This week we will be studying James 2, Christian Conduct. The key verse is:
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)
Respecter of Persons v 1-9
a) Rich vs. Poor man v 1-4
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
b) Poor: rich in faith, heirs to the kingdom v 5-6a
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor.
c) Rich: oppressor v 6b-7
Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
d) Respect to persons=transgressor v 8-9
If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
This is a convicting passage of Scripture. Who gets preference in our lives and why? Do we look at people as equal in the sight of God? When we were born each of us were born with the same sin nature. Granted, upbringing, personal decisions to follow God or Satan affect our perspective. What does God want us to do?
These are challenging questions for each of us to ponder.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001