James 2 1 13 niv

James 2 1 13 niv DEFAULT

James 2:1-13

New International Version

Favoritism Forbidden

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious(A) Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.(B)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.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,”have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges(C) with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters:(D) Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world(E) to be rich in faith(F) and to inherit the kingdom(G) he promised those who love him?(H)But you have dishonored the poor.(I) Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?(J)Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”(K) you are doing right.But if you show favoritism,(L) you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.(M)10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles(N) at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.(O)11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”(P) also said, “You shall not murder.”(Q) If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged(R) by the law that gives freedom,(S)13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.(T) Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Read full chapterSours: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202%3A1-13&version=NIV

James 2:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 2:1, NIV: "My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism."

James 2:1, ESV: "My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory."

James 2:1, KJV: "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."

James 2:1, NASB: "My brothers and sisters, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism."

James 2:1, NLT: "My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?"

James 2:1, CSB: "My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ."

Sours: https://www.bibleref.com/James/2/James-2-1.html
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James 2:1 Cross References

James 2:1

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

Proverbs 24:23

These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.

James 2:9

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Leviticus 19:15

“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.

Deuteronomy 16:19

You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 1:17

You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’

Matthew 22:16

And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.

2 Chronicles 19:7

Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”

Proverbs 28:21

To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.

James 3:17

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

James 2:3

and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”

1 Corinthians 2:8

None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Jude 1:16

These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Titus 2:13

waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Titus 1:1

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

1 Timothy 5:21

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

1 Timothy 1:19

holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,

Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Acts 24:24

After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah

2 Peter 1:1

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 1:3

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Colossians 1:4

since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,

Acts 20:21

testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 7:2

And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

Romans 1:11

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—

Sours: https://www.openbible.info/labs/cross-references/search?q=James+2%3A1
Online Bible Study: James 2:1-13

James 2:1-13 New International Version

Warning against Partiality

21 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. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Sours: https://www.christianity.com/bible/bible.php?q=James+2%3A1-13&ver=niv

Niv 13 2 james 1

A. Introduction

Image result for clipart James 2 public domain

By Spencer D Gear PhD

James 2:10-13 (NIV),

10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

How do we play favourites in church? So far in James 2 we have learned that some churches do it by being partial to the rich and snubbing the poor.

In my last message, you responded to my question: How do we play favourites in this church? Two of you from the floor of the congregation said:

6pointMetal-small Some do it by not talking to one another, and

6pointMetal-small Not being involved in evangelism

I gave you an example of how some churches in Australia, like Corrie ten Boom, have offered sanctuary to asylum seekers. Should we be doing this? Do you think the ten Boom family was wrong in hiding people from the Nazis in Holland during World War 2? Do you think it would be wrong to offer sanctuary in our churches to asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution and are now on Manus Is., Nauru, and in Cambodia?

1. What was James’ first argument against favouritism?

Let’s review it briefly from James 2:5-7:

a. You have demonstrated disgusting favouritism or discrimination towards the poor and the rich (2:5).

You favour the rich and reject the poor.

2. The core reason why we shouldn’t play favourites (2:8)

a. The crux: Love your neighbour as yourself

‘If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right’.

This is God’s law of love of the unlovely, loving your neighbour with God’s kind of sacrificial love.

Now we examine the new verses (vv 10-13):

The NIV reads, ‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it’. Simon Kistemaker explains James’ hypothetical, conditional sentence like this: ‘If anyone of you tries to keep the entire law of God, but stumbles in regard to one of the commandments, he is guilty because the whole law condemns him’ (Kistemaker1986:81).

Surely that’s unfair! How can the God of truth, love and compassion be so biased? I’m not making a statement, but asking a question.

Let’s pause a moment to consider which law we are talking about.

1. To which law could James be referring?

Done in Love

(image courtesy ChristArt)

I preached on this in the last sermon on James 2:1-7. It is the ‘royal law’ (v. 8), but there is another dimension to this law in v. 12, ‘the law of liberty’ (ESV, NASB), or ‘the law that gives freedom’ (NIV), ‘the law that sets you free’ (NLT).

We’ll get to the meaning of ‘the law of liberty’ soon. The royal law is ‘the law of love as sovereign over all others (cf. Mt. 22:36-40; Rom. 13:8-9; Gal. 5:14)’. Gal 5:14 states it simply: ‘For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”’ (NIV).

If this were the law against drink-driving in Qld, it would not make sense to say that if we break that one law then we are guilty of breaking all of Qld laws, including stealing, murder, lying in court, etc.

Is that how it happens with Australian law? What makes a Queenslander a criminal? Does breaking one criminal law mean a person breaks the whole of the criminal law? That doesn’t make sense for me as a Queenslander.

Remember that this is a hypothetical example in James 2:10, ‘whoever keeps … and yet stumbles’.

