Summary: Tonight as we continue to take a close look into the mirror of God’s Word, James challenges us regarding how we treat people. The way we behave toward people indicates what we believe about God.
Review "Quick, Get the Umbrella" & "Mirror, Mirror"
Tonight as we continue to take a close look into the mirror of God’s Word, James challenges us regarding how we treat people. The way we behave toward people indicates what we believe about God.
Text: James 2:1-13
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?
For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor” – well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters, Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love Him? And yet, you insult the poor man! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey the Lord’s royal command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin, for you are guilty of breaking the law.
And the person who keeps all of the law except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” So if you murder someone, you have broken the entire law, even if you do not commit adultery.
So whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free. For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God’s mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you.
Illustration: The Titanic movie
Segregation of the rich and poor…
Rose DeWitt Bukater, rich, educated and beautiful
Caledon Hockley, heir to a Pittsburg steel fortune, handsome and sophisticated.
Jack Dawson, a poor orphan who worked from job to job with no real future in sight.
This particular movie focused on the relationship of two people from two different worlds, Rose and Jack.
That movie very clearly showed us the dangers of pride, discrimination, and social cliques.
What are cliques?
Webster describes it as a narrow or exclusive circle or group of persons; especially: one held together by common interests, views, or purposes.
Rose and Jack were definitely from two different cliques.
The problem with cliques…
- It leave people out
- It’s motivated by selfishness
- It encourages bullying
- It encourages negative peer pressure
- It takes the focus away from Christ
- It is in contradiction to God’s Word
Some Cliquey Questions
Do you make an ongoing attempt to greet visitors and meet new people?
Do you make a regular attempt to talk to people outside of your close nit friendships?
How do you react when someone new comes into “your turf” of friendships?
Do you have any friends that would be considered by others to be “outcasts”?
Do you have friends from various spectrums of social, economical, ethnic, and physical status?
Do you treat those with money, social status, and popularity different than you do those without?
The Captain of the Titanic received 5 different ice- warnings, but he was not overly concerned. Later that night a sixth warning came to the telegraph operator. Due to the business of sending messages to the passenger’s family and friends, the warning was placed under a paperweight. At 11:40pm, April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg that sank the ship killing 1502 passengers.
James has sent us some iceberg warnings concerning cliques, pride, and favoritism that we can’t ignore. There is to much at stake to place this telegram under a paperweight.
Avoiding the Icebergs…
1. Show Respect and Acceptance to everyone
a. We are all created equal and in the image of Christ.
Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”
I Corinthians 12:25 “So that there should be no division in the body, but that it’s parts should have equal concern for each other.”
Galatians 3:28 “for you all are one in Christ Jesus.”
b. Everyone needs fellowship and community
Romans 12:5 “So it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.