Sermons

Summary:

Introductory Comments

1. I needed help but I did not know whether I would get it. I did not think they would let me in their house.

2. I had still been in bed when Diane came in with an urgent problem. She was supposed to be detassling corn but she could not find the field she was to be working in and so she came home to call her boss. But there was no answer. And so I offered to help her. I would help her find the place. I took one car and she the other. The problem was that she was already late. So I threw on some old clothes - old blue jeans, no socks, a wrinkled , dirty shirt. I did not even wash my face, comb my hair, or shave. As I drove off, I noticed the fuel gage was almost on empty. I prayed that God would help us to find the field before the car would run out of gas. My prayer was answered but I had not thought out my prayer.

3. Now I had to get home. I though it best to see if there was a gas station on highway 40 on the way to Blenheim. But there was none. And soon I was stuck at the side of the road, out of gas, in the country.

4. There was a home nearby and I rang the bell a number of times before anyone came to the door. I felt that I looked like a bum and I wondered if the would even let me use their phone. Thank God they did, but I made sure to explain while I looked as messy as I did.

5. If I had come to my own door, or if someone that was dressed and unclean like me would have come to my door, I would have hesitated to let him into my house.

6. We are so quick to judge someone on their appearances - on how they look and how they are dressed. And while we need to be cautious as to who enters our home, we can so easily fall into sin by how we judge others on their appearance.

Teaching

1. This is what James is talking about in our passage today. In 1:19-27 James has been telling us the importance of putting God’s word or spiritual truth into practice. And beginning with our passage today, he teaches us how to put this truth into practice. And so he looks at different aspects of our Christian lives.

2. The first area of application is that of showing favouritism or partiality. It is so easy to show favouritism. Based on who the person is, their dress, their colour their nationality or how well off they are.

3. Do you look with judgement upon some people? If you do, as we will see, you are sinning and not putting your faith into practice.

4. James begins with a command or prohibition. He then gives an example of the sin. Then he explains why this is a terrible wrong or sin.

5. In verse 1, James says "Don’t show favouritism" The Greek here says that they are forbidden to do something that is already in practice. In other words they are already showing favouritism and James is really saying "Stop showing favouritism"

6. In verse 1 he presents three factors that support why we should not do this.

7. The first is that they are brothers. James says "my brothers". Their sense of identity and the identity of others should be determined not by their wealth or social standing, but rather on their status as believers.

a. James 1:9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. The high position anyone has is not based on wealth but rather by faith.

b. When we show favouritism to those who are wealthy we are saying that true wealth and position is based on money is based on faith.

8. And this leads to the second factor. James reminds them they are believers. Favouritism contradicts the importance and reason for our faith. The KJV translates this "have not the faith of Christ with respect to favouritism". The value of faith and the value of riches (or any other human positions or identity) stands in opposition to each other. If we have faith in Christ, then the importance of wealth (or position or nationality) is cast side. We then know that true riches are in heaven and the world’s riches are really of no value at all.

9. And the third factor is the object of our faith - our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. To be partial toward people because of their wealth or position is treating their wealth as more valuable than Christ.

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