All Equal At The Cross

As we open chapter 2 of James tonight it is interesting that we providentially come to this verse James 2:1 in the midst of all the social disruption, protests and riots happening now in the US.

The theme of the verses James 2:1-13 is about biblical respect of persons. This deals with racism as it is commonly called by those who distinguish some as inferior or superior to another race or races. This is quite an explosive conversation right now. It should not be that terrible of an issue to discuss and settle, but since it involves those not converted, the natural man, it is very difficult. It should not however be a big issue for Christians since the Bible is clear that we, all the human race, are of ONE RACE. Acts 17:26 That should settle it for all of us. But it doesn’t and that is why God placed many more verses to teach, correct and rebuke us about what is popularly called racism or respect of persons. So it will take us more than this one study to move through this issue of the next 13 verses of our study in James 2. But we begin with this in James 2:1. I want to cover just 3 things in this verse. First …

  1. Relationship. “My brethren” This is addressed to those related in “faith”. We are to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ – but not with respect of persons. So think about “relationship”. As humans we have already said, and the Bible plainly declares we are all of one race, one blood. Acts 17:26 But verse 1 speaks clearly about another relationship, one that does divide and that is made because of the “faith of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Only one race, the human race. But two types of people in the human race. Those with “faith” and those without. Those who believe in Christ and those who do not. Those who are saved and those who are not saved. Those who will be together in heaven forever and those who will be in hell for eternity. Friend, what about your relationship? Yes, you are related to me – no matter what your color, what your national origin, no matter your language, no matter if you are rich, poor or whatever. We are related. But the BIGGER question is this: What is your relationship with Christ? Only those born again, born into the family of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus are in this relationship with me and others of faith in Christ. That brings us to the second point:
  2. Royal law. Notice the phrase, “our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory”. These are majestic words, royal words. Why? First this is royal because it comes from the King of Kings. Also, this points back to all that is glorious in Christ. John 1:14; 2 Cor 4:4-6; Heb 1:1-3. The glory of Christ’s Spirit rests on all who are part of the community of faith. Whether they are poor or rich they are equal. So, the command here is given as royal law that we must obey in order to have unity in the body of Christ. To have equality among all Christians. To disobey this law is inconsistent with our faith. This brings us to the final thought in this study which is about:
  3. Respect of persons. There simply is to be no respect of persons. James 2:9 says it is sin. There are many verses both Old Testament and New Testament to back this up: Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9. These clearly declare there is no partiality with God. And so there should not be any in believers. Colossians 3:25; Acts 10:34-36; 1 Peter 1:17-19. The Great example we are to follow is that of Jesus Christ. Think of Jesus linage how that it passed through even the most unimportant people, people who were not even Jewish, like Rahab the harlot and others. We know He was born in the humble village of Nazareth. Born in a stable, laid in a manger. He did not grow up in palace. He worked in a carpenter’s shop. He was surrounded by the poor not the rich. He ministered to those in Galilee and Samaria from different nationalities that were hated by His Jewish brethren. Ultimately He died between two thieves. I am saying His example loudly rings out “no respect of persons”. As we consider these 3 points we must ask these questions:
    Do you have a relationship with Christ? With the family of Christ? With me and all others in the community of faith who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ? Secondly:
    Are you obeying this royal law mentioned in our text? – No respect of persons.
    Do you have respect persons? There is another royal law by the King of Kings. A new law. John 13:34 -35 and we are to love all others. Spurgeon said: “For us to hate those who are in error or talk of them with contempt or wish ill, or do them wrong, is not according to the Spirt of Christ. You cannot cast out Satan by Satan, nor correct error by violence, nor overcome hate by hate. The conquering weapon of the Christian is love.”
    In the midst of all this turmoil if you are a Christian please do not have respect of persons. Please obey the royal law.

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