My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and [personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?
8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
Game- See if anyone can say the vision statement for the church without looking. We are a biblically rooted church that wants to help you overcome life’s emptiness through a deeper relationship with Christ and connection to a family who cares.
- This passage in James is a call for believers not to show favoritism against anyone. Have you ever felt like you were discriminated against?
- The point of this question is not to let everybody air out all their grievances but rather to let us think about what it feels like when it happens to us.
- In your opinion, where do you see favoritism/discrimination in the church? Is there a specific situation you knew was wrong?
- How have you shown favoritism in your life? What caused you to look back and know you were wrong?
- We have talked about how everyone else has shown favoritism really spend time and help us think through how we have done wrong.
- Have you ever seen someone live out the love of the Good Samaritan? Have you ever seen anyone reach across ethnic, economic, or social lines to show love to someone with no expectation of return?
- The letter of James uses Leviticus 19 and the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus is also referencing Leviticus 19. Take time to read Leviticus 19:9-18 and take note of all the ways that God wants us to love our neighbor. Discuss how you think we, as a society or as a church, do at loving one another. (Also, many believe James is a collection of New Testament Proverbs. I want you to see James clearly explains what the Christian life should look like by expounding on the teachings of Christ at the Sermon on the Mount as well as Leviticus 19.)
- Leviticus 19:9-10. We are to take care of the poor, alien, and really to help the helpless. See James 1:27.
- Leviticus 19:11-12. We are to tell the truth and do not swear under oath to try to bring validity to a lie. See James 5:12, Matthew 5:33-37.
- Leviticus 19:13. We are to deal honestly with people. See James 5:4.
- Leviticus 19:15. We are not show partiality or favoritism with people. See James 2:1-4.
- Leviticus 19:16. We are not to slander one another. See Matthew 5:21-22, James 4:11-12.
- Leviticus 19:17-18 We are to forgive and not to harbor hate and unforgiveness. Matthew 5:21-22 and James 2:11 (I believe James is referencing Jesus’s teaching at the Sermon on the Mount so he will be using Jesus’ definition of murder there as well.) Matthew 5:43-44.
- How have you had an opportunity to live with an invitation mindset this week?