Tag Archives: Royal law

Witnessing because we love

Yesterday we saw how Jesus spoke about God His second commandment and how Jesus ordered us to keep to a Royal Law.

In the readings of this week we can find an other work than the brotherly love we have to do. Though that work should be part of brotherly love. Out of love to others we should go out into the world and proclaim the Good News. Witnessing to others is a way of showing our love to them, because we want them also to be saved.

God’s abundance is for the furthering of His will here on earth. God wants all people to know Him and to worship Him. We, when we are thankful for what God provided for us, will love to serve our God and shall do our best to be workers in the name of Jesus, following his orders to preach.

The Lord Jesus stripped himself of everything save love, that he might more readily meet each human soul on its own level. Jesus emptied himself, humbled himself, only wanted to do the will of God, his heavenly Father and asked us also to put our own selfish will aside. That will demand some work. Like Jesus became obedient unto death, even the death at the stake, for our sakes, we should offer our selves, working hard to bring others also into the knowledge of God.

Jesus was set on proclaiming the Gospel so that even the dying thief might enter Paradise, and that not one prodigal in all the human family should think that he had sunk too low or gone so far as to be excluded from the hope of salvation.

One of the duties of friendship is just to lend an ear to others and our second duty is to try to give them right answers. Those answers are given by God in His Book of books, the Bible, which we should carry in our heart. To keep it only for ourself is selfish. We should share it with others around us.

The first followers of Christ Jesus were very well aware of their responsibility. They also knew it was God Who had given Jesus authority and also given them responsibility of serving His church by proclaiming the word of God in its fullness. Paul wrote.

Colossians 1:21-29 The Scriptures 1998+  (21)  And you, who once were estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works, but now He has completely restored to favour  (22)  in the body of His flesh through death, to present you set-apart, and blameless, and unreprovable before Him,  (23)  if indeed you continue in the belief, founded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the expectation of the Good News which you heard, which was proclaimed to every creature under the heaven, of which I, Sha’ul, became a servant,  (24)  who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in Messiah’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, which is the assembly,  (25)  of which I became a servant according to the administration of Elohim which was given to me for you, to fill the word of Elohim,  (26)  the secret which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His set-apart ones,  (27)  to whom Elohim desired to make known what are the riches of the esteem of this secret among the gentiles: which is Messiah in you,1 the expectancy of esteem, Footnote: 1See Messiah in you in the Explanatory Notes.  (28)  whom we announce, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, in order to present every man perfect in Messiah יהושע {Jehsua},  (29)  for which I also labour, striving according to the working of Him who works in me in power.

Even when the mystery may have been hid from ages and from generations, now for us it should be clear, having been made manifest to the Elohim His saints. When having received the blessings of the offering of Jeshua we, out of thankfulness should be pleased that we got to know what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the non believers. Having Christ in us we do have the hope of glory and should be so overtaken by joy that we shout it out and call others to become partakers of the same joy.

Faith belief D will do rightIt is that Messiah, given to us, without us having to do something for it, that now our turn has come to do something in return. The Grace is given for free, but now we have to act when we have come into the faith and want to make the faith alive. It is the Messiah whom we should preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, whereunto the apostles also laboured, striving according to his working, which works in believers of Christ mightily.

The message kept secret for centuries and generations past has been revealed to God’s people. And the secret “Christ in you is the hope of glory!’”  should be sounding all over the earth.

Our task is to get this hope of glory with Christ in us. Having his presence and power in our life, because it is the only way we will ever become all that God has created us to be. That is the great secret that is now made known to all! And this is why we we have to do the work of faith proclaiming Jesus, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully grown, mature and complete in Christ. It is to this end we like the apostle Paul have to labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in the followers of Christ.

Like it was the great Life Lesson Philemon learned from Paul, and how it has made all the difference for him in everything he did, we too should be inspired by Jesus’ teachings and by the power of God’s Spirit should inspire others as well.

We were made for a purpose; one that will never be realized apart from our Lord Jesus Christ. Once Christ puts his presence and power into our lives – then we can do whatever Christ can do through us if we are opening ourselves to him! Paul’s timeless words should become our very own,  so that we too can say

‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’

This is our hope of glory!

In Christ – the defeated become victorious; the weak become strong; the poor become rich! In Christ – the lame are made to leap and dance; the blind are made to see; the enslaved are set free and rejoice!

In Christ – the lowly are raised up; the brokenhearted are healed; sinners are forgiven, and backsliders are restored! In Christ –dreamers are envisioned; builders are empowered; and all are strengthened with might in their inner man!

