Scripture reading: James 2:8-10 – “Another word for religion is worship.”
James 1:27 is an important part of the second chapter of James. Back up and read it as a flowing into chapter two. This last part of James’ definition for “ religion that is pure and undefiled before God” is “to keep oneself (1)__________________________ from the world.”
The main direction of Chapter 2 is stated in verse 1: “Show no (2)________________________ as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ…” Remember James is speaking to believers, for he calls them, “My brothers and sisters.” Obviously, then, even the “church” people were guilty of showing partiality when they came to the Synagogue. Another word for Synagogue is “assembly,” because it was used as a gathering place for more than just Sabbath worship. Some other uses for the assembly were:
Religious rites (worship) Business meetings
Political gatherings Judicial procedings
And James was speaking to all these times the believers came to the Synagogue. Let’s take our footing from Proverbs 17:5, “He who mocks the poor, mocks his Maker.” Whoa. Some heavy words.
Read James 2:2-4 James brings us some examples on how this mocking was being done. He warns against making distinctions (verse 4) that you may not become judges with evil (3) , using a corrupt standard for your judgments. James offers three criticisms against the rich. Not because they are rich, but because they were carrying an elitist attitude due to their wealth. This becomes a very destructive lifestyle for them; it destroys not only the wealthy, but also those around them who suffer from those attitudes and judgments. The three criticisms: “Are not the rich the ones who…”
Why would a Christian want to emulate or revere people with these kinds of behaviors? Remember in James 1:27 he warned the believers to “keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Amassing great wealth and getting an attitude about it is being polluted by the world. Desire of Ages, pg. 329.3 says in part, “Love for God, zeal for His glory, and love for fallen humanity, brought Jesus to earth to suffer and to die. this was the controlling power of His life. This principle He bids us adopt.” We are constrained by the law of God to dedicate our lives to helping all of humanity. This is a beautiful concept that James has when he calls the Law:
the (7)_____________________________law (James 1:25)
the (8) ____________________________law (James 2:8)
the law of (9) _________________________ (James 2:12)
No stronger terms can be used than James used in chapter 2, verse 9, “But if you show (10)__________________________________, you are committing (11) _________________________…”
As Christians, we recognize that God has shown us abundant mercy and love; He calls us to do the same. The world, especially the rich and powerful, often fails to recognize mercy, and they behave accordingly. We should reflect the character of our Lord and not the world.
James 2:13, “Mercy triumphs over (12)______________________________…” True worship is the attitude that everyone is loved and equal.
Luke 10: 29-37, Galatians 5: 13-15, Micah 6:6-8, 1 John 3:4, The Desire of Ages, page 329.3 and 466.5
Answers: (1) Unstained (2) Partiality (3) Thoughts (4) Oppress you (5) Drag you into court (6) defame your good name (7) Perfect (8) Royal (9) Liberty (10) Partiality (11) Sin (12) Judgment