Topical - One Another Ministires (Part 1)
I. Everybody Is Somebody In the body.
Introduction: In the church that Jesus Christ is building, people are involved in one anther’s lives. And in this church at Calvary Chapel La Mirada people are involved in one another’s lives. The church is not a theater where people go to watch what happens. We are not supposed to come in, sit down, walk out, and have no other involvement with the fellowship.
Instead, we’re commanded, as the writer of Hebrews says to “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24, 25NASB).
Listen to the way the NIV renders it: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV)
Listen to the NLT: "Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near." (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)
1. The particular expression of love mentioned here is fellowship love. The Jewish readers were having a hard time breaking with the Old Covenant, with the Temple and the sacrifices. So the writer is telling them that one of the best ways to hold fast to the things of God is to be in the fellowship of His people, where they could love and be loved, serve and be served.
2. The day drawing near could refer to the imminent destruction of the Temple, which brought all the sacrifices and rituals to a close. The Old Covenant simply could not function without the Temple, which, when the book of Hebrews was written, was about to be destroyed by Titus. But I believe the primary reference is to the coming of the Lord, which makes the passage apply to all of us. The only place where we can remain steadfast until He returns is with His people. We need each other. We need to be in fellowship with each other, as we strengthen each other and encourage each other.
You are a part of a living organism called the body of Christ—or the church. You are not the entire organism; you are only one part. In spiritual as well as biological terms, your survival hinges on the health and well-being of the other members of the organism. Equally, their health and well-being rest on yours. You are not an independent operator.
If any member of your physical body began functioning independently of the others or stopped functioning at all, you would take immediate action to correct the problem. You wouldn’t dream of saying, “Well, it’s just my lung. After all, I do have two.” Or “I’ve got nine other good fingers. I’ll just work around this broken one.” The members of your physical body are so interdependent that they make it a priority to care for one another.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:21 "And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you." (1 Corinthians 12:21, NASB95)
What is true for the physical body is true for the body of Christ as well. I cannot say of any member, “I don’t need you. I don’t need to restore my relationship with you. I don’t need to forgive you. I can do just fine without you. I can go my way, and it will have no impact on me whatsoever.” To do so is to deceive myself.
Referring to the actual body of Christ, Paul said, There should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it (1 Corinthians 12:25–27).
Did you get that? There should be NO division in the body. On the contrary, we should make a priority of caring for one another. Why? Because when one member suffers, we all suffer—just like a physical body.
My wife and I were driving back from North Carolina not too long ago on a Sunday morning. As we were passing through one small town, I couldn’t get over how many churches there were. They were everywhere. And each one had a handful of cars in the parking lot. I commented to my wife, “Imagine the impact they could have if they would join together in an organized effort to reach this city.” We passed through several other small towns that morning, and every one of them was full of churches. Now don’t get me wrong. I am all for people having the freedom to worship in an atmosphere that is comfortable for them. But I have been around long enough to know that many of those churches are as dead as they can be. I can look at the parking lots and tell.
Think about it. Why would a town of five to ten thousand people need five or six Baptist churches? I can tell you why. Because many of the people in those churches can’t get along with one another. So they compete. Competition between churches—within a denomination or between them—must truly grieve our Lord Jesus Christ!
A. The Positive “One Another’s”
1. “Be kindly affectionate (devotedNASB) to one another” (Romans 12:10a).
a) With Brotherly love reflects the nature of Christians.
(1) The apostle John powerfully affirms that truth.
In his first epistle, chapter 2 verses 9-11 he states that “The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9–2:11).
In the next chapter the apostle uses even stronger words: “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother (1 John 3:10).
b) Passing from death to life (1 John 3:14).
(1) Being kindely affectionate or devoted is one of the marks by which the world will know that we belong to Christ. The enemy wants us to not get along & to hate each other. Then the world would look at the church and say, what’s going on with these so called Christians.
But Jesus Himself said that “By this (which is brotherly love), by this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
(2) This love is not optional for believers.
It not only is required but is inescapable, because “whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him” (1 John 5:1).
In John 15 Jesus said "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12, NKJV).
(3) How has Jesus loved us? With an unconditional love (Romans 5:8).
(4) If this love is not evident in our lives, our salvation can be questioned.
(5) The Bible describes lost persons in (Titus 3:3) by saying that they are “hateful & hating one another”. The place of hatred, of jealousy, of bitterness you find yourself in is a place of death. You need to pass from death to life!
