Summary: James teaches that friendliness, is shown, for one way by being merciful to others and if we are not mercy will not be shown to us.
1. Open your bibles to James 2:12&13.
2. James has a question for each one of us. Have we made an effort to shake hands with everyone that has come into the building?
3. Did you reach your hand out and give them a hand shake? Did you speak a few friendly and encouraging words?
4. If you missed them as they came in, did you go to them after they sat down and give them a “hello” and/or a “hand shake”?
5. All of us need to make this a regular habit. Don’t just come in and go straight for a seat and set down and neglect to show friendliness.
6. Up to this point, in two other lessons, from James 2:1-11 we have discussed five reasons that James gives, as to why we should be friendly to all who come to the services of the church.
7. In this lesson we will discuss the SIXTH point that James gives. JAMES 2:12&13 TEACH THAT CHRISTIANS ARE NOT TO SHOW MORE RESPECT, OR BE FRIENDLIER TO SOME PEOPLE THAN WE WOULD be friendlier TO OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE WHEN WE DO, WE WILL PAY THE CONSEQUENCES THAT WILL COME AFTER WE HAVE BEEN JUDGED BY THE “LAW OF LIBERTY”.
8. In this lesson we will discuss seven different things under James’ sixth point.
I. FIRST, JAMES 2:12a TEACHES that our friendliness and lack of friendliness is going to be brought up on judgment day.
1. Let’s read James 2:12. “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty”.
2. This is good general advice. We need always to live in a way that we stay prepared for the coming judgment. But in this verse, the instructions are directly related to the sin of discrimination or prejudice or shunning some and not being friendly to every one who visits the worship services.
(1) First, James mentions a sin of the tongue when he says, “so speak ye”. Also, when you look back at James 2:3 at James’ illustration James points out that “speaking” was one of the sins mentioned. They said to the rich man, “Sit thou here in a good place”; they said to the poor man, “Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool”.
So often it is our words that expose the friendliness or lack of friendliness that exist in our hearts. Our words to and about others can show concern and compassion and friendliness, or our lack of words may find ourselves being guilty of never saying anything to some that we ought to be showing friendliness and encouragement to.
(2) Second, in James 2:12 “doing” is the second sin referred to when James says, “so speak and so do”. Again look back at James 2:3. “Doing” was the other sin in James 2:3, since they ushered the rich and the poor to their respective seats.
Ultimately, our friendliness or lack of friendliness causes us to treat men differently.
If we love all people, our lives will show it. Genuine love will show friendliness to all people that visit us.
One teacher said, “that we must bind the Bible in shoe leather”, meaning that we must be doers and walk in the teaching of the bible.
The bible teaches us to love everyone and we need to walk to the other side of the building, if necessary, to make sure we speak to everyone. Use our shoe leather and show friendliness!
Another person said that, “in reality, we only believe as much of the Bible as we practice”.
II. SECONDLY, LET’S DISCUSS THE LAST PHRASE IN JAMES 2:12, WHICH SAYS THAT WE WILL BE “JUDGED BY THE LAW OF LIBERTY.”
1. Some people say, “since we will be “judged by a law of liberty” why should we be overly concerned about our “speaking” and “doing?
2. They reason, that since the standard that we’re going to be judged by is a “law of liberty”, doesn’t that mean that we can be friendly to who we want to and not friendly to who we don’t want to be friendly with? No, that is not what the word “liberty” means!
3. James uses the same term for “liberty” as he did in James 1:25. Just because the word “liberty” is attatched to the word law, does not mean that it is not a serious law that Christians are under. The “law of liberty” refers to the New Testament of Jesus Christ.
4. Turn to John 12:48. Here, Jesus stressed that we will be judged by the words He spoke – which also includes all of the N.T. Let’s read John 12:48, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”