Notice the first two verbs in this verse, ‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point….’

‘Keeps’ and ‘stumbles’ are Greek aorist tenses, which means they happened at a point in time, but that person ‘has become’ (perfect tense) ‘guilty of breaking all of it’ (NIV), ‘accountable for all of it’ (ESV). The perfect tense refers to something that has happened but the person continues to experience the result of what that person has done. So, here the person who stumbles at one point of the law continues to be guilty or accountable for all points of the law. The continuing, abiding result is that that person continues to be guilty.

Remember that James is writing to a Jewish Christian audience and he has already exposed how they favoured the rich and were against the poor. However, he is pointing to this Jewish law that Jesus exposed in Matt 23:23 (NIV),

‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin [i.e. small, flavouring herbs].[2] But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former’.

2. Let’s look at some background information

In the time of James, the Jews distinguished between the more important and the less important laws. They considered that the law of the Sabbath was more important to observe than the one against swearing.

Some Jewish rabbis (not all of them) took the view that ‘in many matters a sin was not a sin, or, in small matters, that a law was not a law, and that even when it was a sin or a law a [person] could run a sort of credit and debit account with God, of good deeds and bad, and so need not try to do more than keep the balance right’ (Adamson 1976:117).

Two leading rabbis were Akiba and Hillel and they believed that ‘to wear phylacteries was to observe the whole Torah’. The Torah consists of the first 5 books of the Bible. That meant for these rabbis that sometimes a law of God was not a law (in Adamson 1976:117).

‘Phylacteries, sometimes called tefillin, are small, square leather boxes containing portions of Scripture worn by Conservative and Orthodox Jews during prayer services. Phylacteries are worn in pairs—one phylactery is strapped on the left arm, and one is strapped to the forehead of Jewish men during weekday morning prayers. The word phylactery comes from a Greek word meaning “safeguard, protection, or amulet”’.[3]

clip_image001

[A set of tefillin (phylacteries) includes the arm-tefillin (left) and the head-tefillin, courtesy Wikipedia]

 

James is looking at an extreme case where a person claims to keep the whole law of God but stumbles on one point. James is not putting up the case that this actually occurs because if we read James 3:2 (ESV), it states, ‘For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body’.

If a person were ever able to keep the whole law and yet stumble at one point, this one case of stumbling (of sinning) makes this person guilty of transgressing the law in all of its points.

If a stone strikes your car windscreen or house window at one point, the window is shattered. God’s royal law, the law of liberty, is a unit. We’ve discussed this previously; it’s the law of loving your neighbour as yourself. If you violate this law of love at one point, you violate love, the whole of it (Lenski 1966:572).

Yes, there are many commandments in God’s law, but if we transgress one of them, we have sinned against God’s law. The law of God is a unity.

On the human level, we know how this works. Penny has broken her ankle. Has it only affected her ankle? Of course not! She will experience pain and discomfort in other parts of her body because every part of the body is related to the whole. I know this from 5 open heart surgeries and what that means to my inability to walk far without getting out of breath. Running is off my agenda. I have to keep my blood at a certain level of thinness through the use of that horrible drug, warfarin. But it helps to keep me alive.

This also applies to the body of Christ, ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it’ (1 Cor 12:26 NIV).

God created the law; he enforces it; through his law God’s will is put into effect.

James reminds us of the seriousness of sin. We tend to minimise it. James shows us the condemnation of the whole law, the depth to which we need God’s repentance. If we break one of God’s commandments, we sin against the whole law of God.

James explains further, with two examples:

In James 2:11, James gives 2 examples from the 10 commandments,

Law for the Lawless

(image courtesy ChristArt)

1. ‘Do not commit adultery’, and

2. ‘Do not murder’.

These are straight from the 10 commandments in Exodus 20:13-14 and Deut 5:17-18, although here they are the opposite way around to the Hebrew. Here James probably follows the LXX.

We can tend to look on the 10 commandments as negative, ‘Thou shalt not….’, but there is a positive aspect to them: When we live within the boundaries of the rules God has set for healthy Christian living, we experience God’s freedom, the law of liberty. We learn this from Psalm 19:7-8 (NIV):

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes
.

Do you get it? To submit to God’s law, the royal law, the law of liberty, we are submitting to this set of laws:

3d-shinnyblue-star-smallThe law of the Lord is perfect

3d-shinnyblue-star-smallThe statutes of the Lord are trustworthy

3d-shinnyblue-star-smallThe precepts of the Lord are right

3d-shinnyblue-star-smallThe commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes

 

So, are you an ill-informed evangelical Christian who submits blindly to the myths your parents told you?

Or, are you submitting to the royal law of perfection that is trustworthy, right, radiant and giving light to your eyes and worldview.

The secular world will not understand this light until their eyes are opened by the living God.

