Summary: James shows us how to see through the outer things in peoples in lives and focus on what really matters
In his autobiography, Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity.
He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India.
So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby Christian church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go worship with his own people.
Gandhi left the church and never returned. Here is what he said: “If Christians have caste differences also I might as well remain a Hindu.”
Two things that are a part of a genuine faith in Christ.
1. Absence of favoritism
2. Presence of works
1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
a. Greek actually infers ‘stop having an attitude of favortism’.
The word prejudice implies that someone looks at one person or shows them his face, but turns away from another.
b. Samuel: God does not look on the outward appearance but the heart(1 Sam)
Rick Warren said that there are at least five areas where we as believers can be tempted to discriminate:
We can discriminate on the basis of appearance.
We can discriminate on the basis of ancestry.
We can discriminate on the basis of age.
We can discriminate on the basis of achievement.
We can discriminate on the basis of affluence. (Turning Toward Integrity by David Jeremiah)
The Problem 2 For if a man comes into your assembly(synagogue) with a gold ring(rings in Greek) and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
a. Clothes do not make a man: some of the most ungodly people run around in amazing clothes
while some of the most godly people wear very humble attire.
b. Not aware of what anyone gives in our church:
People the way that God sees them: 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
a. Everybody is gifted by God: Sometimes faith is developed in the vacuum of earthly goods
1. Greatest time as a nation spiritually followed the greatest times of challenge(wars/depression)
2. Sodom had great abundance/Laodicea
Smyrna was the poor little rich church
b. No greater asset than being an heir of God’s kingdom
c. ARE WE LOSING THE SENSE OF THIS TRUTH AS A SOCIETY? Earthy riches are not as
value as eternal?
TONY COMPOLO: Ran for Congress because wanted to have the power to make changes. I lots thank goodness but then came to realize that the power of the church is in our powerlessness: Where making the greatest impact? Most influence where it has the least earthly power