To become in Christ we should give ourselves to him, which demands works.

To bring others to Christ also demands works. Though we do have to show others others that Christ is the Way.

We do have to open our ears so that others can open their hearts. We then should try to show them the answers God provides. Like David did not brood on his problems in solitary bitterness we with those around us should bring them before God.

We ourselves must not be ‘puffed up’ because of the way our careful reading of God’s word has led us to increasingly comprehend the ‘big picture’ of the meaning of life and the spirit of genuine love for God that must be part of this.

Let us be like the scribe who knew that there is only one God; and there is none other but He and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength. To love God demands action or work. But when we do love we first of all have to love His creations as well because when we do not love our neighbour as ourself, we do not show appreciation for the creation of God, because each person is a created being, allowed to live here on earth by God.

Mark 12:26-33 The Scriptures 1998+  (26)  “And concerning the dead, that they rise – have you not read in the book of Mosheh, at the bush, how Elohim spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the Elohim of Aḇraham, and the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ’? (27)  “He is not the Elohim of the dead, but Elohim of the living. You, then, go greatly astray.”  (28)  And one of the scribes coming near, hearing them reasoning together, knowing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first command of all?”  (29)  And יהושע  {Jeshua} answered him, “The first of all the commands is, ‘Hear, O Yisra’ĕl, יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim, יהוה {Jehovah} is one.  (30)  ‘And you shall love יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first command.  (31)  “And the second, like it, is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other command greater than these.”  (32)  And the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one Elohim, and there is no other besides Him.  (33)  “And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the being, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is more than all the burnt offerings and offerings.”

We should clearly understand what is being said here. There is only One True God the Elohim Hashem יהוה {Jehovah} and this we should believe and practice with all our heart, offering our love for God to others.

Do we feel as thankful as we should for the wondrous blessing of being spiritual children of God – in this godless world? Let us make sure that we do – and then – how soon will we see and experience – for ever – “the salvation of God”.

Paul challenges us when he looks at the call of Christ to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. He expresses this responsibility in the bluntest terms,

1 Corinthians 9:16 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  For if I bring the Good News, it is no boasting for me, for necessity is laid on me, and it is woe to me if I do not bring the Good News!

Youngsters listening to a preacher

Youngsters listening to a preacher

Let us not overlook that it is for necessity is laid on us as well.  ‘A necessity’, etc.: i.e. having no choice. The compelling force was twofold, love of god and love of Christ plus fear of being held responsible for the loss of souls. Woe: calamity, in this case, eternal death. So explicit and solemn was Christ’s commission that Paul could not retain his favour if he refused to obey it. 1 Corinthians 9:17 shows how this impending woe, and the necessity it laid on Paul, make the mere fact of his preaching no ground of exultation. For if we do this of our own will, we shall have a reward. But if not of our own will, we will have a stewardship entrusted to us.

1 Corinthians 9:17 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  For if I do this voluntarily I have a reward, but if not voluntarily, I am entrusted with a management.

Stewardship “stresses obligation, responsibility, and faithfulness of the servant to his master in carrying out the entrusted task” (Rienecker and Rogers, p. 415). In other places such as Luke 16:2-4 this same term is used to describe the management of property.
We have to do the preaching or witnessing as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted us with this task.  And this is something too many Christians forget or do not want to see.

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Preceding

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?

Leading people astray!

Crisis man needed in this world

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Preaching by example

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

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Additional reading

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Bible in the first place #2/3
  3. Hope by faith and free gift
  4. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. Illuminating our minds and watching out
  7. Those who love Jesus
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  9. Paulus to Philemon
  10. Bringing Good News into the world
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. First Century of Christianity
  13. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  14. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  15. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  16. Breathing to teach
  17. Witnessing
  18. How should we preach?
  19. Showing by the scriptures that …
  20. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  21. Church sent into the world
  22. How do I know if I’m called to ministry?
  23. Not all ability to preach
  24. A Synod to speak freely and to listen without reservations
  25. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  26. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  27. Risen With Him
  28. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  29. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  30. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  31. Counting sands and stars
  32. The Big Conversation
  33. The Big Conversation – Christadelphians in the United Kingdom
  34. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  35. What Should I Preach ?
  36. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  37. Positive Preaching Day 2015
  38. Soviet Witnesses
  39. Using the name Jehovah but not a witness of that name
  40. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  41. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  42. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  43. Begin by carrying away small stones to remove a mountain
  44. Signs of the Last Days

