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Summary: Favoritism is more than foolish, it is sin.

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James 2:1-13

“Don’t Show Favoritism”

“Favoritism is more than foolish, it is sin.”

Sunday Morning Sermon

09.02.07

Intro: (Start with title and text)

Good morning. It is a blessing seeing each of you this morning.

You seem alive and awake this morning so I have a test for you. I want you to identify the objects when they come on the screen. (Advance after they name each of these)

(football) (Stroller) (Telephone)

(Birthday Cake) (roadblock)

I’ll give you $50 bucks if you can tell me what those images have in common. I’m just kidding. Sometimes when we see things – they are clear. All of those images were clear – no question. The last one – sometimes roadblocks in our lives aren’t the easiest to figure out. Even inside the church. We want the church to grow and move forward and be a blessing to our community and glorify God – but there are roadblocks.

Discussion:

The church that James is writing to has a possible roadblock. He gives them a warning – he’s giving us the same warning. He does this because he loves them and wants them to be everything they can be for the glory of God. It’s the same for us. From time to time we have to look at ourselves and see if we have possible roadblocks for growth, so we can fix and change them, for the glory of God.

Turn with me if you have your Bibles to James 2:1-13 (Read) (Advance)

He gives them three warnings – three things not to do.

(Advance)

I. Don’t Show Favoritism

He appeals to them as brothers – and as believers. We are all connected in the body of Christ, as brothers and sisters in Christ – Children of the most high God.

a. He tells them clearly –

i. DON’T SHOW FAVORTISM

b. He illustrates it

If you are having a meeting, and a man walks in wearing gold rings and fine clothes. And at the same time a man with shabby clothes, he’s unkept and dirty and he stinks.

c. You have to think about this

i. A rich man

1. Could boost the churches finances

2. He could donate a lot of stuff to the church

3. The preacher could be driving a hummer

The value of a rich man – way up there. We could make him a church leader, get him to feel responsible. He probably has influence in the city, he could make sure the police drive by more often to protect the property. Rich people are like roaches where there’s one, there’s probably a dozen – he probably has friends rich friends. Wow – what a blessing that would be to the church.

d. You have to think about the poor man too

i. The poor man

He stinks. His value is LOW. The preacher won’t be driving a hummer if we have poor people in the church – where’s the blessing in that? He wouldn’t add anything to the churches finances – he doesn’t have anything he could donate. We certainly wouldn’t put him in church leadership.

e. They need different seating too –

i. The stinky poor man should sit on the floor – the idea is that he would be out of the way – we might stand him up in the back.

ii. The rich man would have the best seat – maybe a Lazy-Boy Recliner

The problem with everything I just said – is it’s so true! We look at people like that. We want people to look like us and dress like us and act like us and be like us – almost to a fault. We are far away from looking like the God who created us, when we judge the outside of someone.

f. God sees the heart – he sees motive – he sees truth – and sin

We see gold rings, leisure suits, bad hair and dirty jeans. We make judgments based on that. Here’s the harm and the warning all at the same time. When those judgments affect how people are treated or accepted inside the church – it is sin.

g. The world’s measurement is opposite of God’s

i. I’m pretty sure God cares more about you being in church this morning than the way you look.

ii. I’m pretty sure God cares more about your attitude of worship than your ability to just do the right things and say the right things.

iii. I’m pretty sure God cares more about your response to his word, than the restaurant crowds, or the roast you have in the oven.

All of us – regardless of skin color, money we have or don’t have, influence we have or don’t have, the status that we have or don’t have – ALL of us are in need of a savior. Really it matters very little what is on the outside – because you could dress in the nicest suit and drive the best car and have an excellent relationship with Jesus. You could dress wonderful, and set tends, and have perfect hair – and be far away from knowing Jesus Christ as Lord.

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