Rising Above Hard Times Message Series

 

RISING ABOVE HARD TIMES

Part 1 – Justice Is Required
James 5:1-6

October 25, 2020
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

INTRODUCTION

The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

James 5:1-6  Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.  2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.  4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you.  The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.  5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.  You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.  6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. (NIV)

1. There are four abuses of wealth AGAINST THE INNOCENT.

A. God says that it is wrong to hoard money for selfish reasons.  (James 5:3b)

1. James 5:3   … You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

2. Proverbs 28:27  He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

B. God says it is wrong to acquire wealth by cheating others.  (James 5:4)

James 5:4  Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you.  The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

C. God says that it is wrong to spend our money with only ourselves in mind.  (James 5:5)

1. James 5:5  You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.

2. Proverbs 19:17  If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD – and He will repay you!

D. God says that it is wrong to use our money to buy negative influence.  (James 5:6)

James 5:6  You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

 

2. CHRIST FOLLOWERS ARE TO BE PEOPLE OF JUSTICE.

A. Our God is a just God.

1. Psalm 89:14  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your (God’s) throne; love and faithfulness go before You. (NIV)

2. Jeremiah 9:24  “…but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (NIV)

B. Christ followers who get their morals from the Word of God will always align themselves with the righteousness of God.

1. Justice is to treat every person with integrity and fairness.  It is to defend the innocent and prohibit the oppression of those who especially cannot defend themselves.

2. Proverbs 31:9  Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

3. Micah 6:8  God has shown you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)