How do we know that a person has a true religion? Almost every one claim that they are in the right religion, each of them has its own basis and ideologies.
Many characteristics are mentioned in the Bible if we would like to know about the true and pure religion. Although it is easy to claim and say its certainty, we cannot prove it by mere words only, truth doesn’t only rely on words. Truth is explained in a variety of ways.
Religion came from the word “relegare” which means to bring back into relationship with God. Our fathers long before had fallen away from God and His commandments; thus, there is a need for us to come near again to God and ascertain our relationship with Him. Religion is therefore important to man to create a connection with God.
How did the Bible explain the true and pure religion?
Religion is made up of many elements. It composes of people who are prepared to follow God’s will and willing to be subjected under His commands and doctrines. Commands and doctrines are therefore part of religion. But the most important element is the relationship between God and man.
How do we know the true and pure religion? The Bible says, 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. 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 1:26-27)
In these verses, we understand the attributes of people who possess the true and pure religion. It is manifested through actions and not through words alone. It is shown by how much we care for other people, for a brother or for a sister. Noticed, that it is a demonstration of the second greatest commandment, which is to love others as we love ourselves. Extending help, care and affection to those who are in need shows how to love others. (1 Timothy 5:10) Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
Noticeably, we learn that keeping ourselves clean and without blemish before God is a sign that we are in the true religion. Living holy in all aspects of life can do this. Living holy means turning away from all sorts of evil and wickedness and making sure that holiness is prioritized. (2 Timothy 2: 19) Aside from this, being a model for all faithful is established. (Titus 2: 7-8)
Therefore, the sign of true and pure religion is this, that each member is trying its best to be holy not only in the sight of God but as well as in front of all men. And they all follow without doubt and hesitations all the doctrines and teachings given to them by God.
It is also important that we determine how pure are the teachings that we possess. Teachings should be founded under God’s true teachings and not biased under different sectarian beliefs. (John 7: 17) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Now we know that being a member of the true church of God is a big responsibility. It is our duty to live differently from those who don’t possess faith, beliefs and teachings. (Romans 12: 1-2) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Other than this, we also have a principal duty to perform as a member of the church.
What is this primary duty that we need to do?
It is our major role to demonstrate the glory and holiness of God, And one way to do this is by sharing the faith we received from Him. (1 Peter 2: 9-10) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Preaching and sharing the words of God are not only a duty of the ministers and preachers of the church; each member is accountable for this role. There are many ways, which members can help to spread God’s words. Each one must answer to this calling because everyone is a member of the church of God. (Ephesians 3: 9-10) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.
Each member is like a part of the body that needs to function well to achieve a common goal. If one part of the body will not move or function well, or will not help, this will turn out to be a burden for the whole body. This can happen in the church as well, if we will not help and extend our share in the primary goals of the church, then nothing will be achieved. Each one should therefore act as one body in one spirit. (1 Corinthians 12: 28, 4-7) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
What will happen if we try our best to contribute in the most important purpose of the church?
It is God’s will that people know the truth and be saved. But this will never be achieved if no one will bear the truth. Therefore, if all the members of the church will unite and hold each other’s hand to participate on this important purpose, then many people should be able to find the true and pure religion. (1 Timothy 2: 3-4)
And even those who hesitate and doubt God will eventually turn back to Him. And all the lost will find their way back to the Lord God. (Jude 22- 23) And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Even it is our duty to share the words of God to all, it doesn’t mean it will always be successful in gaining faithful members. Preaching and sharing God’s words are our duties, but calling is up to God. We are only instruments in the propagation of His teachings but the mercy and compassion of calling the faithful will always be God’s prerogative. (Romans 9: 15-16) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
So, each member should strive hard to be part of sharing the Gospel of the Lord. It is part of our calling.
What will we gain if we accomplish this?
Christ promised that He will be with us until the very end, that is if we let ourselves be part of following His final instruction, which doesn’t apply only to the Apostles but as well to us (Matthew 28: 19-20) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
And if we respect and give importance on His promise, we must do our part of sharing His words to our friends and love ones; and we try also to purify ourselves, making us free from any sins and wickedness. (2 Corinthians 7:1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Most of all, if we accomplish all these things, God will surely grant us the promised eternal life, which He will only give to those who are righteous.