Religion & Life

Webster rightly defines religion as: “The service and worship of God.” Nevertheless, true religion should affect all of our life in a positive way. This, however, is not always the case. Paul wrote of some: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16)

James as much as any New Testament writer emphasizes the practical aspect of religion and how it must affect our lives for good. He wrote: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26) Then on the positive side he said: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

The root meaning of our English word “religion.” is “to tie back.” (Webster) Thus religion has to do with getting back to God. The Old Testament prophet Micah sums up what is required of man if he is to return to God: “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:8)