Why has James selected the commandments about adultery and murder? They are the first two of the 10 commandments that deal with how to treat one’s neighbour – the very topic James is addressing.

The logic is pretty simple: If a person keeps one commandment but breaks the other, he or she has …

3. Become a lawbreaker.

And God declares that person guilty.

In James 2:11-12, James presents an excellent summary of what he has been trying to say. It is like what he said in James 1:26-27 (NIV):

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

How should Christians speak and act? The Greek is ‘so speak and so act’. But, both ‘speak’ and ‘act’ are verbs that are both in the present tense. What does that mean? Continuous or continual action! This is speaking and action as a lifestyle. Keep speaking and keep doing!

We are to do this as people who will be….

1. Judged by the law that gives freedom (law of liberty)

I’m reminded of Heb 4:13 (NIV), ‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account’.

We are going to be judged according to ‘the law of liberty’ (ESV), ‘the law that gives freedom’ (NIV), ‘the law that sets you free’ (NLT).

We have already encountered this law in James 1:25 (NIV), ‘But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it–they will be blessed in what they do’.

Our conclusion there is the same as here. The law of liberty, or the law that gives freedom, is:

snowflake-light-green-small It promotes the paradox of the law of liberty. How can a horrible thing called law be a promoter of liberty or freedom? The law of the boundaries of a football field surely does not promote freedom when you have to stay inside those boundaries.

I love the way Alfred Plummer, an expositor from over a century ago, put this:

It is when the law is seen to be perfect that it is found to be the law of liberty. So long as the law is not seen in the beauty of its perfection, it is not loved, and men [and women] either disobey it or obey it by constraint and unwillingly. It is then a law of bondage. But when its perfection is recognized men [and women] long to conform to it; and they obey, not because they must, but because they choose. To do what one likes is freedom, and they like to obey. It is in this way that the moral law of the Gospel becomes “the law of liberty,” not by imposing fewer obligations than the moral law of the Jew or of the Gentile, but by infusing into the hearts of those who welcome it a disposition and a desire to obey.[4]

So, it’s the law of liberty because you want to obey God’s word. You have been set free by redemption in Christ so you desire to obey God’s law. The Scriptures are not burdensome. You love to obey God’s perfect law. Is it easy? Never! Try writing a letter-to-the-editor of your local newspaper in support of traditional marriage and family and you watch the tirade of negativity, even abuse. But I urge you to continue to do it.

2. I thought laws are meant to bring restrictions and not liberty.

A high view of the perfect law is at risk in March 2016. Only this week I read these comments in an article in the Brisbane Times (online), Religious Instruction in Queensland schools is discriminatory (14 March 2016). This article was written by Hugh Harris. His points against religious instruction included:

golden foward button ‘Religious instruction [in public schools] is inherently discriminatory’.

golden foward button ‘I was reassured by the state government Religious Instruction policy statement pledging to “respect the background and beliefs of all students” and not to promote “any particular set of beliefs in preference to another”’.

golden foward button ‘My son came home singing songs about Jesus, and exclaimed how “amazing” it was that “God created the whole world”’.

golden foward button ‘Colouring-in books with pictures of Jesus. Fill in the gaps – “Jesus ___ you”. So much for not promoting “any particular set of beliefs” in “preference to others”.

golden foward button ‘So we opted-out of the program. As a result I joined the Rationalist Society of Australia so I could campaign against religion’s pernicious influence’.

golden foward button ‘The Queensland RI program fails to “respect background and beliefs of all students” because it fails to offer non-belief. This is discriminatory’.

golden foward button ‘Bible-thumpers not only proselytise kids, they organise outreach camps so our children can “meet God” and have “faith in Jesus”. It’s creepy.

golden foward button We need to put an end to the intolerable incursion of preaching in Queensland schools.

So, the Brisbane Times gave Hugh Harris, a member of the Rationalist Society of Australia, the opportunity to promote his Rationalist views. What does this society believe? Its website listed these beliefs:

It has a ‘10 Point Plan for a Secular Australia’ (The Rationalist Society of Australia):[5]

  1. A secular, pluralistic and democratic Australia
  2. Clear separation between religion and the State
  3. ‘One law for all’, with no recognition of parallel legal systems
  4. Religious organisations subject to the same laws as other organisations
  5. Children not to suffer because of the religious views of their parents
  6. Education to be strictly secular, not promoting any particular religion
  7. No discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex, sexuality or gender identity
  8. Freedom of reproductive choice, with no religious interference
  9. Healthcare available to all regardless of the religious views of the provider
  10. Guaranteed control over one’s own body, free from religious interference, when facing the end of life.

