Summary: We must admonish those we love, to be careful, never giving in to this most serious downfall!
Sin of Showing Partiality and Favoritism,
1. This passage begins a new section in James, a discussion of various temptations and trials that are common to all believers.
2. There are certain temptations and trials that are constantly confronting us.
3. One of the strongest is that of showing partiality or favoritism, of discriminating against people.
4. We will learn today of the two temptations spoken of in James 2: this is a most serious situation!
5. Don’t be guilty of this sin: for we will learn today that it is just as serious as adultery or murder~
6. Open your bibles today, and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord’s precepts
I. What does it mean to show partiality? (2:1)
a. It means to favor some people over others or to pay special attention to a person because of
i. his wealth, social standing, position, authority, popularity, looks, or influence.
ii. Note that this charge is given to believers...
1. to brothers
2. to those who have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Lord of glory
b. Of all people upon earth, the very people who should not show partiality are believers.
i. The reason is clearly stated in James 2:1.
ii. Everyone who is in the church is a brother—everyone stands on an equal footing before the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Wealth, status, social standing, position, appearance—
2. nothing matters except all men coming to the Lord Jesus Christ and worshipping Him.
iii. Everyone who has faith in our Lord Jesus Christ bows before Him as Lord.
1. This means that the person bows before Christ as a servant or slave.
2. Note exactly who Jesus Christ is: He is the Lord of glory.
3. The charge is clear: believers—those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory—are not to show partiality or favoritism. It is strictly forbidden.
a. “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour” (Leviticus 19:15).
b. “He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons” (Job 13:10).
II. (2:2-3) the picture of partiality is clearly painted:
Two unbelievers visit the church.
a. One rich- One poor ~ tell story~
a. Note that the two men represent the extreme ends of wealth and poverty.
i. If partiality is not to be shown in this case, then it is never to be shown.
ii. There are to be absolutely no distinctions within the church, no distinctions of social class, standing, position, wealth, prestige, or recognition.
b. How often has a poor person visited a church and was not welcomed with open arms?
i. How many of us...
1. have felt uncomfortable and uneasy around him?
2. have ignored, neglected, and shunned him?
3. have failed to greet and welcome him?
c. This is not of Christ. It is wrong.
i. “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy”(Psalm 82:3).
III. There are five things wrong with showing partiality and favoritism. (4-7)
1. Showing partiality sets one up as the judge of men (James 2:4).
ii. It makes one as God;
1. it says who can worship God and who cannot,
2. who is acceptable to God and who is not.
3. Only God Himself can determine who He will accept and not accept.
a. “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).
b. “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Romans 14:13).
c. “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” (James 4:12).
2. Showing partiality reveals evil thoughts (James 2:4).
i. It says that material things such as clothes and cars are more important than the person himself. This, of course, is foolishness.
1. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:21-22).
2. “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” (1 Cor. 10:24).
3. Showing partiality discriminates against the poor and lowly, a people who are loved by God (James 2:5).
a. “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him” (Psalm 12:5).
b. “I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor” (Psalm 140:12).