How does faith work with people you don’t like? James 2:1-13

How does faith work with people you don’t like? James 2:1-13


-Blue collar scholar

  • Ch. 1 You & God      Ch. 2 You & God’s people

-YOU: Think of a time you were rejected, outcast, wrongly judged (e.g. school, work)

-THEM: ? Don’t like? race, culture, age, politics, clothing, hair, appearance, car, house

Early Church – Jew/Gen $/poor, slave/free

Today -Christianity most diverse movement world history (Team Jesus!)


Don’t Look Down on Them, Look Up to Him

James 2:1-13 – 1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 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,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

-Seats – ancient synagogue. TODAY VIP: concerts, sports, flights,

-Illustration – church service, rich & poor walk in = partiality

Lev 19:15…do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great

Prov 28:21 To show partiality is not good.

Partiality – BOTH ways

  1. Counterfeit of Discernment
  2. Outward vs Inward
  3. Now vs Forever
  4. “Judges” w/ “evil thoughts” – selfish & benefit self

Don’t Look Down on Them, Look Up to Him

  • “our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory”
  • was poor in humility. now rich in glory

Glory: belongs to Jesus Christ (wanna be impressed?)

275X English Bible – splendor, beauty, magnificence, radiance, heaviness, weightiness, prominence, preeminence, luminescence, splendor, majesty, holiness, purity, worthiness

= sunset;         bride on wedding day;           fans of a winning team

  • Jesus seat = throne; 45X in 17 of 22 ch’s Revelation

Matt 19:28–30 Jesus said…“in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on… thrones…everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold & will inherit eternal life…many who are first will be last, and the last first.”


Don’t Look Only At the Outward, Also Look at the Inward 

James 2:Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

  1. Outward: rich in wealth       vs        2. Inward: rich in faith

            = Who you are is more important than what you have!

1. Godly Poor 2. Godly Rich
3. Ungodly Poor 4. Ungodly Rich
  1. Not against 2 Godly rich =Abraham & Job $/godly (2:21–23; 5:11)
  2. CASE: 4. Ungodly Rich legally abusing 1. Godly Poor  (James family was 1)


=Everyone can afford to love (rich & poor)

  1. Jesus asked most important OT command – Love God (Jm 1) & People (Jm 2)
  2. Love = relationship, your needs are my priority
  4. Gary Thomas – 5 Love Languages
  5. Words of affirmation 2. Acts of service 3. Gifts 4. Quality Time 5. Touch


The World Runs on Judgment. The Church Runs on Mercy

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

  1. God is Perfect Person.
  2. Heaven is Perfect Place.

            Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  1. God rules through Perfect Law
  • Everyone is a guilty sinner. You are a guilty sinner
  • External & Internal – adultery & murder
  1. Mercy – GOSPEL

            Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

  1. “Liberty” – If Jesus is your Lord & given you mercy your life is “liberty”

= Set free by God to live free with God


? 2000 years ago James said

(Jam. 1) Blessed do the word

(Jam. 2) Christianity would bring equality and liberty to the world

Biblical Living –  from partiality to equality/mercy/liberty (CH 7 CT BOOK)

1). Karma – caste system, mercy harms repayment karmic debt

2). Islam – women & men not treated equally under law, Christians & Jews “monkeys & pigs”

3). Atheism – 20th century alone  170 million people were killed by other human beings, 130 million by atheists. Stalin – 40 million. Hitler 6 million Jews + 9-10 million (many xn’s) = 15-16 million, Mao 70 million Chinese. 1+ billion abortion

Atheist Friedrich Nietzsche credits Christianity for equality – The Will to Power, “Another Christian concept… has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the ‘equality of souls before God.”

Atheist Richard Rorty “the idea of universal human rights was a completely novel concept in history, resting on the biblical teaching ‘that all human beings are created in the image of God.’”

  • Calls himself a ‘freeloading atheist’

4). Evolution – Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

  • Survival of the fittest, might makes right, natural selection
  • People continuum animal to human – 3/5 compromise for census 1787-1865

-On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life

-Charles Darwin, “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries,
the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.”

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)

  • Overpopulation = pop controls – sterilize, birth control, abort less fit

Nazi Germany

Margaret Sanger

  • From concentration camps to clinics

1933 Planned Parenthood magazine Birth Control Review published ‘Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,’ by Ernst Rudin, Hitlers director of genetic sterilization & founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene.” Same year “published article E. A. Whitney ‘Selective Sterilization,’ – praised &  defended Nazi racial programs.”

  • Founded Planned Parenthood in poor neighborhoods
  • nearly 1 million abortions yr US, 29% population black/Hispanic but 55% abortions

“Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.”

 5). Bible


  • rule of Law over all people
  • Roman empire – bishops appointed for legal disputes, XN Emperor Justinian established legal system basis for Am. Declaration of Ind; European Charter of Human Rights

Race & Slavery

  • All descend 1 family, have 1 destiny, brothers & sisters
  • Jesus – blessing nations, befriended Samaritan
  • Gentiles welcomed
  • Jesus, Paul, others “servant/slaves of God”
  • Many converts became church leaders NT speaks to the issue in the churches
  • Saint Patrick – freed, fought for end slavery
  • Rodney Stark slavery medieval Europe ended “only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews).”
  • William Wilberforce & XN’s opposed secularists re African slaves.
  • Wayne Grudem interview 2/3 leaders US abolitionist movement were XN’s
  • Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr.
  • XN Church – most diverse in history


  • ancient world – child sacrifice and abandonment common
  • Jesus was child & loved children
  • Christians adopted children like Jesus was


  • Didymus the Blind invented Braille in 4th century
  • AD 797 priests sent to open schools & parents paid whatever they could
  • printing press – XN Johann Gutenberg = Bibles
  • Languages for Bible translations
  • Literacy & education = read the Bible
  • 1500s John Calvin opened one 1st free schools, became univ, begin higher ed
  • Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc, started XN”S
  • 1st 217 yrs 1620 (Pilgrims land) -1837 nearly all Am. Ed. private & Christian
  • Most 1st 123 American colleges and U’s XN – Harvard, Yale, William and Mary, Brown, Princeton, NYU, Northwestern.


  • Ancient world hospitals not for poor
  • 325 Council of Nicaea decreed hospital established wherever a church was
  • today many hospitals have Christian origins (e.g., Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic)
  • Red Cross founded by XN


  • Jesus was poor & did miracles to feed poor
  • Bishop Basil the Great – started soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters


James says “law of liberty” brings “mercy”!

2000 years later it’s proven



Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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