Practical Wisdom from the Book of James
Dealing with our Prejudice James 2:1-13
October 22, 2017
Pastor John Lloyd
Passage: James 2:1-13
The problem: Having is more important than being.
James situation: The Roman culture elevated and honored both wealth and status. During this time, approximately 8% of the people had wealth, 2% were gaining it and 90% lived as poor. The 8% ruled over the 90%. Wealth and status do not determine our worth.
Three steps that we can take to get past our prejudices and express the life of Christ to all!
I. Recognize and reject what our culture favors.
James 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
Colossians 3:25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Ephesians 6:9
Our value is not based on what we own or do not own. (Lk 12:15)
James 2:2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (Luke 1:48)
1. Rich over poor
2. Attractive over plain
3. Thin over heavy
4. Quick over slow
5. Educated over uneducated
6. The _____________ over the Christian.
Prejudice is something we all battle in some form or another.
II. Learn what God favors.
James 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. (Romans 2:11)
“Our glory comes not from what we own, but who owns us.”
Acts 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), (Prov.28:21, Leviticus 19:15, Malachi 2:9, Prov. 22:2)
I Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (See Matt. 5:3, Lk.4:18,6:20)
“The poor are often rich in the very thing that Christians prize most.”
I Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
“The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Materialism perverts the human soul.” Kent Hughes
God favors the poor over the rich. (James 2:5)
God favors the not so influential over the influential. (I Cor. 1:26-30)
God favors the foolish over the wise. (I Cor. 1:27a)
God favors the weak over the strong. (I Cor. 1:27b)
God favors the lowly, despised things. (I Cor. 1:28)
2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
We prize Jesus because he is Lord, he is Jesus, he is Christ, he is the Lord of Glory, because by the grace of God we ‘hold the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ’ We prize Jesus more than anything else!
III. Practice mercy in all your dealings.
James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (2:9-10)
James 2:11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Isaiah 58:10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (Isaiah 58:11-12)
Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“Favoritism is evidence of a unmerciful spirit. How we treat people matters to God.” Hughes
Luke 6:36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:37-38)
Three questions to ask yourself: Am I practicing the golden rule? Do I have any significant relationships with people outside my group? How do I treat the people that society doesn’t consider important? Lord, deliver us from the folly of favoritism.
Amazing things happen when we express to
others what God has given to us.