Pure and Undefiled Religion

When we analyze James 1:27, we find out what God expects of us.  "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unspotted by the world."

Whatever this "pure religion" is, it has to do with helping widows and orphans who are in need.  This goes along with 1 John 3:17-18 and James 2:15-17.   It also goes along with what John the Baptist told the people to do for repentance (Luke 3:10-11).  Even Christ was teaching the message of compassion toward those in need in Luke 10:33-36.  He taught us to put the welfare of others first and to be servants of the most (1 Cor. 10:24; Matt. 23:11; 20:26-28; Mark 9:35; 10:43-45).

Jesus said true disciples - the sheep - serve others in need, while false Christians do nothing (Matt. 25:33-46; Titus 1:16).  These false Christians are considered goats or dogs, while true disciples worship in the Spirit of God, give the glory to Jesus Christ and put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:2-3).  True disciples glorify God by doing good works daily, allowing their lights to shine before men in such a way that they bring glory to the Father (Matt. 5:16).

Continually doing good for God's glory is our spiritual service of worship (Rom. 12:1).   We worship God by presenting our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, using the members of our bodies as instruments of righteousness only (Rom. 6:13).  In this way, we become happy slaves of righteousness (Rom. 6:18-19; Eph. 6:6).  God is well-pleased with this kind of sacrifice (Heb. 13:16).

Doing good is also how we put to death the evil deeds of the body and live to the Spirit, which is God (Rom. 8:13-14).  When we walk in the Spirit by serving others for God, we will not carry out the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).  Instead, we will be overcoming evil by doing good for God in Christ's name (Rom. 12:21; 1 Peter 3:11; Col. 3:17).  We will be keeping Christ's works and overcoming Satan by allowing the God of peace to crush him in our nature (Rom. 16:20; Rev. 2:26).

This is pure and undefiled religion, and this is how we keep ourselves unspotted by the world.  This simple, pure devotion to Christ is simply walking as Jesus walked; and it is so easy and pleasant (2 Cor. 11:3; 1 John 2:6; Matt. 11:30)!

You have no excuse for your sins now that you know how to overcome them (John 15:22).   When Jesus Christ returns to this earth shortly, will you be among those who are found overcoming evil by doing good in a dark world (Phil. 2:15; Luke 18:8)?  Will you be prepared to meet the Lord (Luke 1:17)?

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