Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Religion: Pure and Simple

James H. Cagle: The word religion comes from the word re-ligare which means to bind back or bind together. 

The idea being that one is bound to a specific system of belief that they must adhere to when they embrace a particular religion as the Christian-religion, the Buddhist-religion, the Hindu-religion, etc..

Religion today is a multi million-dollar business, and mostly about show and the feel-good experience. Religion today addresses mostly a persons felt needs but not their real needs.

It would be safe to say that we have gotten away from the purity and simplicity of the gospel that the first century church had.

We must wonder where and when did we go wrong and take what was so simple and beautiful and powerful and meaningful and turn it into something so complex, weak and anemic, that’s hard to understand and hard to find Scripture to support it?

"Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James.1: 27).

James in one sentence describes true biblical religion as pure, meaning there must be impure religion, and undefiled, meaning there must be religion that is defiled.

As James described true religion and simplified its meaning, Jesus in similar fashion simplified and summarized the whole teachings of the law when He said, we were to first love God with our total being and then our neighbor as our self (Matt. 22:37-40; Micah 6:8). 

The religion or religiosity of the average Christian is strictly confined to their activities within the church building or on church grounds, and that’s where they intend to leave it.

In James’ description of "pure" and "undefiled" religion he makes no reference to any of those things done during a normal worship service. 

Nor does he say anything about theology, or church doctrine, or tithing, though these are vital for having a strong church. James with one sentence describes true religion with all its tenets in a most powerful and yet simple form that everyone can understand.

Pure religion according to James is taking theology and church doctrine wherein is revealed the Person and will of God and putting it into action, by being charitable to others and walking before God in obedience and holiness.

A person may know all about theology and church doctrine, but if the fruit of charity and holiness is not seen in their life they do not have pure religion.

What then is pure and simple religion? It’s loving God and walking in obedience to His Word in order to remain clean and usable for Him, and then going to our neighbor in their affliction and showing the love of God to them. 

Simply put pure and undefiled religion is all the theology and doctrine put into practice in our daily lives in the manner James described. And he tells us a charitable heart and a holy life are the best pictures of pure religion.

Religion: Pure and Simple

James H. Cagle

(Google image and my emphasis added.) 

"Expect to see an abundance of great grace, strength, and faith being imparted to you as you encounter higher realms of God's presence. Expect to see new manifestations in the realm of miracles, signs and wonders, and divine appointments to minister to unbelievers in public everywhere you go.
It's time to become the encounter!"
Alex Parkinson
Alex Parkinson Ministries

  Father, make our hearts seek for what's important to You in and through our 

  Let our obedience be marked with a strong witness of Your power to change us into Christ's likeness.
  May others be drawn to You, not by our "talk", but by our living our faith before them.

  Please have Your way in us, to Your glory, and our good. I ask this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible verses-

(2 Chron. 20:14 b) "...came the spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation."

(Ex. 2:7) "And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."

Today’s quote- 

"When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. And so on. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what GOD can do."   A. C. Dixon

ANNOUNCEMENT: Our new Canton Church begins tomorrow, May 1st! We'll be located in the Seventh Day Adventist Church building across from the Court house' parking lot on Court St. in Canton.  9:30 coffee and social time. Service at 10 am sharp! Bagels this Sunday! Ramp to front door, and chair lift on stairs to basement. Come visit us soon! Jamie Sinclair is the pastor.

Our thought today-

God looks for us to have expectancy of His showing up in our meetings with brothers and sisters of like faith.

Our questions today-

This coming Sunday, are you going to pray and believe that the Presence of the Holy Spirit will truly be in your particular church gathering? Will you invite Him there to enable the leaders to be effective in their ministries?

Upcoming posts-

    5/1 Sunday evening's post by Jean Oathout

    3rd- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

    5th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

    7th- Saturday's post by Debbie McEwen 

A popular post:  

Why Choose Jesus? Jean Oathout tells us many of the reasons to choose Jesus over Satan's plans for us. Jesus is the One Who can change us, for the good!

 "1. Jesus loves us..       Satan hates us
 2. Jesus offers life and peace..   Satan offers death, pain,  destruction..."