Last Sunday night, Pastor Tony preached on the first part of James 2.
1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. 2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
Here are the notes I took (not quite as many as last week!)
Don't have cliques (show favoritism)
Q: Is is ok to be closer to some people?
A: There were some people closer to Jesus than others. Being close to people is not a clique
- However, you compromise the truth of God (by placing different value on different people) when you favor one group or another
- Everyone struggles with racism and bigotry. It's in our flesh but goes against the gospel.
It's always best to be humble and take the lesser place
- "wearing a gold ring" - literally a gold fingered man. In NT times a rich man wore jewelry on his left hand. If he was rich, he would have a gold signet ring. This ring could be used to stamp bills (similar to how we scan credit cards today!). This was a wealthy man
- They thought the rich man had more value than the poor
- When showing favoritism through racism or bigotry, you became judges with evil thoughts (which is against the Bible)
- Be careful who you put on a pedestal - especially if they are ones with fame and wealth
- Don't look at the outward person to judge their importance
God exalted the poor and has chosen them to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom.
- If you don't have much, you will pray more which deepens your intimacy with Christ