We opened our workout with a singing of "O God, Our Help In Ages Past" (#55).
Question: In light of family-centric celebrations and gatherings during the Chinese New Year, what is your perspective as it relates to your family history? And what is the biblical perspective we should have?
- Genealogies are lists that describe our family history. They are a record of our attachment to people before us. Our family histories gives us a connection to those who came before us and forces us to think outside of ourselves.
- At the very least, all people - Jew or Gentile - are descendants from one of Noah's sons (genealogies starting in Genesis 10).
- People don't just spring up out of nowhere - all men are connected and are traced back to Noah and his sons. Conceptually, we should grasp the fact that we are all connected, and not purely self-made.
Recitation of James 2:10-13
- Continuing the theme from verses 8-9, James picks up on the issue of partiality shown toward the rich and discrimination practiced against the poor. True believers who have faith in Christ ought not to discriminate against the poor. If we are fulfilling the law of Christ in loving all people, we do well; but if we show partiality, we are sinning against the law of Christ and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
- If we do not love our neighbor as ourselves, but rather buck that law, then we also bucking the law in its entirety.
Question: What does "the law of liberty" refer to?
- James ultimately is referring back to the law of Christ. Believers live in accordance to Christ's words and are free from sin's mastery over their lives.
- Christians are called to love their neighbors as themselves, not to discriminate - especially against the disadvantaged!
Question: Where else in Scripture describes our freedom from sin and a call to love others?
- John 13:34
- Jesus gives us a new commandment to love one another.
- Galatians 5:5-6, 16-17, 22
- Neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything, but rather faith working through love.
- The fruit of the Spirit is love.
- Romans 12:9-13
- Romans 13:8-10
- Love is the fulfillment of the law.
- 2 Timothy 1:5
- We can't love truly or effectively people when we are harboring sin in our lives. Love springs forth from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
- True love is not mere charity, but love borne through the Spirit (see also Galatians 5).
- 1 John 4:7-14
- To love others is part and parcel of being a Christian.
- 1 John 2:3-11
- We know we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
- Do not love the world nor the things in the world.
- 1 John 3:11, 15-23
- We are commanded to love one another.
Question: 1 John 3:16 says that Christ laid down His life for us, and so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. What are some examples of how we can lay down our lives for each other?
- Defend against physical assaulters and attackers
- Risk your life to bring the gospel to the unreached (e.g., Jim Elliot).
- Give up and sacrifice entitlements or resources for each other's sake (comfort, sleep, health, time, pleasures & enjoyment, etc.)
Question: As mentioned in James 2:10, how is one guilty of all of the law?
- If we don't love our neighbor, we are guilty in God's eyes. We are like a murderer, or like an adulterer. Discrimination is as serious an offense against God as murder, adultery, or other sins.
Preview of James 2:14-18
- What kind of faith saves someone?
- One that shows itself or proves itself with works.
- A faith that does not show itself with works is dead.
- You can't just give lip service; you actually need to act upon what God has commanded.
- True faith is active and works out salvation in obedience to God. Faith does not merely believe, but persists in a following of Christ in submission and obedience to His authority.