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Further related articles

  1. The Sum of our Stories
  2. The Gospel Addresses the Culture
  3. Baptism and Temptation
  4. Are You Ready For Jesus’ Return?
  5. Can you be faithful?
  6. Learn It, Do It, Teach It …Preach it?
  7. Preaching on the Subject of Heaven
  8. John Newton on the Practical Effects of Faith
  9. “forgiveness is not a legal action”
  10. Into the Wilderness
  11. 1 Peter 2:1-3, What about Milk?
  12. Preaching
  13. The Power of Place and Story in Preaching
  14. Consecutive Expository Preaching
  15. Stop Teaching
  16. What’s red and furry and climbs trees? (avoiding the Sunday School answer)
  17. Train of Thanks 14-15
  18. ‘Body Language’ in 1 Corinthians
  19. Sound Bytes or Substance? (Part 2)
  20. The Essential Element to Church Health and Success
  21. Sermon in a Sentence
  22. What’s Pastor Kevin Reading: Will Willimon’s “How Odd of God”
  23. Dulcis Loquela, Dulcis Oratio, or Un-Umming Your Speech
  24. Preaching – Prof K J Mathew – Shalom Night Vigil – February 2016
  25. Preaching – Fr. Roy Palatty – Shalom Night Vigil – February 2016
  26. “Today You Will Be With Me” – A Sermon Starter
  27. “Where is the promise of His coming?” (part 2)…
  28. Expository Preaching
  29. New Network Show; Preachers of Infernum
  30. Dressing for Church: Which Way Does One Go?
  31. How Will You Listen to Your Pastor This Weekend?
  32. 3 Essentials of A Good Sermon
  33. QotD – Speaking from the Heart – 2.11.2016
  34. Almost Spiritual, Almost Revived
  35. My Library // Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
  36. One Anothering – The Ministry of Mutuality
  37. “Powerful Preacher”
  38. 6 Ways Bible Reading Enhances Your Church Experience
  39. One wild preacher!
  40. The Dilemma of Balance in Preaching
  41. Unlawful Arrest for Preaching Gospel
  42. Post-Preaching Inscape
  43. Benefits of Expository Preaching
  44. 4 “Non-Sin” Sermon Practices
  45. Are Red Letters More Important than Black Letters?
  46. Preacher, Do You Tremble before the Word You Preach?
  47. A Christ-Centred Life And A Christ-Centred Ministry
  48. The Ministry of Reconciliation
  49. Acts 4
  50. Acts 10
  51. Challenge: Find Somebody to Love
  52. Time for a Great Poem (evangelism)
  53. Don’t just give up, give out! #Lent
  54. Faith’s Checkbook: A Constant Witness
  55. Simon Peter
  56. When We Struggle
  57. February 8th-Love your neighbor as yourself. And, our unruly society has about as much difficulty with that as did His chosen people back then. Yet, as His children, we are required to be different.
  58. Leading Souls to Christ, Part 6 (Onward Christian Soldiers #116)
  59. Are You Sitting?
  60. We Are The Body!
  61. Equipping the Saints (Part 2)
  62. Life Expectations
  63. Rude Witnessing
  64. Feb 4 – That’s What Friends Are For
  65. Thankful
  66. How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess
  67. Eleven Trust in Jesus
  68. So, What Is Good News?
  69. Parking Lot Salvation
  70. My Utmost For His Highest: The Key To The Missionary’s Message
  71. Friendship Born By God
  72. He Died For Us Let’s Live For Him
  73. Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?
  74. Go Ye!
  75. Let’s Proclaim The Gospel to The World
  76. 1 John 1:3 What To Proclaim
  77. 2016- A year to teach the masses about our Lord!
  78. Rejoice, Not Criticize
  79. εὐαγγέλιον – And God Ordained Encounters
  80. The Work of God
  81. #AdventWord #Proclaim
  82. Get The Word Out
  83. Joy Never Goes Silent
  84. Good News From The Bad News
  85. Walk before many people with good tidings and the gospel of peace
  86. There Is A Fire
  87. God Energizes Our Efforts August 27
  88. Refusing to Be Silent
  89. How Beautiful
  90. A Passion To Proclaim Him

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ

In our series of faith and works we also want to remind the readers to Jesus sermon on the mount and on the many accounts he gave how we should behave against others.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week we will read in Mark 12 and must note Jesus’ comment about the second commandment

– “You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (verse 31).

