Riches and Poverty: Favoritism in the Church – James 2:1-13

My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. … 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?

Fallen humanity and its nature tends to categorize or classify people and things. We so easily categorize and stereotype people by the way they look, the things they possess, the jobs they have, and their place in society. Do they look like you? Are they dressed well? Are they wearing jewelry? What kind of car do they drive? Where do they live an how big is there house? What job or business do they work at – or own? What is their standing in society?

This kind of grouping is commonplace here and throughout the world, as people look at others around them and pigeonhole them by the material things that they process. Sadly, even those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the Lord of all Jesus Christ, fall for the very same kind of partiality and prejudice. We are all infected by favoritism based on status, to some degree.

Our text for this Sunday bluntly addresses the evil of the world’s favoritism, which was creeping into the culture of the church. Partiality is sinful and as we shall see, it is totally against God and His nature. Two texts that support this are: Acts 10:34 “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” and Proverbs 28:21, “To show partiality is not good.”

God does not look down upon people and say “what does this one have to bring to the table,” or “what is this person’s standing in the world” No, not at all! In fact, we see the exact opposite, as God chooses the foolish things to be wise, the weak to be strong, the stammering to speak for Him, and the poor to confound the world.

Our text in James chapter 2:1-13 addresses these matters. Lord willing on Sunday, we will look at it under one banner – “Favoritism Condemned” – in three points:
1) verses 1-4: faith and favoritism are incompatible
2) verses 5-11: reasons for rejecting favoritism
3) verses 12-13 living by the law of liberty

Please pray that we would have ears to hear and eyes to see what the Lord would have for us by way of His word. Pray that we would look to our Lord and follow His example in our lives and in all we say and all we do to His glory alone.

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