"But do not pretend that you can wallow in the mire of open sin or secret sin, and yet belong to Christ, for that cannot be. Keep yourselves unspotted from the world's puddles." - Charles Spurgeon
"The world is apt to spot and blemish the soul, and it is hard to live in it, and have to do with it, and not be defiled; but this must be our constant endeavor." - Matthew Henry
"Abstinence from evil and seeking that which is right will manifest our separation from the world, especially if the glory of God is our one great object in life."- Charles Spurgeon
"To keep ourselves from being polluted by the world, we need to commit ourselves to Christ's ethical and moral system, not the world's. We are not to adapt to the world's value system, which is based on money, power, and pleasure. True faith means nothing if we are contaminated with such values." - Life Application Bible Notes
"A deep feeling that we are soon to stand in the presence of a holy God, our final Judge, cannot but have a happy influence in making us pure." - Barnes' Notes
"Pure religion means practicing God's Word and sharing it with others, through speech, service, and separation from the world."
"It is only as we maintain our separation from the world that we can serve others."
"The best way to minister to the needs of the world is to be pure from the defilement of the world." - all of the above quotes are from the Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament
James 1:27 says - "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To...keep himself unspotted from the world."
In this verse of Scripture, the Apostle James was actually saying that "pure worship and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To...keep himself unspotted from the world."
There is so much talk about "worship" nowadays in our church circles. However, how many will include the idea of maintaining personal purity in a world of sin...laboring in the strength of God's Spirit to keep oneself from flesh defilement...or even guarding against worldly pursuits, ambitions, counsels, and grosser pleasures? Yet, this is what James was referring to when he mentioned "pure religion" as true worship before God.
He was talking about the Christian keeping himself with a jealous watchfulness...living a pure and uncontaminated life...keeping himself from the maxims, vices, and corruptions of this world... and denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.
"Pure worship" - as the Apostle mentioned - indicates separation, spotlessness, and self-watching in the "world" - a society without God.
The "world" has one agenda and that is to "spot" the believer and render him "defiled" before a Holy God. Resultantly, the Christian has a duty. It is to - "take heed to himself" (Exodus 34:12)..."keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27)..."touch not the unclean thing" (2 Corinthians 6:17)..."be diligent" so that he "may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14)..."keep the commandments without spot" (1 Timothy 6:14)..."be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation" (Philippians 2:15)..."keep himself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22)..."keep himself from the accursed thing" (Joshua 6:18)..."purify himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3)..."keep himself from idols" (1 John 5:21)... "make no league with the inhabitants of the land" but "throw down their altars" (Judges 2:2)...and "hate even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 1:23).
This is what the Apostle James calls - "pure worship" before God. It is living an unworldly life in a world full of sin...living daily with the fear of the Lord before your eyes...avoiding worldliness (the values and behavior of a society without God)...avoiding all unholy contacts with a vain and polluted world...having no close connection with an idolater or unholy person...keeping at a distance from the wicked and immoral whose conversation is dishonorable, ensnaring, and defiling...pressing toward spotless purity...giving no occasion for reproach or reproof... having nothing in your conduct that is contrary to truth...observing a strict discipline in the house of the Lord...abstaining from all evil... overcoming evil propensities...guarding against everything which occupies the place due to God...taking every caution to preserve your purity...and avoiding the most remote contact with sin.
This is "pure religion before God." This is "pure worship."
Song of Solomon 4:7 says of all believers - "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." This is the true picture of every Christian - having the righteousness of Christ and not having a single defect.
The Scriptures plainly tell us that the Lord Jesus is coming back for a bride - His church - "a glorious church, not having spot" (Ephesians 5:27).
It is no wonder that the Apostle James described "pure religion" or "pure worship" as "keeping yourself unspotted from the world."
Are you getting the picture? Are you getting what Holy Spirit is saying to the church today through this message?
There is much "worship" going on in the present-day church. However, it is not "pure religion" or "pure worship before God."
Many of the "worshippers" are defiled through worldliness. They have not kept themselves. They are "spotted" by the world. They have hobnobbed with the "lepers" of the world and have become "spotted." They have "touched the unclean things" and are now "spotted." They have not kept themselves from the idols of this world and, resultantly, they are "spotted." They have made leagues with the inhabitants of the land and are now "spotted." They have failed to throw down the altars in people's hearts and lives and have become "spotted."
Jesus wasn't kidding when He said that He is coming back for a church "without spot." He is coming back for those who are "all fair" - having "no spot" in them. He is coming for His true worshippers who have kept themselves "unspotted from the world."
Are you one of those true worshippers?
Remember - it's not just about how "anointed" you are when you sing. It's a lot deeper than that.
"Pure worship" entails being "pure" - keeping yourself "unspotted from the world."
How many "pure worshippers" does Jesus really have?
Are you one of them?