Please read James 1:22-27 and notice v.26, “this man’s religion is vain” and v.27, “pure religion… is this.” The word “religion” means ceremonial observance, also translated “worshipping.” Religion is not what takes a person to heaven. Verses 22, 23, and 25 mention “doers,” “doer” and “deed,” yet those words describe a result of Salvation rather than a cause of Salvation. Eph. 2:8-9 states, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” In fact, v.10 shows we are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works…” Salvation produces good works and good works are vain to create Salvation. Paul and Nicodemus were both religious and lost. “Vain” religion in v.26 means ceremony without substance. They had the act but not the fact! Read Matthew 23:13-33 and see the indictment of Jesus on the “religious lost.”
In pure religion, Salvation is worked out. Phil.2:12
In vain religion, Salvation is worked at! Matt. 7:21-23
In Pure religion, Salvation results in good works.
In vain religion, good works result in false Salvation.
In pure religion, Faith is the basis, works the evidence.
In vain religion, works are the basis and the false evidence.
In pure religion, Salvation is a work of God in man.
In vain religion, Salvation is a work of man in vain.
2 Cor. 13:5 states “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Many people give these answers concerning their professed Salvation: “I believe in God.” “I am a good person.” “I was baptized.” “I go to Church.” “I pray every day.” “I keep the golden rule” and many others, yet not one of these describe Bible Salvation. There is only one way to be saved and that if found in Rom 10:9-13. Please read it and examine yourselves. Please read 2 Cor 4:3-6