by Steve Wagers

This content is part of a series.

How Real Is Your Religion? (8 of 19)
Series: A Closer Look at the Book: JAMES
Steve N. Wagers
James 1:26-27
March 6, 2005

Sermon Outline
1. A Poor Religion!!
A. The Truth about a False Appearance!
B. The Tragedy of a Faulty Activity!
2. A Pure Religion!
A. The Service that is Displayed by our Life!
B. The Separation that is Demanded of our Life!

* Religion has become one of the great generic words of our day. Whenever a person questions someone as to their faith/belief/denomination, they normally refer to as "religion."

* Of course, as believers, we know that when the Bible speaks of "religion" it is not referring to a man-made ideology, a secular belief system, or allegiance to a particular denomination. Rather, it refers to a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Religion will send a person to hell; but, a relationship will get a person to Heaven.

* The word "religion" is found 5 times in the New Testament. Two of those 5 times are found in our text. The word "religion," in our text, refers to our "outward and external observance of our faith." It does not so much refer to what we believe as it does how much we belief. It does not so much speak of our inward belief, but of our outward behavior.

* I have met a few people that put more stock in their denominational label than they did anything else. I think of a story about three Churches in a little town. There was a Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist Church. They were all struggling to exist. They finally decided that the only way they could survive was to merge. They all gathered to discuss the merger and the question came up what they would name the church. Finally after much discussion and dissension, one suggested that they call it a Christian Church. One fellow jumped up and said, "I was born a Baptist, I grew up a Baptist, I have never been anything but a Baptist, and no one is going to make a Christian out of me."

* George Barna stated in his boo ...

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