Authentic Christianity Message Series

AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY

Part 2 – Are You Prejudiced?
James 2:1-13

April 26, 2020
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor SCBC

 

 

INTRODUCTION

James 2:1-4 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? (NLT)

 

1. PREJUDICE IS NOT TO BE EVEN A PART OF THE LIFE OF A CHRIST FOLLOWER.

A. James 2:1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

B. James 2:1 Never treat anybody in a different way according to their outward appearance. (GN)

C. What are some common areas of discrimination?

1. Appearance

2. Race

3. Affluence

D. James 2:2-4 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

E. There are three problems with favoritism.

1. Prejudice is against everything it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. (James 2:1)

a. James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

b. Prejudice and faith are incompatible – we’re the family of God.

2. Prejudice doesn’t make sense for believers (James 2:5-7).

James 2:5-7 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?

3. Prejudice is a direct violation of the love of God. (James 2:8-10)

a. James 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the Royal Law, according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

b. Galatians 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

c. James 2:9-11 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 who said, “Do not commit adultery” also said “Do not murder”. If you don’t commit adultery but you do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

d. Don’t pick and choose which commandments of God you will obey and which ones you will ignore.

e. James 1:12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom because judgment without mercy will not be shown to anyone who has been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Love treats people with mercy and one day we will give an account of that before God.

 

2. THE KEY TO OVERCOMING PREJUDICE IS DECIDING TO LOVE EVERYONE, EVEN IF THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU.

A. The number one factor of churches reaching the unsaved around them is how loving they are toward each other and toward people they don’t know.

B. It’s love that reaches people.

“Our purpose is to love and lead all people to life change in Christ.”

C. Romans 15:7 Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.