I ask you: Why is the 10 point plan of the Rationalist Society of Australia not a prescription of the law of liberty, the law that brings freedom? The answer is hinted at in the first line. This society requires that Australia be,

snowflake-rosewood-small Secular (‘Not connected with religious or spiritual matters’. Oxford dictionaries 2016. s v secular). So God and Jesus are automatically excluded.

snowflake-rosewood-small Pluralistic (two or more sources of authority);

snowflake-rosewood-small Democratic (Democracy: ‘A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives’ – Oxford dictionaries 2016. s v democracy).

The biggest issue is that the Christian law of liberty comes through a heart change where a person is redeemed and accepts that ‘The law of the Lord is perfect’. That is not the law of the Rationalist Society of Australia that alleges it can bring liberation through a secular, pluralistic, democratic society.

James makes one final emphasis in this passage:

‘Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment’ (James 1:13 NIV). There will be

1. Judgement without mercy if you have not treated others with mercy

The last judgment will be horrific for those who have not shown mercy. Jesus could not have been more specific. This is what he said according to Matt 25:41-45 (NET Bible):

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’

This commentary on the James 2:10-13 passage is so obvious. We can’t miss it. This is especially so when we compare this treating others with mercy an the other alternative which Jesus also will state, according to Matt 7:22-23,

22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’ (NET Bible).

What is mercy? It is ‘pity for those in distress’. This is what Hosea 6:6 (NIV) taught, ‘For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings’ (also quoted by Jesus in Matt 9:13; Matt 12:7).

How does James 2:13 conclude?

 

2. Mercy triumphs over judgement

Where does that leave you and me? Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy’ (Matt 5:17 NIV). In the OT, God spoke through Zechariah, the prophet (Zech 7:9 NIV): ‘This is what the LORD Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another”’. The Jews didn’t listen and hardened their hearts.

Let’s tease out a few applications of mercy. Remember the definition of mercy is to ‘show pity to those in distress.’ Since Jesus said we are blessed if we show mercy and then we will be shown mercy by God, how can we in Brisbane in 2016 show mercy to those in distress? Let me get you started:

snowflake-greenglass-small How many of you are visiting with those from our church who can no longer come to church?

snowflake-greenglass-small I used to work for Teen Challenge, a drug rehabilitation ministry. Here in Qld, the TC website has plenty of opportunity for volunteers.[6] Could you show mercy by becoming involved? Australian Senator Jacqui Lambi’s son, Dylan, who was addicted to the illicit drug ice, has been to this Qld Teen Challenge drug rehab near Toowoomba.[7]

snowflake-greenglass-small How many of us could become involved in showing mercy to those in prison?

snowflake-greenglass-small What about churches providing sanctuary for asylum seekers?

snowflake-greenglass-small How could you show mercy to those in distress? Any further suggestions?

Mercy and Truth(image courtesy ChristArt)

 

What’s the conclusion we reach? Any person who refuses to show mercy to people will experience God’s justice – but without mercy. That’s what Scripture says.

You and I know that no human being can ever claim to receive God’s mercy by doing any kinds of acts of mercy. That would be works. We can’t earn God’s mercy, but it is granted by God when we seek it. Commentator on Edmond Hiebert, put it this way,

‘Mercy does not triumph at the expense of justice; the triumph of mercy is based on the atonement wrought at Calvary…. The practice of mercy toward others is the evidence that God’s grace has produced a transformation in a person. Having himself received God’s mercy, he will be able to stand in the judgment that otherwise would overwhelm him’ (Hiebert 1979:172).

To show favouritism violates God’s royal law, the law that gives freedom, the law of liberty. What ungodly favouritism are we showing in this church?

G.  Works consulted

Adamson, J B 1976. The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Epistle of James. F F Bruce gen ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W 1957. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature.[8] Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).

Getz, G 1984. Doing Your Part: When You’d Rather Let God Do It All (based on James 2-5). Ventura, California: Regal Books.

Hiebert, D E 1979. The Epistle of James: Tests of a Living Faith. Chicago: Moody Press.

Kistemaker, S J 1986. New Testament Commentary: Exposition of James, Epistles of John, Peter, and Jude. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic.

Lenski, R C H 1943. Commentary on the New Testament: The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers (1943 The Wartburg Press; assigned 1961 to Augsburg Publishing House).

Lenski, R C H 1966. Commentary on the New Testament: The Interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews and of the Epistle of James. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers (1966 Augsburg Publishing House).

May, B 1979. Under His Wing. Portland, OR: Multnomah Press.

Robertson, A T 1933. Word Pictures in the New Testament: The General Epistles and The Revelation of John, vol 6. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press.

Thayer, J H 1885/1962. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti, tr, rev, enl. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.

