Sermon:
Showing Favoritism, James 2:1-13
Paul Redwine, Northside Christian Church, Sunday, July 20, 2003.

Introduction

[ILLUSTRATION] a plainly dressed man who entered a church in the Netherlands took a seat near the front. A few minutes later a woman walked down the aisle, saw the stranger in the place she always sat, and curtly asked him to leave. He quietly got up and moved to a section reserved for the poor. When the meeting was over, a friend of the woman asked her if she knew the man she had ordered out of her seat. “No,” she replied. Her friend then informed her, “The man you ordered out of your seat was King Oscar of Sweden! He is here visiting the Queen.” -- Our Daily Bread, December 3, 1993

[ILLUSTRATION] A deplorable incident occurred in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. He said in his autobiography that during his student days he was interested in the Bible. Deeply touched by reading the gospels, he seriously considered becoming a convert. Christianity seemed to offer the real solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. One Sunday he went to a church to see the minister and ask for instruction on the way of salvation and other Christian doctrines. But when he entered the sanctuary, the ushers refused him a seat and suggested that he go and worship with his own people. He left and never went back. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said to himself, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” - H.G.B. Our Daily Bread, January 19

We judge books by the cover, even though we are told not to.

[TEXT] James 2:1-13

[CENTRAL THESIS] As Christians, we are commanded to avoid showing favoritism.

Here’s how we can avoid favoritism:

I. Throw out Preconceived Notions

ILLUSTRATION -- Movie, Amos and Andrew

Church in North Carolina -- Blacks, Whites, Military, Harley riders . . . all in one church
Different backgrounds, had one purpose

II. Don’t Judge Unjustly

The Bible requires us to judge actions
We are not to judge the heart.
We should judge by proper standards

[ILLUSTRATION] There’s a wonderful story about a Chicago bank that once asked for a letter of recommendation on a young Bostonian being considered for employment. The Boston investment house
could not say enough about the young man. His father, they wrote, was a Cabot; his mother was a Lowed. Further back was a happy blend of Saltonstalls, Peabodys, and other of Boston’s first families. His recommendation was given without hesitation. Several days later, the Chicago bank sent a note saying the information supplied was altogether inadequate. It read: “We are not contemplating using the young man for breeding purposes. Just for work.” Neither is God a respecter of persons but accepts those from every family, nation, and race who fear Him and work for His kingdom (Acts 10:34-35). - Kathleen Peterson

III. Follow the Greatest Commandment -- Love
Greatest Commandment: Love God
Second Greatest Commandment: love others