Summary: Pride, prejudice and discrimination, three things that you would not expect to find in church but you do. Lets see how and what we can do about it.
James 2:1-13 my brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. (2) For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; (3) And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: (4) Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (5) Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (6) But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? (7) Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? (8) If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: (9) but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (10) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (11) For he that said, do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (12) So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (13) For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
My brothers and sisters in Christ. That is how James opens the second chapter. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. In Christ, not based on race, creed or religion. Not based on whether or not wee have red hair or blonde hair or gray hair or in some instances like myself, losing hair. Not based on what kind of car we drive or what credit cards we have. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. He dies on that cross paying the price once for all of our sins. Salvation is a gift that has been freely given. Not something that can be purchased.
Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
If we look on the better off in our society as those who deserve the finer things, we are judging them. Yes we are to hold other Christians accountable but we not to judge. Yes we can proof people using biblical standards but only God knows the heart of a man. Just the same, we cannot look on the rich with contempt either.
Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
It was often thought in the Jewish religions and other religions that being well off was a sign of good faith and being in God’s Holy fold. Jesus preached directly against that. James heard him and took it to heart.
When the troubles of this world come upon the poor, we take our faith and we persevere in our prayers and grow closer to God. When we are looking at losing what we hold dear, it is easier for a poor man to embrace God’s word than it is for a man of wealth. The man of wealth may be able to buy his way out and just about pay for his happiness that does not last while the poor man, he finds his peace and happiness in God’s word. We, the poor of this world are far more likely to embrace God’s word and Jesus saving grace than a man who has no need to.