James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
James 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 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.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
A. Respect of Persons 2:1-9
Vs. 1-4- This is not only a past problem.
History: Jews (1:1) were very partial. They loved their own and called Gentiles "dogs," Goyim, which is still the case.
Today: Discuss Fund. Bap. chu's that want no Blacks.
Also, poor folks don't fill the offering plate.
Many pastors hustle businessmen fiercely.
Vs. 1- This is a matter of "Faith," THE faith.
Jude vs. 3- The faith is not static.
One peril is that it be a social success.
Note, "Our Lord Jesus Christ"- force!
CF Matt. 22:16- Enemies knew it!
CF Gen. 27:15-19- Clothes can deceive!
Discuss heretics & chu.- Use clothes to deceive.
Non-spiritual differences ought not to even be noticed.
"Exception" they call-- Only by Amos 3:3
Vs. 2- 3- Very practical- We look at the outside.
Is there such a thing as spiritual clothing? CF Matt. 11:8 (See 3:4)
Can clothes determine who comes to church? Yes.
1 Cor. 11:4-7- Clothes which violate spiritual fidelity must not be allowed. Ally women undressed. Sloppy rebellion NOT poverty) ILL. Mike Posey at Yermo. Don at
Drummer at Grant.
Vs. 4- The sins are two:
1. Partiality- 1 Tim. 5:21 No saint is better than another. ILL. Charlie Smith- Junk yard man. Orrie Cochrane
2. Judgment of men- Rom. 14:4 The wicked implication is that Christ may not be judge over his poor servant without consulting me. CF Mal. 2:9 Good to rich. Hard on poor.
Vs. 5- Hath God chosen the poor?
CF- Matt. 5:3- Why are the Kingdom Theo. groups also obsessed
with riches & rights? Reformed, Presb, Dominion, Epis, Anglican
CF- Luke 6:20- Here, plain poor.
Moral- Get it and get nothing later, or
Lose it here and get it in heaven.
So what of the rich? OR
Can a man be a loser and beggar and be righteous before God?
Anglo / USA ethic says poverty is a sign of spiritual disaster.
CF- Luke 16:19-26
Fact- Lazarus' poverty was evil done TO him.
Fact- Lazarus became precious in the glory, even to the rich man!!!
Fact- Lazarus was with Abraham, who was very rich on earth. The riches are not evil, the lust for it is.
Fact- Good company is with the righteous.
Vs. 6-7- Who are we exalting when we fawn over the rich?
CF- Matt. 20:25-28- The rich DEMAND service.
ILL- Some piano customers. Especially Mormons.
CF- I Peter 5:2-4- Why pamper those who love it? Do they love you for it
Class is displacing fruit bearing.
What is the distinction of a saint?
Phil. 1:27; Phil. 4-7 Nothing on giving!!; II Peter 1:5-9;
Ps. 112:5-10; Ps. 15:all; Dan. 12:3; Hosea 10:12-13!!
NONE are expected to be wealthy. No "mighty men" needed
Vs. 8- The law is not obsolete in this one.
Leviticus 19:18 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.
Why is this law "royal?"
Ans: It is the universal law of Christ, Torah, Church age, & Kingdom.
"Ye do well" You are noble. Want some "Kingdom Theo?" Do this.
Vs. 9-10- Transgressors.
Conclusion of having "respect of persons"--
We break the whole law.
CF- Let us tie the law together with "no respect of persons."
Romans 3:19-23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The rich man is just as damned as the poor without Christ.
SO, all of our riches are in Christ.
So, why does the church exalt the rich?
GREED. CF- 1 Timothy 6:6-12 There is no command to look good!!
Nor any to get wealth or prosper in this world's goods.
B. Faith cannot be without Works- 2:11-26
11- Offending in one law is total guilt.
Cf- Gal. 3:10- All things in the law.
Is there escape? I John 1:9
Gal. 3:13- Just live by faith.
12- What is the "law of liberty?"
Ans. Mercy. The opposite is judgment.
Knowing ourselves, we forgive others.
13- This does not mean mercy on heretics.
Rom. 16:17- Mark and avoid.
Mercy- Forgive the repentant.
Gal. 6:1-2- Restore and forgive.
Is this saying we are saved by works?
Cf- Titus 3:5- Mercy saves. See vs. 13.
Eph. 2:8-9- This is certain!!
Rom. 4:6-8- Sin is not imputed.
Isa. 57:12- Works alone don't save.
14- What does end of vs. mean?
NO evidence of faith unless works.
15-16- ILL used. Where is the profit or evidence of salvation?
Saints are changed and want to work.
Cf- Rom. 2:13-15- Men KNOW they ought to do good works.
Saints listen to their conscience and work.
Paul teaches that works justify in vs. 13.
Cf- A Man shows stubborn will
NOT to work- Was a James 2:16 man-- Luke 10:25-29
17- Judgment is based on works.
Cf- II Cor. 11:15- Devils find this out later. Judged by works.
Can faith stand alone? In theory, yes. In practice, never.
Like asking, "Is the gun real?" Bullet flies and proves it.
Until that, it could be a Matel special.
Cf- I Tim. 1:5- Charity to whom? James tells us- vs. 15 Paul links it to faith.
Cf- II Peter 1:5-9- Total agreement with James. Barren or Alone or Unfruitful
18-19- Belief is NOT the end of the Christian life.
Saints who look like atheists.
ILL- James 4:13-17- The change of faith in Christ will change the mouth.
Boasting will NOT be evident. Submission to God rules the mouth.
vs. 19- Devils believe in Jesus, but they hate Him and work against him.
Cf- II Tim. 2:26- Devils evangelize!! I Pet. 5:8; Jude 9; Rev. 2:10
Conclusion One: Ephesians 4:23-32- Paul required same thing of normal saints.
C. Abraham is the example-- Vs. 21-24-
vs. 21 Works justified Abraham
Note vs. 24end- "not faith only" means that faith goes first.
No justification without faith.
CF- Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him,and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
1. Abraham was God's man of faith before this event-- Heb. 11:8 and 17. He proved hsi faith BEFORE his testing.
2. Note Faith and Works above in Genesis Vs. 8- Faith. Vs. 10- Works Works always follow faith.
CF- Acts 8:29-38- Works are CONDITIONAL on faith going first!!
CF- II Cor. 8:7-11- The will says yes, but performance is work.
Obviously, will comes first, then performance.
I.E. I believe therefore... What follows must be action, not faith alone
ILL. I believe the cars will stop when the light turns red.
Fine, so pull out and go on your green light.
Not always, right? We distrust man. Do we trust God?
So, pull out and GO to work.
Vs. 25-26- Nasty lady got converted-
CF- Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.
3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.
4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:
5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.
6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.
8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token:
Note the order again:
1. vs. 10-11 tell of the faith of Rahab's family BEFORE the spies came
2. vs. 4- Here is the work. It included risk also just as Abraham's work.
Lesson: Works follow faith, and they WILL follow.
Lesson: Work for God is costly and humanly risky.
That is why is convinces God that the faith was real.
Worldly works are cheap-- Flip a couple of dollars at Girl Scouts.
ILL. John D. Rockefeller- Mother convinced him to tithe at young age. He claimed he got rich because he gave to God. Bunk!!! He got rich destroying other businessmen.
ILL. Toirac- Broke all the time. Ate sacrifice food and used money offered to devils. Walked all over Haiti planting churches.
We have faith. Great. That is the place to start.
We better have works.
Faith without works is alone.
CF- Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
To produce no fruit causes saints to wonder if this is a wolf.