James 1:27 – 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.
Our great desire should be to have our minds changed from the world’s viewpoints to embracing God’s perspective. Paul exhorted the church, “Put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Colossians 3:10). The “new self” is Christ in us. Again, Paul says to the Philippians, “Have this mind in you that was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Christ’s mind was one of humility, to do only what the Father willed.
The Lord Jesus Christ was not moved by the religion which had been hijacked through Jewish religious leaders. His was a pure religion, “unstained” by the world’s systems. One of His first sermons made this clear when He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are, oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
The same Holy Spirit that was in Jesus wants to rest on and be in us to fulfill what Christ came to do. Jesus made it possible for us to participate with Him in the great purposes of God. Pure religion is not legalism, not dogmas, but ministering the life of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit to all those who will receive.
Before ascending to His Father, Jesus instructed His disciples, “Stay in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Jesus knew that only in the power of the Holy Spirit could His disciples accomplish what He was sending them to do. So it is in our lives as well. We must have the power of the Holy Spirit if we are to accomplish the Father’s purpose in the earth. Only the Father’s “pure religion” can defeat the enemy’s religious systems.
Father, I choose to give myself to pure religion. Holy Spirit, I yield to You to be on me and to be in me for the purpose of fulfilling the anointing that rested on Christ in His human ministry. I choose to put on the “new self” and to be “renewed to the true knowledge according to the image of Christ.”