Playing Favorites

“My brothers, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For example, a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in. If you look with favor on the man wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or, “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,” haven’t you discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him? Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Don’t they blaspheme the noble name that was pronounced over you at your baptism? Indeed, if you keep the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself you are doing well. But if you show favoritism,you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all. 11 For He who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not murder. So if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you are a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom.13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”  James 2:1-13

The PRINCIPLE

  • When we discuss the sin of DISCRIMINATION, the primary reason God speaks against it is that it is contrary to His nature ans character
    • “Do not show partiality when deciding a case; listen to small and great alike. Do not be intimidated by anyone, for judgment belongs to God.Bring me any case too difficult for you, and I will hear it.”  Deuteronomy 1:17
    • “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe.”  Deuteronomy 10:17
    • “And now, may the terror of the Lord be on you. Watch what you do, for there is no injustice or partiality or taking bribes with the Lord our God.”  2 Chronicles 19:7
    • “There is no favoritism with God.”  Romans 2:11
    • “And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence.”  1 Peter 1:17
  • The OUTWARD appearances of man are non-issues to God
  • Everything is EQUAL at the foot of the cross

The ILLUSTRATION

  • When we IGNORE the needs of those less fortunate we insult and mock God
    • “4 Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see:the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.”  Matthew 11:4
    • “Happy is one who cares for the poor; the Lord will save him in a day of adversity.”  Psalm 41:1
    • “The one who mocks the poor insults his Maker, and one who rejoices over calamity will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 17:5
    • “The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
    • “Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.” Proverbs 31:9

The VIOLATION

  • One wrong in the midst of a million rights is IMPERFECTION–and imperfection is unacceptable to God
    • “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48

The LIBERATION

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Romans 5:1

“6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”  Romans 5:6-8

  • The Gospel brings us to eternal FREEDOM and eternal glory
  • The Gospel frees us to serve, WORSHIP, and obey God

Monday morning application:

  • Discrimination is INCONSISTENT with the Christian faith because Christian faith is consistent with the nature of God and God is wholly impartial.
  • Discrimination is inconsistent with the PURPOSE and plan of God to redeem people from all nations, tribes and tongues.
  • Discrimination is inconsistent with LOVING your neighbor as yourself.