Summary: We must love regardless of a person's race, creed or socio-economic status.
Racism Is A Sin
Text: James 2:8-13
1. Illustration: I heard about an African-American who tried to attend a church. Sadly, the church wouldn’t even let him attend a service.
The pastor said, "You just need to pray about it."
About three weeks later the pastor saw him and asked, "Did you talk to the Lord about it?"
The man said, "Yes, and God said, `Don’t worry, I’ve been trying to get into that church for 20 years and I still can’t get in.’"
2. The recent events in Charlottesville, VA and others tells us that racism is alive and well in our country. Any historian can tell you that it has always been that way. From the institution of slavery, Jim Crow laws, the internment of Japanese American's during WWII, and the list goes on and on.
3. What is even sadder is that this racism is also alive and well in the church. And this should not be! Of all the places that racism should never raise it's ugly head is in the church!
4. James makes this clear by telling us about...
A. Keeping The Royal Law
B. Breaking The Royal Law
C. Being Judged By The Royal Law
5. Let's stand together as we read from James 2:8-13.
Proposition: We must love regardless of a person's race, creed or socio-economic status.
Transition: First James tells us about...
I. Keeping The Royal Law (8).
A. Love Your Neighbor
1. In the second part of his treatment of discrimination James shows how it goes against the greatest of all commandments.
2. In v. 8 he says, "Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
A. Love is the source from which our attitudes toward others should flow. This royal command is a law from the King of kings.
B. This law is God’s will for his followers: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
C. James was calling his readers to obey the royal law of love that would forbid them to discriminate against anyone who entered their fellowship.
D. We are to show favor to everyone, whether the person is rich or poor. We are to be kind, overlooking other superficial trappings.
(Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 1078).
E. James begins with the Old Testament command Love your neighbor as yourself because it is the specific command being violated by favoritism, and because Jesus used it to summarize the Old Testament teaching regarding our treatment of each other.
F. The law for people of faith is the law of love, taught in the Old Testament and now delivered personally by Christ as his royal law for his followers.
G. Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
H. Favoritism is sin because it violates Christ's law of love.
I. James would have us look carefully at the content of this law.
J. Loving your neighbor as yourself requires an openness to friendship with any neighbor—regardless of that neighbor's wealth, position, status, influence, race, appearance, attractiveness, dress, abilities or personality.
K. Every Christian operates in some social group—a school, a neighborhood, a workplace. And most social groups have their social misfits—the ones who are looked down upon, ostracized or neglected.
L. The royal law absolutely prohibits the Christian from joining in the favoritism. The follower of the royal law will reach out to any neighbor (Stulac, 102).
B. Great Commandment
1. Illustration: A first grader went on her first day to a newly integrated school at the height of the segregation storm. An anxious mother met her at the door to inquire, "How did everything go, honey?" "Oh, Mother! You know what? A little black girl sat next to me!" In fear and trepidation, the mother expected trauma, but tried to ask calmly: "And what happened?" "We were both so scared that we held hands all day."
2. Racism is in direct opposition to the Law of Christ.
A. John 13:34-35 (NLT)
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
B. Jesus taught us to love and not to hate.
C. He taught us to not to look at someone from the outside, but rather to look at them for who they reall are on the inside.