a Test Series – James 1:26-27
Intro: How often have you heard that? Watch your mouth! There was a time in history when a child that didn’t do what he was supposed to do, or say something he was taught not to say could end up eating soap to clean his or her mouth up! Well times have changed and I don’t think soap is as popular as it used to be. But rest assured the Bible hasn’t changed; the Word of God is still telling the child of God to watch your mouth! In my last week’s message I spoke of an action that the Christian must follow or they deceive themselves; we must be more than just a hearer of God’s Word, we must be a doer: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” James 4:11
Text: James 1:26-27 (NKJV)
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. 27 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.” Application: Keep yourself unspotted from the world!
YOU CAN HAVE A BETTER CONTROL OF LIFES TEMPTATIONS IF YOU BRIDLE THE TONGUE:
1. BRIDLE TONGUE: vs. 26
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.
The tongue is a big issue in the book of James it is referred to several times throughout the book. It is important to be prepared to bridle the tongue. If a person thinks that he is religious, that is, acceptable to God, and he does not bridle his tongue, he deceives himself. No matter what he thinks or professes, his religion is empty. What exactly does this mean? This can be an active church member, maybe a Sunday school teacher or in the choir; but they are loose with their tongue. Interrupting and dominating the conversation, being easily provoked and lashing out at others. Gossiping and telling tales, criticizing and murmuring, judging and condemning others, using slang and cursing and even engaging in suggestive and off-colored talk. Talking about and running down others. For a person to withstand and to conquer temptation, they must bridle their tongue. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” Ephesians 4:31 (NLT)
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” James 3:6
“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” James 4:11
A corrupt and unholy heart eventually will be exposed by corrupt and unholy speech. The tongue is not the only indicator of true spirituality but is one of the most reliable. It has been estimated that the average person will speak some 18,000 words in a day, enough for a fifty-four-page book. In a year that amounts to sixty-six 800-page volumes! Many people, of course, speak much more than that. Up to one-fifth of the average person’s life is spent talking.
If the tongue is not controlled by God, it is a sure indicator that the heart is not, either. Jesus told the self-righteous Pharisees; “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:34-37
Religion that does not transform the heart, and thereby the tongue, is totally worthless in God’s sight. “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.” 1 Peter 2:1
James wants the reader of this letter to understand the importance of controlling the tongue truly this is one of life’s test!
YOU CAN HAVE A BETTER CONTROL OF LIFES TEMPTATIONS IF YOU KEEP ONESELF UNSPOTTED:
2. VISIT & KEEP ONESELF UNSPOTTED: vs. 27
“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.”
The proper reaction to the Word of God is the willingness to apply it to one’s life without selfishness, with genuine concern for the welfare of others, especially those in great need. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is to serve them with love and compassion. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
To visit; means much more than to drop by for a chat. It carries the ideas of caring for others, exercising oversight on their behalf, and of helping them in whatever way is needed. “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Matthew 25:35-36
To visit in a way that is pleasing to our God and Father is to meet as best we can all the needs of orphans and widows and any others in their distress. True Christianity is manifested from a pure and loving heart by the way believers talk and by the way they act. It is manifested by how they love and care for those who are in need, not by how they love and care for those they prefer, those who are close to them, or those with whom they share common traits and interests. Love is to be the central and most visible manifestation of salvation. And, as John makes clear, love for God cannot be separated from love for others, especially for fellow believers and most especially for those who are in … distress. The professed Christian who does not show such compassion has reason to doubt that he is born again. A truly redeemed heart reaches out to others: “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1
It takes a constant action to keep oneself unspotted from the world; to be unstained, this takes an obligation. Those who belong to God are to be characterized by moral and spiritual purity, by unstained and unblemished holiness. The genuine Christian cannot be happy or content when he fails to show compassion for others. It is not our perfection that proves our salvation but rather our hating our imperfections and seeking, with God’s help and power, to correct them. In his inmost heart, the genuine Christian longs to speak and do only those things that are holy, pure, loving, honest, truthful, and upright, things that are uncorrupted and unstained by the world.
Godly religion, that is, biblical Christianity, is a matter of holy obedience to God’s Word—reflected, among other ways, by our honesty in regard to ourselves, by our selflessness in regard to the needs of others, and by our uncompromising moral and spiritual stand in regard to the world. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16
Watching your mouth, visiting and staying pure isn’t easy, this is part of the test of life. But it can be done and glorifying God you will!
In : Sermon
Tags: "life is a test series" "book of james"
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