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1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? 8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:1-13 ESV
I. THE SIN OF DISCRIMINATION
A. Partiality is playing favorites based on outward appearance, which makes it discrimination. (Romans 2:11)
B. Judging other by the way they look caused the Jews to miss Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)
C. Partiality is unbecoming to those in Christ because we are children of God and God has raised us better than that.
II. THE SERIOUSNESS OF DISCRIMINATION
A. Discrimination is wrong because it is about making distinctions between people who are created equal and equally in need of Christ.
B. Part of the seriousness of partiality lies in how easy it is to fool ourselves into thinking we have no discriminatory bones or tendencies.
C. Part of the seriousness of partiality lies in how easy it is to downplay it because it doesn’t feel like a serious sin like say adultery or murder does.
III. THE SHORTAGE OF GOSPEL IN DISCRIMINATION
A. You defy logic and dishonor God & reveal you don‘t understand the Gospel when you discriminate based on external factors.
IV. SHORT LIST OF DO’S TO DENOUNCE DISCRIMINATION
A. Remember the humility and poverty of our holy and perfect Savior.
B. Remember the royal law of liberty to love our neighbor as ourselves.
C. Remember to reach out with mercy over judgment in every situation in which we are able (James 1:13, Matthew 5:7)