26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 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 1:26-27 ESV
I. THE SKINNY ON SHAM RELIGION
A. Religion properly defined is the outward expression of our inward relationship to Jesus Christ.
II. THE SLICK BUT SICK TONGUE
A. True religion is in control of the way it talks about people God made and loves (Matthew 12:34)
B. Feelings don’t define us but not fighting those feeling does deny we are Christians no matter what we confess we believe.
III. THE SEEKING OF GOOD & THE GOOD OF THE POOR AND POWERLESS
A. True religion cares deeply about the poor, the powerless, and purity.
IV. NEXT STEPS
A. We will be judged by every thought, text, and tongue twister we ever have studied, sent, or spoken. (Matthew 12:33-37)
B. Jesus illustrates God’s care for the poor, powerless, and pitiful by coming to those folks, which all who are in Him once were. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)