H.  Notes


[1] This sermon was preached at North Pine Presbyterian Church, Petrie Qld, Australia, on Sunday PM service, 20 March 2016

[2] These 3 were ‘small flavouring herbs of which a family might grow a few…, the latter being like anise seed but larger and used to a greater extent’ (Lenski 1943:908). What is ‘anise seed’? ‘The humble anise plant is native to Middle-East and Mediterranean region; probably originated on the fertile plains of Nile delta in the Egypt.… Anise is a perennial herbal plant; generally, grows up to a height of about 2 feet. It bears white colored umbelliform flowers by July, and harvested by bringing down the whole plant once its seed-heads matured enough on the plant itself. Its seeds then separated from the flower heads by threshing. Anise seeds feature oblong or curved, comma shape, about 3-4 mm long, light brown color and fine stripes over its outer surface. The seeds feature delicately sweet and aromatic bouquet with a distinctive liquorice flavor. Their special fragrance is due to essential oil, anethole in them’. Available at: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/anise-seed.html (Accessed 14 March 2016).

[3] ‘What are phylacteries?’ GotQuestions?org. Available at: http://www.gotquestions.org/phylacteries.html (Accessed 16 March 2016).

[4] Plummer (1907:108).

[5] Available at: http://www.rationalist.com.au/10-point-plan-for-a-secular-australia/ (Accessed 14 March 2016).

[6] See: http://teenchallengeqld.org.au/how-to-help/volunteer/ (Accessed 16 March 2016).

[7] See, ‘Magistrate sends Jacqui Lambie’s son to rehabilitation program’. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), October 26, 2015. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/magistrate-sends-jacqui-lambies-son-to-rehabilitation-program-20151026-gkijlj.html (Accessed 16 March 2016). A more lengthy article is in the Courier-Mail of October 27, 2015 at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/jacqui-lambies-son-ordered-to-attend-queensland-rehab-ccentre/news-story/269b5a399e909b56e242064ca1023503 (Accessed 16 March 2016).

[8] This is ‘a translation and adaptation of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Wörtbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur’ (4th rev & augmented edn 1952) (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:iii).

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 27 August 2016.

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This entry was posted in Commandments, James, Love on by spencer. Sours: https://truthchallenge.one/blog/2016/08/27/james-210-13-niv-break-one-law-and-youve-broken-the-lot1/
JAMES 2 NIV AUDIO BIBLE

 Context  Crossref  Comment  Greek 

Verse  (Click for Chapter)

New International Version
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

New Living Translation
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

English Standard Version
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

Berean Study Bible
My brothers, as you hold out your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, do not show favoritism.

Berean Literal Bible
My brothers, do not with partiality hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory.

King James Bible
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

New King James Version
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

New American Standard Bible
My brothers and sisters, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

NASB 1995
My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

NASB 1977
My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

Amplified Bible
My fellow believers, do not practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of partiality [toward people—show no favoritism, no prejudice, no snobbery].

Christian Standard Bible
My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
My brothers, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

American Standard Version
My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
My brethren, do not hold the glorious faith of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah with acceptance of persons.

Contemporary English Version
My friends, if you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, you won't treat some people better than others.

Douay-Rheims Bible
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with respect of persons.

English Revised Version
My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Good News Translation
My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My brothers and sisters, practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favoring one person over another.

International Standard Version
My brothers, do not let your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus, the Messiah, be tainted by favoritism.

Literal Standard Version
My brothers, do not hold the faith of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ in favor by appearance,

NET Bible
My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

New Heart English Bible
My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality.

Weymouth New Testament
My brethren, you must not make distinctions between one man and another while you are striving to maintain faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our glory.

World English Bible
My brothers, don't hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality.

Young's Literal Translation
My brethren, hold not, in respect of persons, the faith of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Additional Translations ...

Context

A Warning against Favoritism
1Mybrothers,as you hold outyourfaithinourgloriousLordJesusChrist,do notshowfavoritism.2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.…

Berean Study Bible · Download



Cross References

Deuteronomy 1:17
Show no partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be intimidated by anyone, for judgment belongs to God. And bring to me any case too difficult for you, and I will hear it."

Acts 7:2
And Stephen declared: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

Acts 10:34
Then Peter began to speak: "I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism,

1 Corinthians 2:8
None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

James 1:16
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

James 1:19
My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,



Treasury of Scripture

My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

the faith.

Acts 20:21
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 24:24
And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

Colossians 1:4
Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

the Lord.

Psalm 24:7-10
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in…

1 Corinthians 2:8
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Titus 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

with.

James 2:3,9
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: …

James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Leviticus 19:15
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.





Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

II.

(1) My brethren.--The second chapter opens with some stern rebukes for those unworthy Christians who had "men's persons in admiration," and, doubtless, that "because of advantage" to themselves. (Comp. Jude 1:16.) The lesson is distinctly addressed to believers, and its severity appears to be caused by the Apostle's unhappy consciousness of its need. What were endurable in a heathen, or an alien, or even a Jew, ceased to be so in a professed follower of the lowly Jesus. And this seems to be a further reason for the indignant expostulation and condemnation of James 2:14. Thus the whole chapter may really be considered as dealing with Faith; and it flows naturally from the foregoing thoughts upon Religion--or, as we interpreted their subject-matter, Religious Service.

