Last Monday Bethany spoke to a young adult internship here at the house of prayer on what a consecrated life looks like. If you would like to look at the full teaching notes check out the “Teaching Notes” page. Tuesday Jeff got a chance to speak too, and he spoke on the judgement seat of Christ and the resurrection from the dead. Those notes will come soon.
Excerpt from Bethany’s notes:
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious anddoes not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 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.” James 1:26-27
- This passage in James is the first and second commandment summarized. The Lord is explaining what pure religion looks like; you must love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. The first part is loving the orphan and the widow, those who are less well off than you. The second part is to “keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
- Keeping oneself unspotted from the world is to radically oppose the comforts and compromises of the culture as you strive to love God. This world and the life we live is the arena to express our love to God. You must put forth effort into your relationship with Jesus to not become tainted by the world. “To keep” oneself is to “guard by keeping your eye upon” or “to hold fast” or “withstand” for the reason of preservation or reservation. The opposite of pure and undefiled religion would be a selfish, defiled, corrupt, polluted and adulterated relationship with the Lord.
- It is a command in Scripture to not “love the world.” Not loving the world and keeping yourself unspotted from the world includes: knowing the truth (about God’s heart and what we mean to Him) resisting darkness (resisting sin and denying fleshly lusts) and pursuing God (and people).
- As you read the epistles and the gospels, you see how the New Testament defines “radical” by looking at the life of the disciples. We need to look to the Word to get the definition of how to live life as a believer. If you stop reading the Word you will stop getting provoked by truth…