A. A POLARIZED SOCIETY, PEOPLE WERE EITHER RICH OR POOR, SLAVE OR
FREE, JEW OR GENTILE, GREEK OR BARBARIAN.
B. JESUS BROKE DOWN SOCIAL BARRIERS IN HIS DEATH. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).
C. OUR TEXT SHOWS PARTIALITY STILL BEING PRACTICED AS JAMES WRITES.
D. BECAUSE IT IS PRACTICED TODAY, WHAT DOES JAMES SAY?
A. AS MANIFESTED IN JAMES’ DAY.
1. Jewish Christians showed partiality in regards to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-14)
2. In James the problem was showing partiality to the rich (Jas. 2:2-4).
B. TODAY, WE CAN ALSO BE GUILTY OF PARTIALITY.
1. How do we treat visitors.
a. Rich young ruler … family, nice car, outspoken, well dressed (Matt. 19:16f).
b. What would we do to keep him? What would we do keep the poor?
2. How do we treat one another?
a. Do we show partiality socially (Rom. 12:10). Cliques in the church?
b. Are we in a party (Phil. 2:3; Gal. 5:19-21 – 1 Cor 1:12-13).
c. Who are we ashamed of? (1 Cor. 12:20-23). Do we hide the eyesores?
d. Do we put family, friends, rich first to the exclusion of others?
C. SOME DISCRIMINATION IS CALLED FOR.
1. No fellowship with evil (Eph. 5:11).
2. Fellowship with those in error causes difficulty (2 Cor. 6:12).
3. Such discrimination is based on the manifest content of one’s character.
WHAT ONE DOES!
II. WHY CHRISTIANS CAN’T SHOW PARTIALITY (Jas. 2:1-13).
A. JESUS CHRIST IS A “GLORIOUS” LORD! (2:1).
1. We are Christ’s disciples whose goal is to be like him (Luke 6:40).
2. Others must see his light in us (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:9, 11-12).
3. Our conduct is noted by others (Matt. 5:14; Titus 2:6-8).
4. If we are not careful, the glory of the Lord can be tainted by OUR partiality!
B. WE BECOME JUDGES WITH EVIL THOUGHTS (2:4)
1. The dangers of judging (Matt. 7:1ff). Are we fair in judging others?
2. We must make righteous judgments (John 7:24). On the basis of what do we Judge?
3. If we judge against the poor, we find ourselves fighting against God! (Psa. 109:31).
C. WE DESPISE THOSE GOD HAS HONORED (2:5)
1. Both then and today God has chosen to honor the poor
a. The poor are more likely to be “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3).
b. Too often the rich trust in their riches (1 Tim. 6:17)
c. The gospel was proclaimed to the poor (Luke 7:22).
d. The majority of those who responded were the poor (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
2. God has chosen to honor ALL men through the Gospel (Acts 10:34-35).
3. Therefore, when we show partiality we despise those whom God has honored
by His offering to them salvation through the gospel!
D. WE HONOR THOSE MOST CAPABLE AND LIKELY OF OPPRESSING US (2:6-7)
1. The rich were doing this to the Christians in James’ day
2. Who is most likely throw their weight around today?
Beware Yuppies & Martha Stewart
E. WE BREAK “THE ROYAL LAW” (2:8-11).
1. Which is “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself!”
2. The basis of all laws governing our conduct toward one another?
(Matt. 22:36-40; Rom. 13:8-10).
3. If we break this one law, we become guilty of ALL the Law, because we have
rejected the authority behind the law!
F. WE WILL ONE DAY BE JUDGED BY "THE LAW OF LIBERTY" (2:12-13)
1. This refers to the law of Christ, or the gospel (1:25; John 8:31-32).
2. But if we show partiality, thereby failing to show mercy
...then NO MERCY will be shown toward us! (Matt. 6:14-15).
“My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ,
(the Lord) of glory, with respect of persons” – James 2:1
“For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, to save
him from them that judge his soul.” – Psalms 109:31.