Have (or, hold) not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with (or, in) respect of persons.--"Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," wrote St. Paul to the proud and wealthy men of Corinth (2Corinthians 8:9), "that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich;" and, with more cogent an appeal, to the Philippians (James 2:4-7), "In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves: look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God"--i.e., Very God, and not appearance merely--nevertheless "thought not His equality with God a thing to be always grasped at," as it were some booty or prize, "but emptied Himself" of His glory, "and took upon Him the shape of a slave." Were these central, nay initial, facts of the faith believed then; or are they now? If they were in truth, how could there be such folly and shame as "acceptance of persons" according to the dictates of fashionable society and the world? "Honour," indeed, "to whom honour" is due (Romans 13:7). The Christian religion allows not that contempt for even earthly dignities--affected by some of her followers, but springing more from envy and unruliness than aught besides. True reverence and submission are in no way condemned by this scripture: but their excess and gross extreme, the preference for vulgar wealth, the adulation of success, the worship, in short, of some new golden calf. . . .

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-13.- WARNING AGAINST RESPECT OF PERSONS. Verse 1.- The translation is doubtful, two renderings being possible.

(1) That of the A.V. and R.V., "Hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."

(2) That of the R.V. margin and Westcott and Hort, "Do ye, in accepting persons, hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory?" According to this view, the section commences with a question, as does the following one, ver. 14. According to the former view, which is on the whole preferable, it is parallel to James 3:1. The faith of our Lord. "The faith" here may be either

(1) objective (tides quae creditur), as in the Epistle of St. Jude 1:3, 20; or . . .

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek

My
μου(mou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Singular
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

brothers,
Ἀδελφοί(Adelphoi)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

as you hold out
ἔχετε(echete)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

[your]
τὴν(tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

faith
πίστιν(pistin)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 4102: Faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.

in
τοῦ(tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

our
ἡμῶν(hēmōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

glorious
δόξης(doxēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's 1391: From the base of dokeo; glory, in a wide application.

Lord
Κυρίου(Kyriou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 2962: Lord, master, sir; the Lord. From kuros; supreme in authority, i.e. controller; by implication, Master.

Jesus
Ἰησοῦ(Iēsou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

Christ,
Χριστοῦ(Christou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

{do} not
μὴ(mē)
Adverb
Strong's 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

[show]
ἐν(en)
Preposition
Strong's 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

favoritism.
προσωπολημψίαις(prosōpolēmpsiais)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's 4382: Partiality, favoritism. From prosopoleptes; partiality, i.e. Favoritism.


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James: Practical Christianity Bible Study

3. Forsaking Favoritism for Love (James 2:1-13)

Bkmrk

James 2:1-13
2:1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. 2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If 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," 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5Listen, my dear brothers: 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? 6But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?
8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Think back.

You have been the object of partiality. Perhaps your mother or father liked you more. Or your teacher or your employer. Because of your special relationship with a superior, you got promotions when another was just as qualified. Or perhaps you have never been the favored one.

You have also been the object of discrimination. Perhaps it was for how you looked -- your height, your weight, your complexion, your hair. Perhaps you've experienced discrimination on the basis of your intelligence, your race, your religion, your gender. Your family's social standing in the community has been a factor, either negative or positive, on how you were viewed by the elite. How did it make you feel?

You may be bearing the scars of those encounters to this very day. It is this huge -- and is the central issue that James tackles in these passages.

Partiality in the Church (2:1-3)

"1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. 2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If 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,� 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?" (2:1-4)

You'd think that the church would be a place where class falls away and we are all equal as children at the feet of Jesus. Unfortunately, it wasn't so in New Testament days and it isn't so in our own. James calls on us to recognize the problem and deal with it.

James, leader of the Jerusalem church, had probably seen it in the gatherings of that great Mother Church. A rich person enters and all the elders are kowtowing to him, falling over themselves to honor him with attention, with flattery, with the best seat in the house. Perhaps he'll become a regular part of the church and be able to give big offerings, they think. Sound familiar?

Then a poor man enters on a day when all the seats are filled. His clothing needs mending and he hasn't taken a bath for a while. Stand there, we tell him. There are some seats on the floor at the front, that's all we can offer, we tell him, hoping that he'll find somewhere else to go to church. His presence is an embarrassment. Too many poor people and we'll be thought of as a poor-person's church. It will reflect on us. And they'll expect us to give them things. Sound familiar?

