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Sep 23, 2018

Pure Religion

Pure Religion

Passage: James 1:19-27

Speaker: Ben Seneker

Series: Everyday Faith: A study in the book of James

Category: Faith

"Be doers of the Word.” We do what we believe. The old phrase You are what you do doesn’t align with the gospel. Rather “We do what we Are.” Knowing that God’s “implanted word” - the Word of God (Jesus) as well as the word of God (scripture) - has transformed our very identity, and we are invited to dwell upon this Word and our new identities, resulting in us living out of our gospel identity. But we all constantly forget that we’ve been changed; forget that we are children of God. How might the corporate body of Grace Mills River change if we truly believed that the Word of God has been implanted within us? How might we then truly becomes does of the Word and not mere hearers?

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: 1 Peter 1:14-16
Call To Worship: Psalm 69:30-36
Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
New Testament Reading: Mark 4:2-9
Confession of Sin
Assurance of Pardon Romans 10:9-10
Sermon Title: Pure Religion
Central Text: James 1:19-27
Benediction: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: 1 Peter 1:14-16
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Call To Worship: Psalm 69:30-36
ALL: 30 I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

LEADER: 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32 When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

ALL: 33 For the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

LEADER: 34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.

ALL: 35 For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


New Testament Reading: Mark 4:2-9
2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Confession of Sin
ALL: Our Father, forgive us for thinking small thoughts of You and for ignoring Your immensity and greatness.
Lord Jesus, forgive us when we forget that You rule the nations and our small lives.
Holy Spirit, we offend You in minimizing Your power and squandering Your gifts.
We confess that our blindness to Your glory, O triune God, has resulted in shallow confession, tepid conviction, and only mild repentance.
Have mercy upon us in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon Romans 10:9-10
LEADER: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Central Text: James 1:19-27
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Benediction: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

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

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1.  What makes you angry? What does anger look like in you? Think about a time your anger hurt rather than helped?
  2. There’s a lot more about “faith and works” in chapter 2, but for now think about this:
    a) Why is there a gap between hearing and doing?
    b) Unpack the mirror illustration James uses.
    c) How does this hear/do gap impact your anger?
  3.  In vs. 21 there’s a spiritual swap being offered:
    a) What is “filthiness and rampant wickedness”?
    How is arrogance the root of these things?
    b) Define and describe “meekness.”  Describe someone in your life that you would describe as meek?
    c) The “implanted word” is 1) Jesus and 2) Scripture
    How/why are these “implanted”?
    What does that word imply?
  4. Do you normally see the “LAW” as freeing?
    a) HOW can it be freeing?
    b) What are we being “freed” FROM?
    c) What are we being “freed” FOR?
    d) How is loving widows and orphans a healthy and meek  outcome of “righteous anger”?
    e) What did God do when he had Righteous Anger regarding our rebellion (in and to Jesus on the cross)?
    How might this affect the way we see our own sin?

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