In James 2:1-7 we are told not to show preferential treatment to people. This is no minor exhortation. In this sermon from Imprint Church in Woodinville it is argued that it’s actually the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is apparent because of the space that James gives to this matter that discrimination was a problem among his readers. But the idea in this context is that this is happening in the church. It’s a typical weekly gathering… if any place should be a place of equality, it’s the church.
Partiality can also be called favoritism.
Favoritism isn’t just dangerous because you’re making a judgment call about someone, which we all have to do on a regular basis in many parts of our lives. Favoritism here reveals a heart that loves things, status, and power and will use people to get these things. You see, at the root of favoritism is the desire for much to be made of YOU!
Recorded Sermon on James 2:1-7
You can watch the video of Imprint’s “The Sacrifice of Faith” sermon below or download the audio podcast.
Generosity Group Questions
Here are discussion questions on James 2:1-7 for people meeting in our church small groups around Woodinville, WA or for anyone else finding this sermon online.
- Why is showing partiality incompatible with faith in Jesus? Think about the issue of showing partiality in your own life. How can you overcome this sin?
- In James 2:2-4, James gives an example of how favoritism was being displayed in the churches. Do you see any favoritism in our church and how can we work to overcome it?
- Why are the rich and the poor singled out in this passage in James? What does James have to say about them? Why is this important for James’ message?
- What do we learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this passage?
- James quotes Leviticus 19:18 and Jesus in this passage. Why would this be called the “royal law?” How does this one command summarize all of the other “one anothers” (“love one another,” “serve one another”, etc.) in Scripture?
- What does it mean to love your neighbor? What is something practical you can do to overcome partiality in your attitudes and actions toward others?