Lent 2009 (14) – Real faith

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

James is telling the early Christians that it really does matter how we live. He goes so far as to say that we can tell whether someone’s faith is real or not by the way in which they behave. Real faith in Christ always spills over into the rest of our lives. It affects our attitude to ourselves as well as our attitude to others and to the whole of life.

James says that there should be no discrepancy between our beliefs and our actions. It is really easy for the standards and values of the world to squeeze us into their mould. A Christian discovers God’s standards and then lives them out. This means that, among other things. we care for the needy. James particularly mentions the orphans and the widows as being the especially vulnerable people of that day.

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