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James 1:27

Jun 27, 2019   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), James, James (Written), Writings  //  10 Comments

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

James spoke of the useless religion of a person in the previous verse. It belongs to someone who “does not bridle his tongue.” Now, he uses the same word to describe religion which is “[p]ure and undefiled.” The Greek word translated as pure signifies that which is without admixture. There is no contamination in it. The word translated as undefiled signifies that which is unstained. There are no blotches upon it.

Understanding this, he goes on to show how one can identify such pure and undefiled religion “before God and the Father.” The Greek actually reads with the article before “God.” And so it says either “our God and Father,” or “the God and Father.” The article unites the two together. Separating them as is done in the NKJV translation is an unfortunate error which could lead to faulty theology.

With this correction, what James will next describe is that which is deemed as acceptable religion to the God and Father. Before stating it, he says that what is acceptable “is this.” The words do not mean that this is all that is acceptable, but that he is giving an example of what is acceptable, just as he gave what was unacceptable in the previous verse.

Understanding that, he says that it is first “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble.” James uses this example because it is something that God has always found acceptable, regardless of the dispensation of time in which the act occurs. And the reason for this is that this conduct is a reflection of His own character. Time and time again, Scripture calls out this particular aspect of God. This is seen, for example, in Deuteronomy 10:17, 18 –

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.”

Because God is this way, our conduct before God in a like-fashion is considered pure and undefiled before Him. And, James continues by saying, “and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” The word translated as “unspotted” signifies unstained, and thus fully acceptable. It speaks of that which is morally pure and unblemished.

Therefore, there is an active working out of one’s care of others which is united with a moral purity within the person. A person may visit orphans and widows in their trouble and yet not be acceptable to God because he is morally impure at the same time. Without the moral purity, the act is – like all other such things – exposed as a fraud before the God who searches both the hearts and minds of man.

Life application: The words of this verse are referring to a person who has called on Jesus; not everyone in general. Bill Gates, for example, has donated billions of dollars to the AIDS funds as well as other notable causes. However, one cannot buy their way into heaven and no deed is, in itself, good enough to please the Lord. This verse cannot be taken out of the Christian context and applied to non-believers.

Further, faithful Christians will be known for what they do, not for what they claim to have done. This goes all the way back to Acts 5 where a couple named Ananias and Sapphira claimed to have accomplished a righteous deed, but hid the fact that what they claimed didn’t actually match what had happened. As an example for later Christians, they were both “called home” for their wicked act. There is no reason to believe they weren’t part of the faithful believers, but their action was unacceptable.

When we care for orphans and widows, or when we do any other righteous deeds, we need to give the Lord the credit and not try to overstate what we accomplished on His behalf. In addition to this, we need to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world.

There are great disputes over what this means, and many congregations set rules based on their perception of it. This leads to legalism and a stuffy church. Instead, we need to maintain our Christian morals wherever we are and concerning whatever we are engaged in.

We have freedom in Christ to live properly in this world, just not freedom to sin while being here. When we do, we bring dishonor on the One who freed us from the power of sin. In essence, we are acting in a manner contradictory to the very message of freedom He has given to us.

Lord Jesus, it is hard to do good deeds in secret. You know our desires to be noticed, so give us a supernatural ability to overcome these feelings and to work to Your glory alone. Help our religion to be undefiled and free from the stain of sin. Give us the desire to help those who are truly in need while providing You with the credit. Amen.

10 Comments

  • God… shows no partiality, nor takes a bribe
    Did you all see the CEOs of charity hospitals who are raking in more than 10 million dollar salaries in over 90 of these hospitals? Talk about being unspotted.

    • It’s hard to justify when most people can’t afford their medical bills.

  • thank you

  • Amen, Pastor Charlie, and God bless you all!

    Please pray for a friend, single mom in the UK having difficulties in court over her homestead. She is finding it very difficult. Thank you.

    • I shall pray. <3

  • BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS!

  • John the charitable organizations are less than charitable any more they are just money machines with 10% or less of the money they take in going to the cause and in some cases being re routed to Planed Parenthood. Cancer is a one hundred billion dollars a year INDUSTRY! Does anyone really think they are looking for a cure when they build 5 star cancer clinics that rival any 5 star hotel. There are multiple cures for cancer but hey why cure the cash cow just keep milking it. It’s all part of the Depopulat earth movement. Read the Georgia guide stones #1 on the list depopulate the earth to a manageable five hundred million people. Every year now we are being threatened with new never heard of before diseases and viruses that promis to kill millions! Remember the Zeka Virus during the Brazil Olympics, they terrorized pregnant woman with this…where is it now??? I velieve These are all test runs for what will be unlished on the world after the rapture. If the urge comes up that people feel they need to contribute to a charity then The Salvation Army and Goodwill are the only true charitable organizations I know of worthy of our money. 90% of the money goes to the cause and 10% to administrative cost. As you may tell by my impromptu rant I am no fan of charity’s especially the ones that take my money and give it to PP. I would rather hand my money over to a homeless person or family or to the Superior Word as I know it will be used for what it was intended for.. To help those in need.

    Mary we are praying for your friend and for patience on her part because we know we are going home any moment now Amen amen and amen

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friends we fly soon

    • Yes Gordon, the new world order is being served up, one election cycle at a time. Have you seen the movies put out by a Christian called Agenda, and Agenda2? very sobering for sure

  • Be blessed you all. Have a great day!

  • Be blessed you all. Have a great day!

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