Sermons

Summary: 1. Jesus wants to give us new vision (vs. 1-7). 2. Jesus gives us new values (vs. 8-13).

Christianity Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Part 5: Be Changed by Christ

James 2:1-13

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - March 11, 2012

*We generally don’t like change. As Mark Twain famously said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” (1)

*We don’t like change. But Jesus wants to change us in some wonderful ways.

1. First, the Lord wants to give us new vision.

*God calls us to this kind of change starting in vs. 1-4, where James said:

1. My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

2. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,

3. and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool,"

4. have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

*What is God trying to tell us here? -- He is telling us to stop looking at people from the world’s point of view.

-God wants us to have a new mind-set, a new perspective.

-He wants us to see people from His point of view.

*Jesus Christ wants us to have our Heavenly Father’s eyes. So it is a big mistake for us to show favoritism to people just because they are rich. When we do that we are blind in a way.

*Two or three times recently I have heard someone from another church say they were concerned their church might be like the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-18. There Jesus said:

14. "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ’These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

15. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

16. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

17. Because you say, ’I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ -- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

18. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

*God does not want us to be spiritually blind. But we are when we show favoritism to people just because they are rich.

[1] First, we are blind to our own sin.

-James 2:4 reminds us of this, because it tells us we have become “judges with evil thoughts.”

[2] This kind of snobbery also makes us blind to the real status of poor Christians.

-James points this out to us in vs. 5&6, where he says:

5. Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

6. But you have dishonored the poor man. . .

*I read about one man who was struggling financially. And one day he joked, “My car is so rusty, I need a tetanus shot to drive it!" (2)

*That may be true for you, but if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are already rich in faith. And there is an unbelievable Kingdom waiting for you just over the hill!

*When we show favoritism to rich people, we are blind to the rich spiritual status of poor Christians.

[3] But we are also blind to the shortcomings of rich people.

-Verse 6 reminds us with this question: “Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?”

*There are wealthy people in Hollywood and New York who would love to see Christians like you rounded up and locked away in a camp somewhere. And now the federal government is trying to force Christian institutions to pay for drugs that cause abortion. No wonder that our Louisiana (Baptist) College felt compelled to go to court against this outrage.

*And think for a moment about some of the rich and powerful entertainers in our country. Should anybody really be looking up to people like Madonna and Lady Gaga? -- But they do.

*Twitter is one of the biggest social media sites. It’s kind of like facebook, boiled down to a sentence at a time. Here are some of the top 10 people on Twitter:

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