Definitions

The word translated "favoritism" (NIV), "personal favoritism" (NASB), "respect of persons" (KJV), or "partiality" (RSV) is the Greek word prosōpolēmpsia -- "partiality."1 It is used elsewhere in Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; Acts 10:34 (masculine noun); James 2:9 (verb form). The word is derived from a Hellenistic compounding of two words: prosōpon ("face") and lambanō (I.4. 'to take,' i.e. 'to admit, receive'), that is, to accept a person you know or favor.2

A look at our English word "partial" fills out the meaning: "1. of or relating to a part rather than the whole; not general or total. 2. inclined to favor one party more than the other, biased. 3. markedly fond of someone or something."3

We have three other English words that describe this behavior. The first is bias "bent, tendency; an inclination of temperament or outlook, especially a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment, prejudice."4 The second is discrimination, "the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually; prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment."5 The third is prejudice, from the words "pre" + "judge": preconceived judgment or opinion; an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge; an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics."6

When I read those definitions I think about some of my own knee-jerk reactions to the homeless and to certain other groups. James calls it what it is: sin.

Judges with Selfish and Evil Motives (2:4)

James asks, "Have you not discriminated (diakrino) among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?" (2:4). What is the source of the evil? In a word, selfishness.

We treat the rich with solicitude and honor since they have power and wealth, and we hope that by our actions some of that honor and power and wealth might rub off on us. It never hurts to be on the good side of a rich person, you know. Our actions are selfish, self-serving. As Paul said, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:10). Our discrimination is based on our own love of money.

And how about our mistreatment of the poor? Selfish again. We don't want to be pulled down to their level, either social or economic, and don't want to feel obligated to help them. Selfishness, love of money.

Churches are hardly immune from this behavior. It may not be the rich that are fawned over; it may be young married adults with growing families who are perceived as the prize. Single moms and the elderly are tolerated, but often not openly welcomed or courted by calls or visits. We're trying to grow a church, we tell ourselves, and these people form a good social and economic base that allows us to do this. But in the meantime we are guilty of prejudging the poor and the elderly and the divorced. We sin because we look to our own needs and not to theirs.

Poor and Rich in God's Kingdom (2:5-7; 1:9-11)

"5Listen, my dear brothers: 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? 6But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?" (2:5-7)
"1:9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business." (1:9-11)

When you look at this brief Letter of James, you can see that James is stirred up about the subject of the favor shown to the rich. In 2:5-7 he is ironic: aren't the rich the very people who exploit you and try to cheat you in court?

The first few verses of chapter 5 also indict the rich for hoarding their wealth, cheating the poor, living in luxury and self-indulgence, and climbing over the bodies of the innocent poor in order to do so (5:1-6). Those of us who live middle class lives in America are richer than the rich of James' day ever were. What about us?

James' congregation struggled with poverty. Once during a famine, Paul had to raise an offering to help the poor in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8:19-20; Acts 24:17). James is careful to help the poor to value themselves as God values them.

"The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position." (1:9)

"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?" (2:5)

While the rich seem to have everything in this life, such a view is superficial, says James. Looking with eternal eyes, with Kingdom eyes, we see that the rich will fade away (1:11) and find all their hoarded wealth rotted and corroded (5:2-3). Instead of honor, the rich who have gained their wealth unrighteously will face a judgment of fire (5:3).

These are hard words. But so much of the time we ourselves see with worldly, materialistic eyes. And this blindness to eternal things feeds our partiality and prejudice. We must take off our blinders and see with new eyes, God's eyes.

The Royal Law, the King's Law (2:8)

"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right." (2:8)

Our King, Jesus, offered us a different perspective, a different law: "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18).

"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?'

"Jesus replied: ' "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.' " (Matthew 22:34-40)

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

The center of Jesus' ministry was love -- love for the poor, love for those rejected by society, love for the sick. He didn't come for himself, he came for them. For us.

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Partiality and prejudice and favoritism are essentially self-serving, self-centered. Our King, on the other hand, was essentially self-giving and centered on the needs of others. The Law that governed his life is what his brother James calls the Royal Law: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (1:8)

Self-Centered Lawbreakers (2:9-11)

"9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, �Do not commit adultery,� also said, �Do not murder.� If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." (2:9-11)

But while the Royal Law of love states it most clearly, it is not unique. Rather it capsulizes and condenses the spirit of the whole Mosaic Law. For example, we read:

"The same law applies to the native-born and to the alien living among you." (Exodus 12:49)

"You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the Lord your God. " (Leviticus 24:22)

"One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien." (Numbers 15:29)

Again and again the Israelites are warned to show justice and care towards the poor of the land:

"Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly." (Leviticus 19:15)

"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." (Deuteronomy 15:11)

The scripture also warns us against injustice in the system, systemic evil:

"If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still." (Ecclesiastes 5:8)

The point is that if we are so concerned about keeping laws, we need to heed the clear laws about partiality in the Bible. "If you show favoritism you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers" (2:9).

