Summary: WE must guard against this subtle sin, it can do a lot of damage.
• SLIDE #1
• Have you noticed that in life there are sins that we really do not give much thought to?
• We understand big ones like, murder, stealing, etc... You can add to the list.
• There are sins that are a little more subtle. On the surface they do not really seem to cause much harm, they usually are the ones that do not get much thought.
• I want to open with a passage that illustrates the issue at hand to day. It is the story of Isaac and his wife Rebekah. They were getting ready to have twin sons.
• SLIDE #2
• Genesis 25:24–28 (ESV) 24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. 27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
• Do you see some possible problems?
• This subtle sin of favoritism went on to cause many problems within the family of Jacob and Esau.
• Favoritism is something that can undermine the progress of the gospel and undermine the growth of a church.
• In James 1:19-27, James tells us to put our beliefs into practice.
• In our passage today, we are going to be given another practical lesson on how to live out our faith.
• Let’s turn in our bibles to James 2
• SLIDE #3
• James 2:1 (ESV) My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
• Let us begin by seeing…
• SLIDE #4
I. Favoritism does not belong in God’s family. (1)
• What is God commanding?
• Favoritism is treating on person better than another.
• The original word meant to “lift up the face of someone” or to receive with favor”. In practical terms, it means that we are not to put people above other people.
• WE are to treat and look at all people with the same love and concern no matter what they look like, what they wear or where they are on the economic ladder.
• The church we guilty of showing favoritism and James is telling them to stop doing it now!
• SLIDE #5
• Galatians 2:6 (ESV) 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.
• Favoritism during Jesus day was a common practice, even Jesus’ disciples wanted preferential treatment (Mark 10:35-ff)
• The Pharisees were built on favoritism.
• SLIDE #6
• Luke 11:43 (ESV) 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
• This command is addressed to God’s family.
• James makes it clear to whom he is speaking by addressing the readers “My brothers”
• This command to not practice Favoritism is rooted in the depth of our faith.
• James appeals to a single fact that holds us together. It is our faith in Jesus. What gives anyone the right to tell us what we should do as Christians? It is because we proclaim our faith in Jesus.
• WE are told that as we possess our faith we are to listen to this command.
• Why should I do what the Bible says? It is because I proclaim a great faith in a great God!
• Let’s look at verses 2-3
• SLIDE #7
• James 2:2–3 (ESV) 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”
• SLIDE #8
II. Favoritism in HD. (2-3)
• In order for the readers to get what James was saying, he gives them an example, I wonder if it was a true example?
• Whenever a person of wealth would come into the church, people would flock around them and give them special treatment because they were hoping to benefit from the wealthy person.
• The example is of a rich person and a poor person coming into the assembly.