This man’s religion is vain.

This man’s religion is vain.

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20

I thought it’s unfair not to comment on the above verse. Our love for God can mean nothing unless we prove it first by actions in loving and caring for one another. Paul says to the Romans, set not your mind on high things, but condescend to those that are lowly, and to the Ephesians he said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3, and to the Colossians;

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:12-17

It is in our relationship with one another, and in our treatment of one another, that true lowliness of mind and the heart of humility, and mercies, kindness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness, etc, is seen. There is no way you can say it’s between me and my God, if it’s to be of value. We must be prepared to reveal the love and care of Jesus in our relations, and in the light of scripture. Some believers don’t know that in putting on the Lord Jesus, we’re also putting on that same heart of compassion which he had, and kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering, and we demonstrate that only in our love one for another – in honour preferring one another and as servants one of another…

Lowliness of mind and the heart of humility, and mercies, kindness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness is about telling your neighbor that I’ve lost myself so I could find you, and that I no longer compare myself with you, but that I am here to wash your feet.

You praise God when others are preferred and blessed before you. You bear it when others are praised and you’re forgotten – because like Paul you enjoy it being nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-2 says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Some believers have lost their plot about God, or what purpose Church should serve. Listen to what Isaiah says, “…shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.” Isaiah 58:1-2

We take delight in approaching God, but only for wrong motives, i.e., so we should take revenge and all selfish reasons. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” (Matthew 19:21). Treasure in heaven is not gotten by wishing other dead as we sometimes do, but wishing them well.

James 1:25-27 says,

“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. 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. 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.”

  • vain religion is when your reason for going to church is so that God could fight your enemies. You’re deceiving your heart because true religion is countering evil with good.

Doesn’t the bible instruct us to bless and curse not?

Jesus says in Luke 6:26-37

[26] Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. [27] But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, [28] Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. [29] And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. [30] Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. [31] And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. [32] For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. [33] And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. [34] And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. [35] But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. [36] Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. [37] Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Shalom

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