Let Us Keep Ourselves Unspotted from the World (James 1:27)
1. According to this verse, "pure and undefiled religion" consists of 2 activities: a. visiting "the fatherless and widows in their affliction" b. keeping ourselves "unspotted from the world." 2. Last Sunday morning we covered part of the first activity by showing how "pure religion includes 'visiting' [supplying what is needed] needy children." 3. This morning we are concentrating on the second activity: "keeping ourselves unspotted from the world." 4. Let us begin by considering . . . Discussion: I. 3 REASONS WHY WE MUST KEEP OURSELVES UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD
A. First, the extent to which we keep ourselves unspotted from the world will determine the kind of religion we practice. 1. We learn from James 1:26-27 there are 2 kinds of religion: a. "vain" (vs.26) b. "pure and undefiled before God" (vs.27). 2. To practice the kind of religion that pleases God we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world. B. Second, the extent to which we keep ourselves unspotted from the world will determine our spiritual allegiance. 1. In John 8:23 Jesus said, "I am not of this world." 2. In John 12:31 Jesus described Satan as "the prince of this world." 3. Our relationship with the world determines whether our allegiance is to Christ or the devil. C. Third, the extent to which we keep ourselves unspotted from the world will affect our ability to bear fruit. 1. Jesus said in John 15:8 that we glorify God when we bear much fruit. 2. Jesus also said in Matthew 13:22 that "the care of this world" will cause us to be unfruitful. 3. Our relationship with the world will affect our ability to bear fruit. D. These are 3 reasons why we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world. E. Let us turn our attention to . . . II. SCRIPTURES THAT TEACH US HOW TO KEEP OURSELVES UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD
A. We must not be "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2). B. We must have our affections in the proper place (Colossians 3:1-2). C. We must obey the teaching of God's grace to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts" (Titus 2:11-13). D. We must not become friends of the world (James 4:4). E. We must not love the world or the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-17), as illustrated by Demas (2 Timothy 4:10a). F. We must follow the Lord's example. 1. Jesus said, "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). 2. With the Lord's help we can overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5). Conclusion:
1. The Bible teaches in Galatians 1:4 that Jesus "gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world." 2. We learn from Galatians 3:26-27 how and when the Lord saves us and delivers us from this present evil world. 3. When the Lord saves us He does not want us to be like people in the world. 4. We are to be different (1 Peter 2:9). 5. Keeping ourselves unspotted from the world will enable us to look forward to the Lord's return.