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The Doctrine of Impartiality

The Book of James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:16
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Theology - Doctrine
Philosophy - Principles we learn from doctrine
Methodology - Application of the principle learned from doctrine
James taught us what partiality looks like in the case of prosperity versus poverty.
Their application, shaming and insulting the poor was sinful and evil
Their principle of selecting those that fit their set conditions of appearance
Why were they doing this? Where did the come from?
Sour cherries versus sweet cherries - you can’t change a sour cherry to suddenly produce all sweet cherries - why? It’s DNA is made to produce sour cherries.
Wrong doctrine will produce sour fruit. The brethren James addressed here had some doctrine based upon pride.
James saw their wrong doctrine, and wanted them to implement right doctrine to begin producing good fruit.
He addressed their methodology & philosophy and now he was going to teach them right doctrine

The Doctrine

Doctrine means Instruction and confirmation in the truths of the gospel
James 2:8 KJV 1900
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
James here reminds us of the doctrine set many years ago:
Leviticus 19:17–18 KJV 1900
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
James certainly heard this royal law discussed, taught, and expounded upon by his family, the temple, and, of course, exemplified in every way by his half-brother Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught this doctrine:
Luke 10:25–28 KJV 1900
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
This lawyer knew his Bible and quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5
The lawyer knew that he couldn’t keep this law. Being a lawyer, he knew to look for a loophole in the law. And so, he did:
Luke 10:29 KJV 1900
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
The test was now afoot. Who is my neighbour? If I can’t fulfill this with everyone, there must be a condition to this.
Luke 10:30–35 KJV 1900
And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
The priest and Levite exhibited racial and religious prejudices
The Samaritan demonstrated a true love for his neighbour and loved him as thyself
Luke 10:36 KJV 1900
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Jesus drives the point personally - Who loved his neighbour?
Luke 10:37 KJV 1900
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The lawyer was no confronted with truth that could not escaped - the one that showed mercy when no else would was the true neighbour - loving one’s neighbour is willing to set aside all the inclinations, all conditions, and help because love and mercy move to help in time of need.
Jesus then gave instruction - Go, and love your neighbour - demonstrate that love and mercy!
James saw this truth and he had learned that the royal law commands believers to love other people without regard to class, condition, country, or creed.
Paul saw this same truth:
Romans 13:8–10 KJV 1900
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
The spirit of this law can be illustrated like this:
Coming home:
As you walk down the street to your house, you see the fire brigade rushing down your street with the lights on and you hear the siren warning of danger ahead.
You continue down the street and see smoke rising into the sky. You begin to run and dash around the corner to your house and see fire engulfing your home.
You exclaim, “Praise the Lord!” “I’m so glad it’s not my neighbour’s house.”
This is the bar that loving our neighbour as thyself sets!
The bar is high! Yet, that is the very spirit and motive God intends for us to have with His law!

The Transgression

The sin
Jam 2:9
James 2:9 KJV 1900
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
To discriminate against people is sin.
transgressor n. — a person who goes beyond or oversteps a moral boundary or limit.
God does not want cliques in the church.
Exploring the Epistle of James: An Expository Commentary (1) An Example (2:9)

In his book The Source, James Michener tells of a Jewish boy who grew up ostracized by society because he was an illegitimate child. The Law of Moses was explicit: “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD” (Deut. 23:2). It was a law that was intended to secure the sanctity of sex and the strength of family life.

The rabbis went to work on this prohibition, expounded it, amplified it, and probed all of its nuances and ramifications. They came up with a thousand ways to make life intolerable for the victim and invented extraordinary measures for getting around them.

As long as the young man in Michener’s story was small, it was not so bad, although the stigma of his birth clung to him. But as he grew older, he was forced to shoulder an increasingly intolerable burden. The full horror of his situation dawned upon him when he faced the fact that, as a bastard and a social outlaw, he could not marry a respectable Jewish girl. The parents of the girl, the rabbis, and the community as a whole militated against any such unthinkable arrangement. Then, in the midst of his grief and bitterness, he found the church! Here was a group of people, emancipated from the law, both able and willing to receive even a person such as him heartily and without reservation into its fellowship. It opened up a new life.

