Speaker: Jerry Cisar
This week’s text begins with one of the best known verses in the book of James. It’s a favorite verse for some, a dreaded verse for others.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
This verse makes quite the claim. Even for evangelical Christians, it might be surprising. If this verse did not exist, I doubt a survey of Christians asking the question, “What is true religion?” would come close to providing James’ answer! What does James mean? Why does he introduce such a seemingly important subject (the care of widows and orphans) and then just drop the subject? After all, if this is pure religion, it seems that one ought to give it more than one verse of space in a letter 108 verses long!
It is often said, “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.” So how can there be a pure religion? Are the two mutually exclusive? Is James saying that pure religion only about external actions? If not, how does James address the heart issues of pure religion?
Join us as we explore James 1:27–2:4 and its message to us in worship together.