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Book of James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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James 2:1–9 NIV
1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
James 2:1 NIV
1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
Favoritism: the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another.
Grandma Evans made all of us grand-kids believe we were her favorite.
Proverbs 28:21 The Message
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing; you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
James 2:2–4 NIV
2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Vs. 2 - gold ring / fine clothes: Judge someone by their exterior.
Men: do you ever get car or truck envoy? If they are driving that then they are something. Car manufacturers know that some people need to look successful ever if they are not. If you drive our BMW you are letting the world know you are something special.
Ladies: Do you ever get purse envoy? Louis Vuttion, Channel, Coach. (Coach store for Tam)
Vs. 2 - Filthy clothes = not important.
As humans we don’t see what God sees. You can come to church with filthy old clothes and have a clean heart. And you can come to church with fine clothes and a dirty heart. You can fool us but not God.
James 2:3 NIV
3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”
If you show special attention.
Most people loved to be honored and seated in a place of honor.
By invitation only event for SB City and School District. Assigned seating? No? Then to the front I go.
Invited to sit at the table of the city council women and city attorney. I was treated differently.
Suit no suit - customer service.
James 2:4 NIV
4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Discriminated and Become judges with evil thoughts.
Evil thoughts: Putting someone else higher on the social ladder of respect.
James 2:5–7 NIV
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
Vs. 6 - Rich exploiting you / dragging you into court / These could have been Jewish religious courts.
James 2:8–9 NIV
8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
Vs. 8 - You are doing right.
Vs. 9 - But if you show favoritism, you sin.
Favorites verses favoritism:
Romans 2:11 NIV
11 For God does not show favoritism.
We are all equal in our worth. There is no one person God loves more than anyone else.
How We Can Overcome Favoritism
1. Don’t let your PREFERENCES become your PREJUDICES
We all have preferences.
Feeling guilt as a youth volunteer because I had favorites. I tried my best to make all the youth feel special but there are certain personality types I have a hard time with.
Winnie the Pooh characters: Eeyore (introvert/always down) Owl (think that they know it all)
Pooh is awesome. Cares for others and loves to over eat. Besties! Tiger is my soul animal. (Fun)
Pastor Charlie’s encouragement.
Preferences are not bad but we can not let them become prejudices.
We don’t have to like everybody but we do have to love them.
2. Don’t KEEP SCORE
If you were honest… what is your scoring system? I am educated they are not. I stayed married they are divorced.
Don’t look down on someone else or put others on a pedestal.
Philippians 2:3–5 NIV
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
3. Remember it’s a BIG DEAL TO GOD
Matthew 22:36–39 NIV
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
It is number two in the greatest commandment.
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