(6) If your life is characterized by hatred, then you have never really experienced the new birth:
You may say, how could you say that, well John says "If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21, NKJV)
c) Whoever Hates His Brother is a Murderer (v.15a).
(1) To Hate Our Brother Is To Murder Him In Our Hearts.
(2) Though we may not carry out the action (for fear of punishment), we wish that person dead. Or, by ignoring another person, we may treat them as if they were dead! Hatred can be shown passively or actively.
(3) John seems to have in mind the teaching of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount regarding the true fulfillment of the law:
Jesus said that "You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22, NASB95)
(4) To live in the practice of murder - or to have a life style of the habitual hatred of our brethren - is a demonstration that we do not have eternal life abiding in us, that we are not born again.
d) No Murderer Has Eternal Life Abiding In Him (v.15b)
(1) The Implication Is That Either Does Any Person Who Hates His Brother!
(2) A person who does not love his brother, who has negative feelings swirling within his heart, who has allowed his heart to become hardened against his brother—that person does not have eternal life dwelling within him
Paul, writing to the Galatians says: "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21, NKJV)
e) Putting this love into practice (1 John 3:16-18).
(1) This love does not demand, expect repayment or love in order to receive (v.16).
Jesus said: "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:12-14, NKJV)
(2) It loves even when it is rejected:
Paul said "I will gladly spend myself and all I have for your spiritual good, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.” (2 Corinthians 12:15, NLT)
(3) This love, loves in deeds not in words only (v.17-18). Real love is demonstrated in action.
(4) Anyone who is in the least familiar with the New Testament knows that love is at the very heart of biblical Christianity.
The God of Scripture not only loves but is love (1 John 4:8, 16). “Love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God… and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:7, 16).
God loves fallen humanity so much that “He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
(5) Paul speaks of love in the opening sections in several of his letters:
To the Ephesians he said "Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints," (Ephesians 1:15, NKJV)
To those in Colosse he writes "since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints;" (Colossians 1:4, NKJV)
There is also a labor of love "remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father," (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
In 2nd Thessalonians he says "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other," (2 Thessalonians 1:3, NKJV)
f) This love Paul speaks of is as “the perfect bond of unity” (3:14).
(1) In 1 Corinthians, he elevates love above hope and even faith (1Cor.13:13).
(2) A few verses earlier he declares that love actually encompasses the other two, because love “believes all things [and] hopes all things” (v. 7).
(3) In fact, apart from genuine godly love, every other virtue and activity, no matter how seemingly biblical and sincere, amounts to nothing if you do not have love (vv. 1–3).
Paul says in the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 13 that “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NKJV)
g) Godly love is produced by the Holy Spirit.
(1) Godly love is produced only by the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who belong to Him.
To those in Rome Paul said that “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
(2) Love is the first and foremost of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23).
Believers are taught by God Himself to love. “Now as to the love of the brethren,” Paul explained, “you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more” (1Thess.4:9–10).
(3) Love manifest’s your sonship (Matthew 5:43-45):
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount "“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45, NKJV)
2. In honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10b).
a) A Christian marks the world with Humility.
(1) If we are truly “devoted or kindely affectionate to one another in brotherly love,” it almost goes without saying that we will give preference to one another.
(2) The virtue here is humility, not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think as (Romans 12:3) puts it.
Paul says that "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. “ (Galatians 6:3, NASB95)
(3) There is absolutely no place for feeling superior or spiritually better than others. Only one person can make that claim: Jesus Christ. Within the church and its believers there is to be only one attitude: that of confessing our nothingness before God—that of confessing our total dependency upon the grace of God—that of confessing the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
(4) To give preference has the basic meaning of going before, or leading. But the idea here is not that of putting ourselves before others in regard to importance or worth but the very opposite idea of giving honor to fellow believers by putting them first.
(5) In Order To Give Yourself To Others, You Must First Give Yourself to God (Luke 9:57-62).
As you give your life to the Lord it will be no problem in giving unto others, because you love the Lord and want to do anything He says to please Him (2Cor.5:8).
(6) To honor is not to flatter or to give hypocritical praise, but to show genuine appreciation and admiration for one another in the family of God. We are to be quick to show respect, quick to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, quick to demonstrate genuine love by not being jealous or envious, which have no part in love, whether agapē or philadelphia.
b) “Esteem others better than yourself” (Philippians 2:3).
(1) It’s not surprising that rejecting selfishness is listed first, since it is the root of every other sin.