The instruction is clear. The church is to remain free from prejudice, discrimination, and partiality.
These attitudes are sinful in the sight of God
The explanation
Jam 2:10
James 2:10 KJV 1900
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Envision the law like a chain. Protection from going astray.
Paper Chain with the law written on each link
It’s there to protect me from going where I should not go
Jam 2:11
James 2:11 KJV 1900
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
James here uses the illustration of 2 laws:
Break the “Thou shalt not kill” link
Upon breaking this link and going past the moral boundary I have broken the law
This weak point exists in all of our lives:
Solomon - women
Moses - temper
Demas - love for this present, evil world
Ananias & Saphira - Desire to keep up with appearances
Judas - love of money
Pilate - love for power
James - infatuated with the Mosaic Law and his inability to get beyond it
This weak link that we break causes us to transgress against the law!
Paul confessed the sin that was his besetting sin was covetousness:
Sabbath holy?
Rom 7:7-9
Romans 7:7–9 KJV 1900
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Paul had a problem with covetousness or evil desires
This was his weak link that led to his transgressing the law
Rich young ruler
Mat 19:16-22
Matthew 19:16–22 KJV 1900
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 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.
Jesus put 2 of the commandments that this young man stated he fulfilled:
Love the neighbour - sell it all and give to the poor
Love the Lord thy God - come and follow me
All of struggle with an area of the law, and it simply takes one transgression to mark a blot on the perfect copy or a wrong note to spoil the tune.
It takes just one sin for a person to be guilty of breaking the law.
The Policy
Jam 2:12
James 2:12 KJV 1900
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of liberty, by the fact that God has set us free from sin.
Let’s illustrate this:
Mat 21:1-9
Matthew 21:1–9 KJV 1900
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
Ex 13:13
Exodus 13:13 KJV 1900
And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
Either it’s neck was to be broken or a lamb had to die in its stead
It had life, so it was redeemed
Tied - it was not free
It needed to be released
This is what James had in mind: we are set free from the law
It was not set free to run across the countryside and go wherever it pleased.
It was brought to Christ and put under His authority and restraint.
This is the perfect law of liberty.
Mat 11:29-30
Matthew 11:29–30 KJV 1900
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Brought into the obedience of Christ, it was able to serve Him.
All it had to do was lift Christ up where people could see Him.
We too are free!
Not free to sin, but to learn what it is like to enjoy serving the Lord.
Free from the servitude of the law, and free to be under His authority!
Free to lift Christ up before men!
What have we done with this incredible liberty?!
Jam 2:13
James 2:13 KJV 1900
For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
Mercy - not getting what we deserve
It is the word of a guilty and suffering man. It is the word of someone who is in the hands of another, one who has the power to do what is requested - provide mercy.
Person who had his photograph taken and was not satisfied with the result. He complained to the photographer, “This picture doesn’t do me justice.”
The photographer replied, “Sir, what you need is not justice but mercy!”
That is what we all need all of the time. God offers us a choice between a fair trial or a free pardon. We would be wise to settle for His mercy.
Woman taken in adultery - Jesus showed her mercy
James here sets before us the option of mercy or no mercy
Mat 18:21-35
Matthew 18:21–35 KJV 1900
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
James is teaching the principle of:
Gal 6:7
Galatians 6:7 KJV 1900
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Exploring the Epistle of James: An Expository Commentary b. A Very Good Policy (2:12–13)

If God’s mercy does not touch our hearts and transform our lives, then His mercy and forgiveness might very well be withdrawn. The principle, as set forth by James, is that the person who makes no allowances for others will find that no allowance will be made for him either. God expects that recipients of His mercy will have a change of heart toward others. Such is James’s final offering on the altar of truth regarding prejudice and partiality among God’s people. Forgiveness is not the same as justification. A justified person is declared righteous. Justification is unconditional. It is based on justice, not mercy.

James here is talking to brethren - brothers and sisters in Christ that have been born again.
He is not talking about losing salvation in any way, but rather our demonstration of being merciful or showing no mercy will return to us.
Those that show no mercy will be turned over to the tormentors - troubled mind, troubled conscience, a mind that cannot rest, a heart that is grieved.
James wanted to protect these Christians from a life that was full of troubles and torments because of their lack of mercy towards their neighbour.
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