Avoid them! The consequences of yielding to temptation (James 1:15) Does He not here in effect say, "Feed my lambs"? The idea of visiting is more than just making a social call. If you are doing ANYTHING in a "spiritual" manner (serving, teaching, preaching, resisting temptation, etc, etc) thinking that you can successfully do so in your own natural power and/or you are hoping to merit God's favor by so doing, then you are deceived. Barclay: This is pure and undefiled worship, as God the Father sees it, to visit the orphans and the widows, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Luke 14:12, 13, 14). Perversion is the unique contrivance of the human species. People's NT Commentary - He who professes religion and yet does not control his tongue is deceived. Jamieson - Pure is that love which has in it no foreign admixture, as self-deceit and hypocrisy. Thus, what our Lord was really saying here is, “I desire a heart that is unmixed in its devotion and motivation. Or ask another way, how long has it been since you've borne a brother or sister's burden even in a simple way by an encouraging phone call, an unexpected visit, an offer to aid physically, emotionally or financially? (NASB: Lockman). e. Jesus later said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." Bridle (5468)(chalinagogeo from chalinos = bridle + ago = lead) means to guide with a bit and bridle and figuratively to hold in check, to restrain, to control. (Source unknown) (Ed: Secret sins reminds one of the verse in the Song of Solomon in which the beloved says to her lover "Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom." Luke 1:68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people. and of no eternal value (wood, hay, stubble, 1Co 3:12, cf Mt 12:36). (Phillips: Touchstone). It will not be said then, Did you believe? 1. And Paul says in Romans 1:4 (note) that Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness.” We live in a polluted, defiled, sin-laden atmosphere today, and yet God expects us to be holy in our spirits, souls, and bodies. The use of prayer amid trials (James 1:5–8) It denotes a person who falls short of God’s standard and human norms. To keep (5083) (tereo from teros - a guard or warden) means to keep an eye on, keep something in view, to attend carefully, or to watch over it. 22:22-24; Deut. Heedless is another word Whatever may be our views about the doctrines of Christianity, we must see to it that their outcome be in pure and holy living. We must observe that the knowledge of God which we are invited to cultivate is not that which, resting satisfied with empty speculation, only flutters in the brain, but a knowledge which will prove substantial and fruitful whenever it is duly perceived and rooted in the heart. Have you ever ridden a horse without a bridle so that you were forced to hold on to the horse's mane to keep from falling off? Undefiled (283) (amiantos from a = negates what follows + miaino = to defile by staining, as with color) means without contamination, unpolluted, untainted, unstained (stainless), unsoiled, without uncleanness or impurity. B. Jamieson feels that this absence of and points out that. As the generation which came out of Egypt gradually died away, there were many widows and fatherless ones in the camp, but they suffered no want or wrong, for the righteous laws and the just administrators whom God had appointed, looked well to the interests of the needy. ), beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting (present tense = continually bringing about) holiness in the fear of God (cp Job 1:1, 1Pe 1:17) (2Corinthians 7:1- note), Hiebert sums up this section drawing an important distinction that "These verses must not be misread as teaching a religion of good works (see Good Deeds - word study) that assures acceptance with God and makes faith in the gospel unnecessary. 3:16; 5:9, 29; 9:9, 25; 11:22; 13:21; 15:15; 23:2; 27:8; 29:10, 32; 30:20; 32:41; 36:31; 44:13, 29; 49:8; La 4:22; Ezek 20:40; 23:21; 34:11; Ho 4:14; Zeph 2:7; Zech 10:3; 11:16; Mal 3:10. John 1:26 I baptize with water The baptism of John If the rite, which the Forerunner of our Lord administered, is not to be considered as a Christian institute, to what dispensation are we to assign it, since it is manifestly no part of the economy of Moses? This adjective describes an ineffectual attempt to do something or an unsuccessful effort to attain something. Vance Havner - The measure of our discord with the world is the measure of our accord with Christ… The measure in which the world agrees with us and says we are really a fine type of Christian, we are so entirely broad, is the measure in which we are unlike Christ. Hearing must be followed by active obedience; otherwise the hearing is useless (Jas 1:22, 23, 24, 25). There are 4 uses of amiantos in the NT - Heb 7:26-note; He 13:4-note; James 1:27; 1Pet. The Theme: The Testings of Personal Faith, The trials of the believer (James 1:2–12) THEY HAD RELIGIOUS WORKS WITHOUT THE REDEEMER'S REGENERATION! He illustrates this with two examples in Jas 1:27: caring for orphans and widows; and, keeping oneself unstained by the world. In vain should we give all our substance to the poor, and give our bodies to be burned, if we do not walk in the way of holiness, “without which no man shall see the Lord.” If we do not come out from the world, and keep ourselves from its polluting influence, we have not yet learned what pure and undefiled religion really is. Who knows how many thousands of widows there will be! How does one keep himself or unstained (separated from) by the world? He said, "True religion is visiting orphans." There are too many obstacles.". And beloved, the world's (kosmos) influence can be quite subtle and pervasive! They inherit the earth. He saw them as immortal souls of incalculable value. This was the side of truth on which James insisted. The present tense indicates continuous action. The attitude of the lowly brother (James 1:9) 3. Spurgeon - Pure religion — might be rendered, “Pure ritualism “ — And undefiled before God and the Father is this, — What is pure ritualism according to the inspired apostle? The first of these had liberty but no law; the second had law but no liberty; whereas the last enjoyed the perfect law of liberty. That’s why you must “watch over your heart with all diligence” (Pr 4:23-note). The woman who gave two pennies in the temple, Mark 12:41, 42, 43, 44; Lk 21:2; Of Nain, whose only son Jesus raised from the dead, Luke 7:11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Crossway Books), MacArthur adds that "In most modern cultures, the heart is thought of as the seat of emotions and feelings. The rejection stated (James 1:13a) “Thy feet should slip, but ne’er the tongue.” The present tense pictures this self deceived individual continually forming the opinion that he or she is religious. 1998), Only here in New Testament, and nowhere in classical Greek. 10:3). (Rogers, C L - originally by Fritz Rienecker: New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament. In Jas 1:22-24, he shows that hearing the word without doing it leads to deception. (Gaebelein, F, et al: Expositor's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testament 12 Volumes) Natural (phusikos from phúsis = nature) (only 3 NT uses - Ro 1:26, 27; 2Pe 2:12) means pertaining to things in accordance with nature or belonging to the naturally regulated order of things. The idea of one "bridling" one's tongue is not uncommon in the Scriptures - James 1:26; 3:8; 1Pe 3:10; Jdg. Comment: Jesus prays for us to be set apart from the world and unto God and the primary agent producing this change is His Word of Truth (see role of the Holy Spirit - 1 Pe 1:2). In that society, they were poor and not able to work. It conveys the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. 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