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James 2

1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with partiality.

2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,

3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”

4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen 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. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?

7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

8 If you really fulfill [the] royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;

9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Why is this a problem? Because in doing so we make the same mistake the Pharisees did in judging based on the outside appearance. When Jesus talked to the disciples about discernment He said, you’ll know them by their fruits.

10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one [point,] he is guilty of all.

11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

Notice here there is no distinction between adultery and murder. The wages of all sin is death. But we read two weeks ago in 1 Jn 5, that there was sin unto death, and sin not unto death… this appears to be an inward sin against the Spirit of God.

12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

14 What [does it] profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

Hebrews 11, what is faith?

15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,

16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what [does it] profit?

17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Why is this faith dead? What’s the difference? The difference is that this kind of faith still has as its root, love of self. It’s a faith that is merely concerned about itself. A selfish love, a selfish faith.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

This kind of faith is different in that it has grown to encompass others. It’s motivated by love for God and love for others.

19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!

“because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Romans 1:21 NKJV

There’s no surrender. If we believe God is God then the natural reaction is surrender… no one comes into the presence of God without coming to grips with who He is.

20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

Each example given in Hebrews 11 has evidence of transformational faith that manifested itself outward.

22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

He not only believed intellectually but that belief became faith when it manifested itself into action.

24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent [them] out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The body without the Spirit is dead… dead in sin. But Jesus died and gave us His Spirit.

The Spirit

Jesus said, the day will come when those who worship God will worship Him in Spirit, for God is Spirit. God had said, in the day you eat of it you shall surely die, and thus man died, in Spirit. Since the fall of man, mankind has been born into a condition of being dead in Spirit. But Jesus came into the world, filled with the Spirit. He said it is good for you that I go, for then I will give you, My Spirit. He lived a perfect life, died on our behalf and gifted those whom He has called with, His Spirit. Now the God of heaven, who is Spirit, looks down on His adopted children and only sees Jesus’s Spirit. And thus the prophecy is fulfilled, the day has come in which those who were dead, in Spirit, were gifted with, His Spirit, so they could worship the Father, in Spirit.

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