, has beguiled his own heart. He is not religious at all because his religion is of no practical use. It is a mere religion which has no ability to bring real change to a person inwardly—in the heart of hearts— & thus outwardly—thru heart-directed actions—is of no use.
2)Hearers may consider themselves & actually be “religious” people. However in relation to their response to trials with much being speaking & wrath(:19-20) on their part, it becomes obvious that their religion is “useless.” Their “tongue” has not been “bridled” by that religion so it has no value in practical living. Any personal “religion” which has no realistic personal transformational power before men, is an affront to God & His desire for our redemption from sin. Thus the unbridled tongue speaks of the condition of one’s very “heart.”
Js. 3:2-3—“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, & we turn their whole body.”
“Thinks”—dokew—1) To be of opinion, think, suppose; 2) To seem, to be accounted, reputed; 3) It seems to me. Refers to the subjective judgment, which may or may not conform to the fact.
“Religious”—yrhskov—1) Fearing or worshipping God; 2) To tremble. yrhkov is one who is diligent in the performance of the outward service of God. It applies especially to ceremonial worship. Strong—Ceremonious in worship (as demonstrative), i.e. Pious:-- religious. Used 1X.
“Bridle”—calinagwgew—1) To lead by a bridle, to guide; 2) To bridle, hold in check, restrain. To be a bit-leader, i.e. to curb (figuratively):-- bridle.
“Tongue”—glwssa—1) The tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech; 2) A tongue—1a) The language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations. Strong—The tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired):-- Tongue.
“Deceives”—apataw— To cheat, beguile, deceive.
“Heart”—kardia—The heart, i.e. (figuratively) The thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) The middle:-- (+ broken-)heart(-ed).
“Useless”—mataiov—1) Devoid of force, truth, success, result; 2) Useless, of no purpose. Strong—Empty, i.e. (literally) Profitless, or (specifically) An idol:-- Vain, vanity.
Prov. 14:12—“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
Lk. 8:18—““Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; & whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.””
1Cor. 3:18—“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”
Gal. 6:1-5—“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, & so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, & then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, & not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.”
Ps. 39:1-2, 9— “<