JAMES 2:1-13





We live in a world of partiality and prejudice. Usually when we meet someone for the first time we decide some things about that person. We decide what kind of person he or she is and whether we are going to like them or not.


Often people are partial when it comes to whether a person is rich or poor; white, black, yellow, or red; smart or not so smart; male or female.


If there is a place where there should not be prejudice it is in the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, since Bible times there have been prejudices and partialities in the church. In Bible days there were probably prejudices against tax collectors, gentiles, Jews, the rich and the poor.


Faith Works Impartially.  We all come to Christ in the same way, and that is through faith in His death on the cross for our sins. No matter what a person’s background, color, status in life, or financial position, trusting the work of Christ alone for salvation is the only way to Heaven. Therefore one is not greater than the other in the local church.


Tonight, borrowing three points from Ron Blue and adding a fourth point, we want to see that “Faith Works Impartially”. (THE FIRST THREE POINTS ARE FROM RON BLUE, BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHAT PUBLICATION)

When faith is impartial there will be:




There will be all sorts of people who have walked through the doors of this church and will walk through. All people who enter into our church should be treated equally.


Vs. 1 – James is saying that you are not to have your faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, and be partial at the same time.  You are not to be a “respecter of persons”.


To be the servant of the Son of God who impartially gave His life on the cross for everyone, and then to be partial is terribly inconsistent.


It is very easy for a clique concept to develop in a church. Only certain people “belong” with other “certain” people, and there is always a danger that the church might start forming little groups or cliques.  Being cliquish or exclusive is a hard charge to live down.


Vs. 2 – James illustrates the point that he is making.

A man comes into the assembly, a church.

The usher greets him, and evidently this man is an unbeliever, perhaps a stranger to the congregation.

He is wearing a gold ring, probably an abundance of gold rings on the left hand, an indication of wealth. He is dressed well.


Another man enters.

He is not well dressed.

He probably has only one set of clothes to his name, work clothes, and they’re filthy.


Vs. 3 – The head usher is probably thinking about the first man, “My, this is the type of person we need to give this congregation some class. Here is someone who can really give to our building fund.”

So, he says, “Come on down sir, we have seat for you in this good location.”


Then the usher comes back for the other man, and he’s probably thinking, “Where did this vagabond come from.”

So he rather coldly says to the man, “Here. Sit next to me on the floor,” or, “You’ll have to stand, we can’t seat you.”


Now we might not treat people this exact way when we seat them, but the way we talk to them and listen to them might indicate a partiality either for or against an individual.


Vs. 4 – James reminds us that when we are partial we are judging others.


Clothes do not make the man.

Finances do not say what the individual is like on the inside.

To judge base on appearance is to judge being motivated for the wrong reasons, trying to better one’s own position.


Although we all have friends in church that will become closer to others, it is our responsibility to treat everyone equally, with respect, love, and common courtesy.




Vs. 5 - God loves all His creatures.

God loves all us in this room.

But God in His master plan deemed it easier for a poor humble person to be rich in faith.

I think this is because in order to be saved a person must realize that he is a sinner, that he needs help and can’t save himself.


Because of their poverty poor people are often already humble. Therefore it is easier for them to humble themselves before God and trust Christ by faith. Matthew 5:3, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

We can be courteous and compassionate when we realize how precious the poor of this life are to God. There is no intrinsic merit in being poor, other than one is more likely to come to Christ.


Vss. 6-7 – James now reminds these people who would show preference to the rich of what the rich have done. He’s not talking about all rich people, of course.


·        It is the rich who socially and economically oppress the poor.

·        It is the rich who will bring the poor into court and oppress them.

·        And making matters worse, the rich would actually blaspheme the name of Christ.

If you doubt this is true, consider the Hollywood stars, many of whom are very rich.  Consider the attitude that most of them have towards Christ.


The rich are very independent because of their wealth and just not as likely to humble themselves and trust Christ.


I, as a Christian, am not to be partial but to have compassion on all people, whether they are rich or poor.


Vs. 8 – The royal or supreme law in my treatment of other human beings is to love my neighbor as myself. That means that I must treat my neighbor in the proper way.


You are probably familiar with Jesus’ story of the “Good Samaritan” in Luke 25-37.   

It was the Samaritan who helped a man who been robbed, beaten, and left to die.  The Samaritans were hated by the Jews.  But it was this Samaritan that saved the man’s life, showing compassion.


It is obvious from this parable that my neighbor is anyone in need that I am able to help.

1 John 3:16-18


Vs. 9 – James informs us that us that if we fail to show compassion to all we have committed a violation of God’s law.

Some might not consider being prejudiced as a serious problem, but God does. The one who is prejudiced is convicted by the law as a transgressor.   




In our effort to obey God we can not pick in chose what laws we chose to obey. We need to be consistent.


Vs. 10 – If we break one law, the law is broken.

If you break one of the Ten Commandments, you can’t say, “Well, I’ve kept the other 9 in tact.”

No, the law is broken!


Vs. 11 – James illustrates by say, “There are two laws, Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt not commit adultery.

You may never commit adultery, but if you kill someone, you have certainly broken the law.


So, James is showing that we must be consistent in our Christian living.  We can’t chose to be prejudiced and still think that we are doing okay with God.


What James is saying not only applies to being prejudiced.

You may be writing off a whole area of your life, saying, “Well, I’m sinning there, but at least I’m not sinning in a lot of other areas.”

That attitude does not work with God.

Instead he wants to give you victory.


Galatians 5:16 - This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.




Vs. 12 – As you know, each Christian will come before the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will be judged not for salvation but for rewards.


Let me ask you:

Who has made you free from the punishment of hell?

Who has made you free from the power of sin in your life?

Who has made you free to serve Him?

Who has made you free, not to do what you want, but so you can conscientiously live for God?


The one who has made you free is Jesus Christ.

John 8:36 - If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


The law of liberty, then, is the law of the one who has set you free. The law of liberty is the law of Christ.

We will be judged according to His law.

We will be judged to see if we have followed His law. He has made us free to do so.


Vs. 13 – Because we will be judged by His law which is full of mercy and compassion, we must careful to show mercy to others.


·        Mercy to rich and poor alike

·        Mercy to the widow

·        Mercy to the fatherless

·        Mercy to the orphan

·        Mercy to black, white, red, and yellow


The one who lives without mercy is judged without mercy.

The one who has shown mercy can expect mercy.



Let us show:




For at the Judgment Seat of Christ there will be