(2) Paul used (selfishness) earlier in this letter, where it was rendered “selfish ambition” (1:16). This phrase was used of a person who persistently sought personal advantage and gain, regardless of the effect on others. It usually carried the idea of building oneself up by tearing someone else down.
(3) When you belittle others in thought or speech, you disobey specific commands of Scripture:
Paul said that you are not to "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29, NKJV)
James said to "not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” (James 4:11, NKJV)
(4) Selfishness accurately describes someone who strives to advance himself by using flattery, deceit, false accusation, contentiousness, and any other method that seems profitable.
c) Selfishness is a consuming and destructive sin.
(1) No church, even the most doctrinally sound and spiritually mature, is immune from the threat of this sin, and nothing can more quickly divide and weaken a church. The Church in Corinth had this problem:
Paul beseeched them by saying “I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you” (1 Cor. 1:10–11).
(2) Various factions in the church followed Apollo’s, Peter, or Paul.
One group, probably the most self-righteous, claimed to follow only “Christ.” But “has Christ been divided?” the apostle asked with astonishment. “Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (V.12–13; cf. 3:4–6).
Later, Paul said that, I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (3:1–3)
(3) Selfish ambition is produced by and is a clear mark of the “deeds of the flesh”
Writing to those in Galatia, Paul said "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies," (Galatians 5:19-20, NKJV)
(4) Look at the style of Satan vs. the style of Jesus:
(a) It was by placing his will above God’s that Satan fell (Isa.14:12–17).
The Lord says about Satan, He says that "You have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:12-17, NKJV).
(b) It was by placing God’s will above His own that Jesus was exhalted:
Remember Jesus said to the Father, “not my will but yours be done”?
Paul writes "Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8, NLT)
(c) God Has The Final Word:
Look what God says about Jesus "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
About Satan” Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit." (Isaiah 14:15)
Our Lord Himself said that , “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. “ (Luke 9:23-24, NASB95)
(5) The supreme challenge you will face in making Christ honoring decision is dying to self, putting Christ and others first. The biblical perspective concerning “self” is exactly opposite to what the wisdom of this world proclaims
The writer of Proverbs says "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12, NASB95)
Here the writer of Proverbs basically tells us to shut up "If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth." (Proverbs 30:32, NKJV)
Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord says "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9, NASB95)
Jeremiah says to the Lord "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps." (Jeremiah 10:23, NKJV)
People say they need to find themselves but Jesus says "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24, NKJV)
I love what Paul says about the wisdom of this world "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world…?” "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men…” "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;" (1 Corinthians 1:20, 25, 27, NKJV)
Paul gives a warning to the prideful "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12, NKJV)
Writing to Timothy about the end times Paul says "For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…” (2 Timothy 3:2, 6-7)
(6) It was even by placing their own wills above God’s that Adam and Eve first brought sin into the world (Gen. 3). Self-will has been at the heart of every subsequent sin.
(7) Genuine humility involves believers’ not thinking too highly of themselves and requires that they regard one another as more important than themselves.
d) “Look out for the interest of others” (Philippians 2:4).
(1) Looking out for the interests of others requires believers:
(a) to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15):
(b) to “pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another,”
(c) to not “do anything by which [a] brother stumbles” (14:19, 21), and
(d) to “bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves” (15:1).
(e) It is to “bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
3. “Be of the same [lowly] mind toward one another” (Romans 12:16).
a) The Command against showing partiality (James 2:1).
(1) The virtue expressed in the words be of the same mind toward one another is that of impartiality.
(2) Definition: To favor some people over others or to pay special attention to a person because of his wealth, social status, popularity, looks or influence, and note this is given to believers in Jesus Christ (v.1).
(a) Do not profess faith in Jesus Christ and at the same time be a spiritual snob
(b) Do not have you own little group while ignoring others.
(c) If you belong to Jesus & another person belongs to Jesus, he is your brother; we are all one in Christ & a servant of God.
(d) If a sinner comes in this sanctuary, remember that he or she is a human being whom Christ died for.
(e) He or she stands at the foot of the cross, just as you & I.
In Leviticus we read that `You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:15 NKJV)
b) The Picture of Partiality (James 2:2-3): two unbelieving church visitors.
(1) One is rich-one is poor-& partiality is shown to the rich.
(2) One man comes in sharply dressed wearing gold rings (Lit. “Gold-fingered”)
(a) So you immediately think he is rich and escort him into a good seat down in front.
