Three Kinds of Religion

TEXTJames 1:26-27

INTRODUCTION:

A.  COMMON WORD – NOT REALLY UNDERSTOOD.

B.  SOME THINK IT IS SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS.

          1.  “Better felt than told” – Caught like a cold.

          2.  Superstition.

C.  WE NEED TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK.

I.  WHAT IS RELIGION?

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

                             (Thayer).

                   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. 

II.  THREE KINDS OF RELIGION.

A.  THE JEWS’ RELIGION.

          1.  Festus calls it their own religion (Acts 25:19).

          2.  Paul acknowledges religion peculiar to the Jews (Acts 26:5Gal. 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. 2:14-17Gal. 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

                   ceremonies: (Thayer).

          2.  Ceremonial, going through the motions. 

                   Not translated to daily behavior (Eph. 4:1Phil. 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. 2:82 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 1:211 Pet. 2:14:3-41 Cor. 6:9-11).

And Such Were Some Of You!

          4.  For some this necessitates a complete makeover (Col. 3:5-10).

Repentance!

CONCLUSIONWHAT KIND OF RELIGION IS YOURS?