We opened our workout with a singing of "O Father, You Are Sovereign" (#17).
MEMORIZATION & DISCUSSION
We spent a few minutes reading through, reciting, and discussing small portions of James chapter 2.
- This chapter deals with discrimination against the poor and showing favoritism toward those who are rich or wealthy. To put it simply, God does not want us to show favoritism or make evil distinctions among His people.
- We ought to care for one another regardless of age, status in life, financial situation, etc. In the early church, even slaves and masters served God in the same way and were called to be faithful to God in holiness. There were no distinctions between the two.
James 2:5-7 & 2:8-9
- Royal law comes from Christ the King. Matthew 5:17 states that He came to fulfill the law, or to fill up the law. Christ showed us how to love others in full. This points us back to the teaching of the law - not just the Mosaic Law, but the fulfillment of it in Christ.
- If we show partiality, we have committed sin and are convicted by this royal law of Christ.
- A truly saved person loves others as themselves, not showing partiality to any particular individual because of social/financial status.
- It is crucial for us to love our neighbors as ourselves. When it comes to the needy and poor, we must never show partiality or discriminate against such as these.
Preview of James 2:10-13
- In verse 11, James mentions the transgressor of the law. Law here is referring back to the royal law, which is the law fulfilled in Christ and His teachings (e.g. love God and love your neighbor as yourself).
- In verse 12, James mentions the law of liberty, not just the Mosaic Law. Christians are those who live by the words of Christ. If you say you are a Christian but do not abide by His words, your faith is not genuine.
- Liberty refers to freedom from the bondage of sin.
- Practically, we are accountable to the words of Christ and ought to abide and live by them. As Matthew 7 describes, everyone who hears the words of Christ and acts on them are like those who build on solid foundations. Those who are forgiven by Christ must follow Christ in their lives. True Christians are truly saved and regenerated, and therefore will always persevere and bear fruit.
- When James mentions mercy in verse 13, he is not describing a mercy of forgiveness but more of a mercy toward the poor. In not showing loving mercy to others, we transgress the royal law and fail to emulate Christ.
- How do we practically and biblically show mercy towards others?
- By showing mercy, we should show compassion, not pity. Pitying has an association with condescension or disparagement. We should help others for their sake, not for our own fulfillment or evil motives.