Jesus condemned this Matthew 23:1-7: "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Scriptures. So practice and obey whatever they say to you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden. “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear extra long tassels on their robes. And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue! They enjoy the attention they get on the streets, and they enjoy being called ‘Rabbi." (Matthew 23:1-7, NLT)
(3) The other is dressed very sloppy, is dirty, and smells really bad.
(a) So you tell him he needs to stand up over there, or sit here on the floor at my feet.
(b) He is treated as being less important than the rest of us.
(c) The rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-25).
(4) Showing Partiality is not of Christ.
(a) Our Lord was born into poverty:
Writing to the Corinthians about our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul said "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NKJV)
When Jesus was born, His mother "wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7, NKJV)
And when He was older, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow You wherever You go”, "And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Luke 9:58, NKJV)
When Paul was writing to the Corinthians about his ministry, one of the things he said was "as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:10, NKJV)
(b) Jesus looks at the heart (Matt.22:16 & so does the Father (1Sam.16:7).
Remember when the Pharisees plotted how they entangle Jesus in His words. So they sent to Him their disciples saying "Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?” (Matthew 22:15-18, NKJV)
(c) Remember when the Lord rejected Saul as King and told Samuel to go to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided Myself a king among his sons.
Samuel was made aware of God’s method of evaluating people. But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV)
The Lord Jesus said "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24, NKJV)
From the heart flow the issues of life, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. “ (Proverbs 4:23, NKJV)
For the Ladies "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. “(Proverbs 31:30, NKJV)
c) The Wrong of Partiality (James 2:4-7).
(1) It sets one up as a judge (v.4a).
(a) It makes you out to be as God
(b) It says who can & cant worship God, who is and is not acceptable to God
Only God can determine who He will accept and not accept. Paul said to “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5 NKJV)
(2) It reveals evil thoughts (v.4b).
(a) Partiality focuses on outward things that change, corrupt, decay and waste away
(b) Partiality says that material things, such as clothes and cars, are more important than the person himself is.
Remember the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and said "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:16-22, NKJV)
Our Lord Jesus said "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20 NKJV)
As I noted earlier, Paul said “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4 NKJV)
(3) It discriminates against the poor: A people especially loved by God (v.5).
(a) God loves the rich & the poor. He is not a respecter of persons however:
As Paul was writing to those in Corinth, he let them know that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise… (1Cor. 1:26-27).
(b) The poor have a real dependence upon God for their daily needs:
(i) Physical—Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread
(ii) Spiritual—Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in Spirit
(iii) Heirs of the kingdom—all that God has will be mine as well, for I am a Co-Heir of Christ.
(iv) Jesus welcomes all—the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out…John 6:37.
(4) It shows a disgraceful attitude (v.6a).
(a) Partiality can cause hurt and pain in the heart of the person who is being discriminated
(b) Partiality makes a person feel unwelcomed not wanted, or of little value and worth
(c) We are to be like Christ: to love and reach out to all of those who are in need (Matthew 25:34-41).
James said that “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17 NKJV)
My words can’t warm a person’s body, or fill their stomach. John said that “whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:17 NKJV)
d) The Warning Against Partiality (James 2:8-11).
(1) It is a sin; it violates the royal law of love (v.8-9).
(a) Partiality is a sin [miss the mark] and it makes us a transgressor [cross the line] of the Royal law.
(b) Remember that God Himself gave us this law in the O.T. & Jesus reinforced it to be obeyed. `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39 NKJV)
(c) If a person loves God and loves his neighbor as himself he will want to obey all laws.
(d) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14 NKJV)
(2) It is the very commandment that leads to eternal life.
Remember we talked about love earlier, John said that “this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (1 John 3:23; 4:7-12 & 4:16)
He goes on to say that “If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)
(3) It makes one guilty of the whole law (v.10).
(a) We cant pick and choose what laws we will obey and what ones we will disobey
(b) The Pharisees were guilty of this & Jesus rebuked them… (Matt. 23:23).
(c) If you keep the entire law yet you break one of the commandments, you're as guilty as if you've broken all of them.
(d) Thank God that through Jesus Christ we can be counted righteous. Thank God that He recognizes our weakness and inability to keep the law on our own, and sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
(e) It is just as serious as adultery and killing. Partiality is equal as murder
e) The Motivations Against Partiality (James 2:12-13).
(1) Our words will be judged…Matthew 12:24-37
Jesus said that you can tell a tree by its fruit. He went on to say "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:33-37, NKJV)
(2) Our deeds will be judged…Colossians 3:22-25
Writing to the Corinthians, Paul said "Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:22-25, NKJV)