A. COMMON WORD – NOT REALLY UNDERSTOOD.
B. SOME THINK IT IS SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS.
1. “Better felt than told” – Caught like a cold.
C. WE NEED TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK.
A. PEOPLE SAY:
1. Religion is life – Layman Abbot.
2. It is belief in the unknowable – Herbert Spencer.
3. It is the worship of humanity – Robespierre.
4. Religion is doing good – Thomas Paine.
B. ENGLISH ETYMOLOGY:
1. To Bind back, (re + ligature ) To bind again.
2. Suggests the idea of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20).
C. IN THE BIBLE.
1. Not in the Old Testament.
2. Three words used as either a noun or an adjective.
a. NT:2356 threeskeia, religious worship, especially external, that which consists
in ceremonies: NT:2357 threeskos fearing or worshipping God; religious
b. NT:1175 deisidaimonia, deisidaimonias, hee, fear of the gods. 1. in a
good sense, reverence for the gods, piety, religion. 2. superstition.
3. religion, in an objective sense; Acts 25:19 (Thayer).
c. NT:2454 Ioudaismos, Ioudaismou, ho, the Jewish faith and worship, the
religion of the Jews, Judaism: Gal 1:13 ff (Thayer).
3. A person can be religious and not be a Christian.
A. THE JEWS’ RELIGION.
1. Festus calls it their own religion (Acts 25:19).
2. Paul acknowledges religion peculiar to the Jews (Acts 26:5; Gal. 1:13-14)..
3. God blessed the Jews as long as they kept the Old Law (Gal. 3:10-12).
a. They didn’t do it (Heb. 8:6-9).
b. The Old Covenant had to be replaced (Heb. 8:6).
c. It was taken out of the way (Eph. 2:14-17; Gal. 3:19-25).
d. Keeping it is equal to forsaking God’s law for human tradition (Col. 2:8-17).
4. Therefore there is no justification in the Jews’ religion (Gal. 5:1-4).
B. VAIN RELIGION (James 1:26).
1. NT:2356 threeskeia, religious worship, especially external, that which consists in
2. Ceremonial, going through the motions.
Not translated to daily behavior (Eph. 4:1; Phil. 1:27).
3. Two classes of vain religion (Matt. 15:7-9).
a. Not from heart č That’s why it doesn’t translate.
b. According to precepts of men (Col. 2:8; 2 Tim. 1:13).
C. RELIGION THAT IS PURE (James 1:27).
1. Again involves action č These are not the sum, but samples.
2. Things to do … Visit the fatherless and widows.
a. Luke 6:46. Jesus is our Lord, do what he says (Matt. 7:21).
b. 1 John 5:3. Commands not grievous, but necessary (James 1:22).
c. Salvation is for those who do his will (Heb. 5:8-9).
3. Things to stop doing (James 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:1; 4:3-4; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
And Such Were Some Of You!
4. For some this necessitates a complete makeover (Col. 3:5-10).