Undefiled Before God
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. —James 1:27 ESV
Have you ever got your clothes really dirty? The only way to get them clean is to wash them.
Did you know that God washes our sin away, through His Son, Jesus Christ? The only thing that makes us clean and pure is Christ. James here describes the works of Christians who have been cleaned by God’s grace through faith in Christ, and James is describing the kind of religion that God loves, that God sees as clean and without any contamination! It’s a pure and undefiled kind of faith. It’s the true religion, the Jesus-centered, grace-filled, action-packed, faith-and-works kind of faith that God loves.
James is writing to believers who have forgotten the importance of caring for people who needed help the most. They seem to be forgetting to act like a Christian!
In the ancient world, orphans and widows were helpless and alone. There were little to no job opportunities for women and children in this time, and there were no social-welfare plans whatsoever.
James can’t stand it. He won’t let Christians act like noting is happening. He challenges the Christians of his day to help! James wants us to see what matters from God’s perspective is most important!
He says “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God,” not “Religion that is pure and undefiled before Man.” James wants believers to consider the needs of others, not from their own perspective, not from the world’s perspective, not from other Christians' perspective, but from God’s perspective.
Read Colossians 3:23
• What does the verse say we should do work for?
• Why do we often do things for the praise of people?
Lord, help me to live for You. I want to have a pure faith that seeks to do what You want. Not what I want, or others want, but what You want. I will trust You and obey You. In Jesus' name, amen.