Pure and Undefiled Religion. Part 2

Scripture: James 1:27

June 12, 2022 Manchester, TN, 9:30 a.m.
Introduction: Our lesson today will be taken from James 1:26-27 with a focus on verse 27. Last week
we looked at the concept of “religion.” Our emphasis last week was how our hearts and lips need to be
the way God wants them to be. We cannot substitute other items that we may understand and have
mastered and then ignore the tongue and our hearts. If we do so we are “deceiving ourselves” and our
religion is useless or vain.
The word “religious” means: fear God and revere God. We need to measure our reverence for God by
looking at how well we bridle our tongues! This is a challenge for all of us individually.
In our lesson today we will focus on James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God is this: to visit
orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
Where does “pure religion” begin? Lord, I want to be involved in pure religion so how do I start? God
gives us His fundamentals of pure religion in James chapter 1!
• Bridle your tongue.
• Visit the helpless.
• Serve the needy.
• Care for those who have no one to care for them.
• Be not influenced by the world
Maybe we need to be better at this? Have I prioritized this? Or do we primarily prioritize the right
Church, right worship, right doctrine….etc. Do we focus more on collectivel service and not individual
Observation: For 75 years these verses have been studied primarily to prove what we must not do.
These verses have been a point of contention between God’s people which is a shame. What is God’s
intention with these verses, consider the passage in the context of the Book of James.
1) A Call that must be answered by all who seek to be religious.
2) A problem that has popped up too often with God’s people.
3) A text more often addressed for what it does not mean or does not say.
• In the NT there are 8 examples where a collection or funds was made by the Church and it was
used to help Christians in need.
• James 1:27 In this passage the emphasis is on the individual, each person, responsibility of each
person, personal involvement. That is the point of this passage!
• What I haven’t heard preached that much is if you do pass by a widow or an orphan and don’t
help then your religion is useless, or vain. Which is the point of this passage.
• Even in the OT God’s people wanted to “substitute” what God really intended and said.
• Isaiah 1:5-7 & 10-20 & 23- God’s disappointment and condemnation of His own people!
• They were offering sacrifices, festivals and prayers.
• The heart had grown faint and their hearts were misplaced.
• Verse 23 “They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before
them.” (twice mentioned)
• Their problem was personal greed. Greedy with their time and their money.
• A call for everyone to be religious-James 1:26-27. Something we all can do.
1) A Call that must be answered by all who seek to be religious.
• To look upon, or after, examine with eyes. Luke 1:69, Matthew 25:31-46
• To assess and do our best to help.
• Isn’t going to help in judgement to say: Lord, I was a member of a good church, it was a sound
church, scriptural church…… Lord will say: that’s not enough, what about YOUR religion-what
did you do?
• Bereft of a father or parents. John 14:18 Someone without a father, does not actually mean
without father or mother.
• Jesus said: I will not leave you as orphan, John 14:18. You have lost your leader, but I will not
leave you without a leader, Holy Spirit will come
• Orphans in a sense of people who lack a spiritual “parent” to lead them closer to God and
provide whatever they need.
• The idea of deficiency. Left alone.
• Luke 20:45-47 God’s people, Pharisees failed at this. They were religious but God condemns
them. These were not “pure and undefiled in their religion.
GALATIANS 6:10 We miss the point if we are thinking Church, collectively. God is addressing a
believer individually. Verse 1 “a man”, restore “such a one”, verse 4 but let each one, verse 5 each one
bear, verse 6 let him, verse 7 a man, verse 8 he who sows, Verse 10 He speaks to US! We who are
individually God’s children!
Actually this is not about spending money!!! Let us get busy fulfilling this command of God.
3 THINGS “I” AM GOING TO DO. (You need to make your own.)
• Week – set aside a day for widows and widowers and a day for the Fatherless.
• Don’t limit it to just Christians. Be on a mission of mercy. Many people need spiritual
leaders! Sometimes it does come down to money, such as Acts 6, but not always.
• Month- set aside an increased amount for charity in the budget.
• Year- get involved on a personal level, be involved in a charitable organization that helps
those in distress. (Not advocating using the collection but our personal funds and time
to help others. The Parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37)