Summary: Message 14 in our exposition of James. This message deals with partiality and its opposite prejudice in the church.

Chico Alliance Church

June 4, 2018

Pastor David Welch

“Partiality and Prejudice in the Pews”

This is our thirteenth excursion in front of God’s faith-exposing mirror. James’ letter provides pointed instruction evaluating the true nature of our faith. James’ mirror exposes the reality of faith by showing us the character of true faith. The first category has to do with faith’s response to trials and tribulations.

I. Faith’s response to trials 1:2-27

A. Considers trial all Joy knowing trials produce endurance. 1:2-3

B. Continues enduring knowing endurance produces maturity 1:4

C. Confidently asks God for wisdom knowing He will give it. 1:5-8

D. Focuses on your spiritual riches. 1:9-11

E. Considers how God rewards endurance 1:12

F. Doesn’t blame God but ourselves for temptations 1:13-17

G. Receives AND practices the implanted word of truth. 1:18-27

The word of God is the primary source of help in responding to trials. The person of true faith relies on the truth of God’s word for perception and direction in the struggles of life in a dark and broken world.

Today we search God’s mirror for more possible areas of our life that require our attention; areas that demonstrate a weakness in our faith walk.

II. Faith’s response to partiality and prejudice 2:1-13


How we treat people reveals a great deal about the condition of our faith and the level of our spiritual maturity.

James applies the mirror of God’s word to a common issue today. Most of us are guilty of favoritism and its opposite at some level. Let’s first work our way though the passage and then come back and make some specific applications.


Before James gets real about their bad behavior, he warmly identifies with them.

“my brothers”

Next James issues the first instruction.


do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1

If you claim to trust Jesus…

If you claim to be a Jesus follower…

Then stop ungodly behavior.

Namely, stop showing partiality toward some and prejudice toward others.

To "receive the face" is to make judgments about someone based on external appearances such as physical looks, social status, or race. Jesus Christ is our supreme example. Expository Pulpit Series

Faith in Christ and partiality/prejudice are incompatible. God does not operate that way and neither does Jesus.

There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:9-11

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Colossians 3:23-25

Masters, do the same to them (servants), and stop your threatening, knowing that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9

Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. Acts 10:34-35

And the Pharisees sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. Mat 22:16


James references a “real world” example of what he is talking about.

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, 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,” James 2:2-3

Response to different people entering the assembly.

You pay attention to and honor the rich man.

You ignore and dishonor the poor man.

Jesus warned about those who operate this way.

In His teaching He was saying: "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation." Mark 12:38-40


have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:4

They made distinctions between other believers according to wrong motives, wrong thinking and wrong criteria.

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