Wednesday, July 31, 2019

AN UNSPOTTED LIFE BEFORE CHRIST

An unspotted life before Jesus Christ


The  Apostle James starts out writing that whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues into being a quickened hearer and a doer of the work this person will be blessed in all his or her deeds. I think it is interesting that James uses the verb "Work" because when we read the Bible there is labor in us applying the precepts of the word of God to our life. We as Christians are not supposed to be spectators merely sitting on the sidelines of the otter perimeter on the work of God. There are no unemployment lines for or in the kingdom of God. Notice we can not apply this labor for Jesus Christ unless we read the Bible with open ears and a willing heart because verse twenty five is in the context of the word of God. If you do not have access to a Bible or portions of the word of God try and surround yourself with fellow believers in Jesus Christ. 

James also talks about people that say they are Christians but can not control their tongues. This unfortunately deceives their own heart and his or her faith is in vain. These are strong words that revolve around our speech but I will expound on this later in the article.

The Apostle explains what genuine faith in Jesus Christ is in an undefiled form before God. One example would be to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. This true believer in Jesus Christ is also supposed to keep him or herself unspotted from the world. God really does not desire us to blend or conform in with the world because our message will be compromised and we will probably fall into some kind of sin.

We are to have faith in Jesus Christ who is described as the Lord of glory and has no respect of persons.

Let us say for example you are the pastor of a congregation and someone rich comes in with a Godly appearance but next to him comes a poor person who is not dressed very well. James is saying do not show favorites. Special attention should not be giving to the rich nor should lousy treatment be giving to the poor. 

Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(25) "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, But a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (26) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. (27) Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (1) My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. (2) For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; (3) And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool. James 1: 25 - 27, James 2:1 - 3.  

The ceremonial law although perfect was first introduced in the Old Testament. It was a burden of bondage to the souls of men because nobody was perfect. The is why the Apostle James writes about the gospel is the law of liberty which is liberation to a believer in Jesus Christ. When we read the Bible Christians hear the perfect law of God or the law of liberty but then we must continue to travel in the proper path of obedience to God.

Our ultimate objective is to be blessed in our deed which is not only hearing the word of God but a doer of the work. It is good to know the Bible but that is not where the connection is made in us as believers in Christ being blessed. The hand of approval only comes when we do the will of God. If you hear Christians say, "Talk the talk but walk the walk remember the second part of the saying is far more important than the first. Walk the walk.

We have to discern between a vain faith in Jesus Christ and a pure belief that is truly approved by God. According to this passage the vainness is seen by a Christian that can not control his or her tongue. This person is in self deception and his or her faith is in vain in their relationship with Jesus Christ. It is is merely a show because this individual is far more concerned in appearing religious so truth gets thrown away and there is no real authentic relationship with Jesus Christ especially if you see them speak of the faults of others and make themselves look wise with God. People that have a deceiving tongue can not be humble and gracious in their hearts to God. We want strength and power in our faith through Jesus Christ, not a bunch of chatter lies about other people. You would be best just praying for them and getting back into the yoke of Jesus Christ. If these people continue to engage in this erroneous activity their self deception will grow greater and the amount of people that will be mislead usually multiplies.

If we as Christians have true faith in Jesus Christ our belief will be pure and undefiled in our devotion to God. Jesus Christ loves to see a holy life and a charitable heart not gossip today. It is interesting that James uses words like pure and undefiled because this is one of the attributes of God. This means that we should do everything with the presence of the Holy Spirit working through our hearts.

James gets more specific when he talks about compassion and love to the poor or distressed in life. This evolves into a tremendous necessary part of our faith in Christ if we were for example visit the fatherless or the widow in their afflictions. We are to have a special love for those who are helpless and are suffering. The person in this context who can not control his or her tongue and desires self admiration would not even care about these issues. On the outside which comes from the inside we are to show love and receive the downtrodden in our life. 

Part of living an unspotted life is to have a big heart for love and charity. Look at the word "Unspotted." I can not resist telling you this story. A very Godly man had a dream and he saw people waiting in line to be judged before they went to hell. He explained to his audience that God allowed him to see the spots in their hearts. I am not even sure he made the connection in the Bible from James 1:27 to his vision but I did not even think about this verse regarding that particular dream until now. This verse says ... "And to keep himself unspotted from the world." 

There is only a certain point that we as Christians can get involved in this world. Of course to some degree we have to go to work, pay our bills but the more we as believers in Christ get immersed in worldly things our soul will become blemished and defiled but the degree will depend on the intensity of our involvement in worldly pursuits. Our constant endeavor must be to live pure and holy because this is undefiled faith in Jesus Christ.

I would rather live a little boring and be right with Jesus Christ as opposed to living in the drama of sin and having all kinds of spots on my soul. There are so many false doctrines of compromise in Christianity that I actually feel sorry for the participants because usually they are fed a couple of lines and they accept this as doctrine for their theological paradigm as they walk through life. They usually fall into some kind of sin / sins. They often stand very strong on their false convictions and are extremely big on taking verses way out of context.

James changes his tone and actually shows how much dishonesty there is in sin due to respect of persons. James cautions against this because the character of the Christian is at stake. Our faith in Jesus Christ is a trust and treasure so he refers to the Son of God as the Lord of glory. We really should not have any special respect for Christians unless they are truly being conformed to Jesus Christ. If we show this favoritism to people our glorious Lord will for all practical purposes be pushed off to the side when He should be in the center of our hearts. Once again sin will take center stage if we engage in the practice of showing respect for persons.

In verses two and three the Apostle James gives an example of the folly of this sin. The problem with looking at who has the better appearance is God has His remnant of all sorts of people both rich and poor. A Christian's poverty does not put him at a distance with God. If anybody has the disadvantage in this area it is a believer in Christ that has a lot of money. It is not wrong to be rich because God is looking at your heart nor is it wrong to be poor because God is looking at your heart. I could expand on this issue but I can not believe an internet audience is not getting the basic idea of what the Apostle James is writing about in this passage.

If you do not know the Lord it does not matter if you are rich or poor. God loves you and you are precious in His sight. Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God in your life. I hope and pray  you just made that choice.

God Bless you,
Bob D.         

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