Summary: The Holy Spirit moves James to reveal a truth from heaven which enables the spiritual heart to grasp a practical application of God’s love being expressed to others.
I am going to read to you from James 1:27
Title: Unfeigned Love
Theme: Practical Application of God’s Love
Series: Essentials for Church Growth
Listen as I read James 1:27, “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.” Let us Pray!
Introduction: The Holy Spirit moves James to reveal a truth from heaven which enables the spiritual heart to grasp a practical application of God’s love being expressed to others. “Unfeigned” is not simulated, is not pretense or just having an appearance. Unfeigned love is genuine or sincere love that is expressed through works. (New College Edition, The American Heritage Dictionary) James the half brother of Jesus became a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem. (Matthew 15:55; Acts 15; Who’s Who In the Bible) He says, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
Proposition: I would propose to you that the man who claims to believe in God and Jesus Christ strives to gain Biblical understanding on how to express true Biblical love to others.
Interrogative Sentence: What is mankind to watch out for? What is true religion? Who are we ministering too? Will there be a day of accountability? Will we be rewarded?
True Christianity is an expression of life lived through the enabling of the Holy Spirit with Jesus being revealed in and through the Body of Christ. Christians who grasps this truth study the Word of God so they may know how to live a life pleasing to their Maker, so they can imitate Jesus Christ who sacrificially gave His life for them.
Transitional Sentence: The first step to expressing true religion is to have a reverent fear of being seen as having only a form of Godliness. Jeremiah 10:21 says, “The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the last days there would be those who have “…only a form of godliness…” (2 Timothy 3:5) Paul also wrote to Titus informing him of those who “…Claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. …unfit to do any good.” (Titus 1:16)
“Shepherds” (ra`ah) here refers to pastors of churches and civil rulers who are given the privilege and responsibility of governing a people. (A Commentary, Critical, and Explanatory; Commentary on the Old Testament, Delitzch; The New American Commentary) Failure to prayerfully seek the Lord through the counsel of His Word leaves the flock of God and the people of a nation to be governed by the human flesh, a world view and even the lies of the devil.