If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain.…
This admonition teacheth that the law of God, being a lantern unto our feet and a light unto our paths, and a thing Divinely inspired from above to make a man perfect in righteousness, doth not only restrain the unbridled actions of man, but also the disordered speeches of their mouths, that both in action and communication they may be holy unto the Lord. The reasons hereof are two.
1. It causeth error in our lives and hurt unto ourselves when we are given to babbling and prating; thereby our hearts are deceived and ourselves endangered. Solomon setting down the inconvenience of not restraining the tongue, affirmeth that life and death are therein. He that keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from trouble. As a city lying open and uncompassed with walls, even so is a man that cannot restrain his tongue.
2. As not moderating our tongues we deceive our own hearts, so we corrupt and defile our religion and make it vain before God.
(1) Vain talk,. idle and frivolous, serving to no profit, prating where there is no need, we shall give account to God for.
(2) Another evil of the tongue to be restrained in men is when we talk of God, of His Word, of His law and religion, not desirous to reform our lives according unto His commandments. This is a great evil and point of halting hypocrisy whereby our religion is vain.
3. As from these evils our tongues must be restrained, so from rash judgment.
4. Another evil is flattery.
5. Dissimulation — when we pretend one thing in our words and speeches and have another thing in our hearts, whether it be to God as hypocrites or to men as counterfeits — maketh also our religion vain.
6. The sixth evil from which we must refrain is lying, which is a false signification of speech or voice with intention to deceive.
7. The next evil which corrupteth our religion and maketh it vain before God is filthy speech, whereby not only our lives are descried to be evil, but our hearts to be wicked and our religion counterfeit.
8. Another is slander, whereof James 4:11.
9. Another, cursing and execration (James 3:9).
10. A tenth evil is blasphemy and swearing, spoken of James 5:12. Of all these may we worthily say with the apostle, "If any man among you seem religious, and restraineth not his tongue from these, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn't bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless.