James # 6 James 2-1 thru 2-17
We're going to continue teaching on the book of James, so let's pick up right where we left off.
I) Turn with me to James 2:1.
A) Starting in James chapter 2, James begins to deal with the believer’s attitude and character.
1) As you see very clearly here in (James 2:1) James is telling the believers that they should not be a respecter of persons.
a) There is so much prejudiced in the world. One group doesn't get along with another group and vise versa, but it should not even remotely exist in the Church.
(i) We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord. It doesn't matter what you're skin color is, and it doesn't matter where you're from.
2) But prejudiced goes one-step further than the color of your skin.
a) Sometimes people show favoritism to those that have more money or to those who dress better.
b) And a great deal of the time we show favoritism to people who are more like as. Like the elderly could show favoritism to those that are elderly, or the younger could show favoritism to those that are younger, or even those of the same social status could show favoritism to those of the same class.
(i) We can even have favoritism and show partially to those who are supported to us or submissive to us.
c) There is nothing wrong with having friends, and we should have good godly friends.
(i) But when it comes too partially and favoritism there is no place for it in the Church.
3) The Bible tells us in (Ephesians 6:9) that God shows no partially or favoritism and neither should we. We are all one in Christ.
B) Look at James 2:2-4.
1) James is talking about preferred seating here in these Vs. but it doesn't stop there.
a) If someone comes in looking like a million dollars we try to go out of our way to show them some special attention, but if someone comes in looking like a bum we might try to be quick with them and sometimes even rude.
b) But again we have to walk by the Spirit, and not be led by the flesh.
2) James 2:5-7.
a) James is talking about some cultural things in these Vs.
b) But one thing that he does say that pertains to today is that the rich often criticize and slander the Church.
(i) What they end up doing is trusting in their riches.
C) James 2:8-9.
1) James makes it very clear in verse 9. Love is right and favoritism or partially is sin.
a) James refers to loving thy neighbor as thyself as a ROYAL LAW.
b) The word "ROYAL" in verse 9 means "Kingly or Chief."
(i) Jesus said the same thing in (Matthew 22:39) and that's why some call this law the ROYAL LAW or the KINGS LAW. Jesus is the King of Kings.
D) James 2:10-13.
1) James was fully aware that there would be some that would dismiss their prejudiced and preferential treatment as a minor fault.
a) But James makes the clear that showing favoritism and partially is no minor offense.
b) Not following God's Word and disobedience to His Word brings bondage, but true liberty and freedom is found when you're obedient to the Word of God.
II) James begins to changes thought again in the next verse, so let's read it, James 2:14.
A) James clearly tells us that faith alone has no value to it without works.
B) Many have said that this "WORK" that is referred to in verse 14 means that we have to have a corresponding action to our faith.
1) In other words, if we believe we are healed then we're not going to let sickness hold us back. We're going to act healed.
a) I am a firm believer in that we need to have a corresponding action to our faith.
2) But the word "WORK" here represents more than just our corresponding action; it also refers to our WORK AND SERVICE for the Lord.
a) James strongly says that we need to be working for the Lord. We need to be doing something for Him.
b) The last thing that James says in verse 14 backs up that thought very strongly. He says, "Can faith save him?"
c) The answer is "NO."
(i) If you truly have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and He dwells in your heart then you're going to be doing something for Him.
C) Look at James 2:15-17.
1) Again James makes it very clear that we are to do good works for the Lord whether it's out there on the street or when you see someone in need or working for Him in the Church.
2) So James says that our faith being alone, without works, is dead being alone and has no value to it.
a) We need to begin to serve the Lord by doing something for Him, whether it's street witnessing, intercessory prayer, ushering, greeting, working in a nursery, working in children's church, music, catching, or cleaning the Church.
b) We should be doing something for the Lord.
W. O. L. C. C. Thursday, March 26, 1998