Verses 10 and 11 underscore the point. "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (2:10). We cannot be selective in our observance of Jesus' commands. We can't say: I'm such a righteous person, God will overlook this one tiny area. No, we must accept partiality and prejudice as sins, and repent of them. They are evil in God's sight. We cannot hide behind our excuses.

Q3. (2:9-11) Why does James refer to the Great Commandment as the "Royal Law"? How is it more "royal" than the Mosaic Law? How does showing favoritism toward a rich person break the "Royal Law" towards that rich person? How does it break the "Royal Law" in regard to a poor person?

http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=64&t=281

 

 

 

The Law that Liberates (2:12)

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom�." (2:12)

In verse 12 is a wonderful expression, "the law that gives freedom" (NIV) or "law of liberty" (KJV, RSV, NASB). James uses a similar expression in 1:25 "the perfect law of liberty." Just what does he mean? The phrase "law of liberty" is almost an oxymoron. Most laws restrict and set limits. But the King's Law liberates and frees. David Hubbard puts it this way:

"Anger and hatred are not freedom. They tie us in knots; they goad us to say and do things we do not really believe in. Love is liberating because it trusts God to be the final judge and encourages us to do good wherever we can."

At its core, this Law that Liberates is not a written code, but the Spirit of God working in our hearts and writing God's ways and words on our hearts. This way our actions begin to spring from a changed heart rather than from a well-trained set of conditioned responses. In a word, we are liberated.

But more than that, we liberate those whom we used to judge. Where we used to show favoritism to our cronies and discriminate against others, now by this Royal Law of Love we liberate the outcasts of society. We show them love and this energizes in them the potential to be all they can be, too. By our love-actions we liberate both our own selves and we liberate our society.

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment (2:13)

"� Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (2:13)

In our favoritism, we cannot set ourselves up as judges, because at best we are "judges with evil thoughts" (2:4), and we will be judged ourselves. If we don't show mercy, we will not receive mercy. Jesus said that we will be judged by the same measures of judgment we use to judge others (Matthew 7.2).

Rather, we can show mercy. We can let the Royal Law that has liberated our own spirits give another chance to others who have struggled under sin and selfishness. If we judge those people we also judge ourselves. We were there, too. But Christ now, by his mercy, has set us free.

Yes, God is just and will exercise just judgment. We are assured of that throughout the Bible, and especially in the Book of Revelation. But while he is just, he is also loving. He loves to show mercy. In fact, he delights in it.

This causes a serious problem. How can you both be completely just like God is, and, at the same time, be overflowing with love and mercy? Doesn't that make you schizophrenic? This is how God solved it.

Jesus came to give us life and model before us the Father's love. Then he, in his own body, became the ransom for our sins. He took our sins upon himself and became an atonement for our sins, the Greater for the lesser.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree ... by his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

And so God is both just -- he punished our sin upon His own Son who took our sins upon him -- and loving, now he forgives our sins freely, mercifully.

It's an old story and a simple one. One by one, God has helped people to understand this simple but profound truth. "This is a faithful saying," said the Apostle Paul, who in his youth had persecuted Christians unto death, "and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15). How can we not show mercy, when we are so dependent upon it ourselves?

And so this section of James' Letter concludes with the words, "Mercy triumphs over judgment" (2:13). The word translated "triumph over" (NIV, RSV, NASB) or "rejoice against" (KJV) is Greek katakauchaomai, "boast against, exult over; triumph over."8

It is our bragging point as believers. Not that God will send people to hell for their sins. He will, but he takes no delight in it. Our bragging point is that our God shows mercy to sinners, and delights to do so. Let us tell the world.

Q4. (2:13b) In what way is showing regard towards the wealthy (2:2-3) a denial of mercy? Extra credit: Read Hosea 6:6; Matthew 5:7; and 9:13. In what way does mercy "triumph over" (NIV, RSV, NASB) or "rejoice against" (KJV) judgment? What does this mean?

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Prayer

Lord, forgive me of my selfish, self-serving partiality in the way I treat and think about people. Help me to love � really love! � the least and poorest in society. Help me to delight in showing mercy � just as you do. In Jesus� name, I pray. Amen.

Key Verses

"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers." (James 2:8-9)

Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:13b)

References

  1. BAGD 720.
  2. Thayer 550.
  3. Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary
  4. , 10th edition, p. 847.
  5. Ibid.
  6. , p. 110.
  7. Ibid.
  8. , p. 332.
  9. Ibid.
  10. , p. 119.
  11. David Hubbard, The Book of James: Wisdom that Works (Word, 1980), p. 39.
  12. BAGD 411.

Bkmrk

Copyright © 2021, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

Sours: http://www.jesuswalk.com/james/3_favoritism.htm


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