- James 1:25-27) “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The biggest issue is the misunderstanding that comes with the definition of “Religion” and “Pure Religion”. Religion in itself is a man-made ordinance that is placed upon a faith, so thereby creating dogma that corrupts the basic and pure faith is tainting the given instruction of God. Pure Religion is undefiled and given by God, un-needed of assistance in maintaining the structure. Simply following the Word of God and His teachings gives understanding if one approaches with a pure mind that is unfiltered by the religious construct of man. Pure Religion is not based upon man’s ideology of Scripture but the love of Christ and His Word.
Also the Word of God teaches us that the love of the world excludes the the love of God. Saying that we follow the teachings of God and then wallow in the pleasures of the world only serves to fulfill the flesh and push away the hand of blessing of God. For God cannot bless and help us if we neglect Him. Not only is this passage speaking of our tongues, but it also applies to our actions, thoughts, and words. It is how we are perceived by others and how we present ourselves to God as a faithful servant.
- James 1:19) “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
- 1Peter 2:1) “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”
- 1Peter 2:12) “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
- Colossians 4:2-6) “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Giving into temptations and behaving in ways that are contrary to what we have been taught only leads to damaging our reputation with those who we are trying to win to Christ. How can we say that we have the truth, or even have them come to us asking of the truth, if we ourselves don’t follow it? What separates us? How are we different?
The flesh is strong, and it is ridiculously easy to fall back into the mire. But we must resist, for the testimony of Christ depends on our willingness to follow it. The Salvation of the lost is more important than the entertainment of the flesh. Our speech and actions directly reflect on how seriously we take the teachings of the Word of God.
- 1Peter 3:15-17) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”
Following the Word of God may possibly lead to loosing friends, teasing, or mockery in the workplace. Even outright persecution in some places in the world is a common occurrence to the followers of Christ. But the servants of God must resist the pull of flesh and the ways of the world if we are to be witnesses of the Gospel of Christ. The Prophet’s, Disciples, Apostles, and many Christians were persecuted and even killed for uplifting the teachings and the truths of the Word of God.
- 1 Peter 4:16-19) “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
We must be bold enough to stand for what we believe in. Our faith in Christ Jesus and His Gospel has been given to us to teach and spread around, and we cannot defile it and give cause for the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme it through our reluctance to stand against the world.
- Ephesians 3:9-21) “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”