GUEST POST ~
LOVING JESUS NOT RELIGION
If you've been a part of Our Resolute Hope's ministry over the years, you know that we are not very fond of religion. I love to tell people I'm not religious in any way, but I love Jesus. The word religion comes from the Latin religio and it’s a compound word which means “return to bondage.” And I tell people that the word religion isn't even in the Bible. Some Believers are quick to point out, “Oh no, Frank, you're wrong. It's in James.”
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27 (NASB)
Well, I don't ever want to undermine our English translations, but we have to remember a translation is a work of man where we take the original Greek or Hebrew language and translate it into English. That's why we have concordances and lexicons to look up those words and see if the translators really did their job.
In this instance, they did not do their job. The Greek word that has been translated “religion” in the Book of James is actually the word “reverence,” or I would translate it as “worship” because that's what reverence is. And so the text should read, “Pure and undefiled worship is the taking care of orphans and widows.” You see, we've reduced worship in our culture to singing praise songs.
Worship is life.
The number one word used in the New Testament for worship is latreia which means “to serve.” So, as Jesus said, when you visit someone in prison, you're visiting Him. When you bring someone a drink of water, you're serving and worshiping Him.
True worship is the expression of His life of love flowing through us to love others.
Pure and undefiled worship is revering the One who deserves it most, the One who redeemed us so that we could fulfill our glorious purpose in creation. That purpose is to express the invisible God to a physical and visible world. Go express Him, my friends, and the love and care of those who need to be loved and cared for. I hope you were encouraged today by the ministry of Our Resolute Hope.