As I mentioned last week, I am bringing back some old posts from days gone by. My simple thoughts on the book of James brought back memories of when I studied the book. I'm not a theology teacher, nor do I spend a lot of time studying it. I like simple thoughts and words on things related to the Bible. These are my simple thoughts without theology on James 2.
Simple Thoughts Without Theology
James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
How can we say that we love the Lord and live for Him when we so quickly can become a snob? Think - Jesus died for all. He loves all people and so should we. We should show that we care by not becoming "cliquish" with others.
James 2:2-11 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
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:
Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
I remember when I was in my early twenties a former Pastor made a point in church to point out a visitor. He had their family come and sit in a "special" place for all the church to be able to see them. When this happened, a long-standing member's family had to move to the back, where the doctor's family had originally started out. Why? I believe that the Pastor wanted everyone to know that a medical doctor was possibly thinking about joining our little church. When I look back on that day, a faithful family was put out by having to move to the back. This family was not in the least bit wealthy. But they were faithful. They were moved so someone with a bit of wealth could have a better seat.
Favoritism was shown that day. What did it get the Pastor and church? Nothing! That doctor's family would not come back because of the way the situation was handled. All I could say was "Kudos, to that doctor's family!" The other family continued coming, and they held their head high when they walked through the doors of the church. They acted as if nothing ever happened. This family is still precious to me, I taught some of their children in Sunday School and love them so much.
Is it worth treating people differently because of their place in society? Or because of the way they look? No, it is not. We are to look past the clothes and earthly possessions to see a person for who they are ~ A soul that is going straight to Hell if they are not saved. A soul that may be struggling in their Christian walk or in their home life. Everyone needs a friend. I've always been told, if you can find one true friend then you have found a treasure.
Favoritism - Murder they are both a sin and one is not bigger than the other. A sin is a sin is a sin in the eyes of God. We should look at sin the same way.
James 2:12-13 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
If we show mercy and kindness to others, then others are going to show mercy and kindness to us. "We reap what we sow." There are times we are judged by others for doing something. It is not our job to be judgmental towards them when something happens. We need to show mercy and kindness in all things and to all people.
James 2:14-17 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Saying we have faith and actually giving of ourselves in faith are two different things. We can talk all we want about having faith, but we need to put a little action behind all the talking. ~ An old saying, "You need to put your money where your mouth is."
James 2:18-19 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Faith and works go hand in hand. Can you really have one without the other?
James 2:20-22 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
What great faith Abraham had! He trusted God enough that he placed his son on an altar of sacrifice. Would I be so trusting?
James 2:23-24 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
To be called the FRIEND OF GOD is an amazing honor. Abraham put action behind his faith. Do I have enough faith to trust God with everything ~ 100%?
James 2:25-26 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Rahab, a woman most people would not have anything to do with. But God chose her to be used by Him, in saving the lives of the spies. In her faith and works, God protected her and her family. I want to be used by God by putting works behind my faith.
I hope you'll join me next week when I share more Simple Thought Without Theology from James 3. If you missed my thoughts on James 1 you can find them HERE.