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Church Snobs (8 of 22)
Series: Behave Yourself
I have been trying to preach God's Word now since I was a 16-year-old boy. That means for 51 years I have been trying to preach God's Word and for 49 years as a pastor. Every time I come to God's Word, it is just as rich and as fresh and as new and as pertinent and applicable as when I first started. It has to be God's Word. What other book can do that for you?
James, the brother of our Lord, was a preacher. He was trained in the Jewish mold of preaching. One of the words for preaching in the Hebrew vocabulary is a word that literally means to string beads. As you read the book of James, that's kind of what James is doing. He is stringing beautiful pearls of truth into our hearts. He seems to move from subject to subject, but there is a connecting feature to all of this. He is talking about the matter of Christian behavior. He's saying that if you and I name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, there are certain things which need to be characteristic of our behavior and there are other things which should not be a part of our behavior.
James is the fearless preacher. He is going to deal with a very delicate subject. He is going to meet it head on, and he's going to talk about a problem that was current in his day and it is a problem that has its tendency to occur in every age of the Christian faith and in every congregation of believers.
Let's follow James, the preacher, this evening and let him speak to you and to me.
I. Declares the Subject.
In the first verse I want you to notice he declares a subject because he says in verse 1, "Have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." That little phrase really means to receive a face. It carries the idea of accepting a person on the basis of their outward appearance. It means to show favoritism. It means to show partiality to a person on the basis of their wealth or on the basis of their power or influence or their position.
So he has declared his subject. He is saying here, "Do not be guilty of the sin of partiality. Do not show favoritism between people." He declares a subject.
He gives us first, in verse 2, reasons why believers should not show favoritism. The first reason is because it is inconsistent with the Christian faith. He says, "Have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ." "The" faith.
The Bible teaches the worth of every individual. According to the Bible, all people are equally precious in the sight of God. God loves everyone. There are no good people and better people in the eyes of the Lord. All people are valuable to the Lord. The Bible makes this statement in Proverbs 28, verse 21: "To have respect of persons is not good."
We know that the faith is something which every person can experience. It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter what your status in life may be. It doesn't matter what ...
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