In this present society it happens in places that people even do not know their neighbours. Hopefully you do talk to your neighbours. In case you believe in god, do you dare to talk about your faith?

Today many people feel ashamed of what they believe or do have the excuse to think that others would not be interested in their faith. From the gospels we get to know that rabbi Jeshua was not at all afraid to talk about his faith in the Only One True God of Israel. He asked his disciples to overcome their shyness and even to put their daily work aside to follow him and to go out into the world to preach the Kingdom Gospel.

From Jesus teachings we also get to know an other important work we have to do. Witnessing is an important task, but it has to be done properly with full seal. Each follower of Christ should, like Christ did, not putting his own will on the first place, but the Will of God. Real Christians should set their mind on the things of God.

Let us try harder to set our minds on the things of God. In doing so, we will recall that even in the Law God gave through Moses; there is the command

 

“’You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18 NAS)

We call it a Golden Rule or Royal Law
This has been a command for all ages. What a different world this would be if that command was carried out! And who can doubt but that it will be – by those who live in God’s kingdom.

Let us be in training for God’s kingdom now! What better way to show your love for your neighbour than by encouraging them to believe in the words of Jesus! We must try to speak to them in the spirit of love, a desire to share something precious; the pearl of great price!

This will be reflected in our attitude as well as in the words that we use, for we ‘communicate’ as much by what we do – as by what we say. The world has a word for it, “body language”. We must seek wisdom from above as we set ourselves to do this. Remember what James wrote,

“the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (3:17).

 

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Preceding

Letter to a Non-Christian Nation

The Mountain: Radical Love

The Mountain: Radical Obedience

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Our life depending on faith

 

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Please find also to read:

  1. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  2. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  3. Inculcate God’s words and speak of them
  4. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  5. Kindness
  6. Angry but not sinning
  7. God won’t ask
  8. God loving people justified
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. We Are The Children Of God
  11. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  12. Christianity is a love affair
  13. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  14. To be chained by love for another one
  15. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  16. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  17. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  18. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  19. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  20. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  21. The task given to us to love each other
  22. The Greatest of These is Love
  23. If we love one another, God lives in us
  24. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  25. Love turns one person into two; and two into one
  26. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  27. Incomplete without the mind of God
  28. Nurturing a close relationship with God
  29. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  30. Our way of life
  31. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  32. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  33. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  34. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  35. Right to be in the surroundings
  36. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  37. Reflection for today: hating your brother
  38. The one who has not had a taste of love
  39. If You want to start winning the war
  40. Engaging the enemy
  41. What Jesus did: First things first
  42. Love envieth not
  43. No fear in love
  44. Live …
  45. Luck
  46. Work with joy and pray with love
  47. Blessed are those who freely give
  48. When we love we do not need laws
  49. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  50. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  51. Growth in character
  52. Spread love everywhere you go
  53. Love is like playing the piano
  54. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  55. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  56. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  57. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  58. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  59. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  60. God demonstrates his own love
  61. Unconditional love
  62. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  63. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  64. Life and attitude of a Christian

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

 

“1  My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality. 2 For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; 3 and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, “Sit here in a good place”; but you tell the poor man, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; 4 haven’t you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4 NHEB)

“But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?” (James 2:6 NHEB)

“But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:9 NHEB)

“For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13 NHEB)

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14 NHEB)

“17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. 18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, foolish man, that faith apart from works is useless?

21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In like manner was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:17-26 NHEB)

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The Works (Faith No More album)

The Works (Faith No More album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Christadelphian Agora comments:

“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:22).
“An old Scotsman operated a little rowboat for transporting passengers. One day a passenger noticed that the good old man had carved on one oar the word ‘Faith’, and on the other oar the word ‘Works’. Curiosity led him to ask the meaning of this. The old man, being a well-balanced believer in Christ, and glad of the opportunity for testimony, said, ‘I will show you.’ So saying, he dropped one oar and plied the other called Works, and they just went around in circles. Then he dropped that oar and began to use the oar called Faith, and the little boat just went around in circles again — this time the other way around, but still in a circle. After this demonstration the old man picked up Faith and Works and wielding both oars together, sped swiftly over the water, explaining to his inquiring passenger, ‘You see, that is the way it is in the believer’s life. Works without faith are useless, and faith without works is dead also, getting you nowhere. But faith and works pulling together make for safety, progress, and blessing’ ” (Maritta Terrell).

Peter Cresswell comments:

v.9 As a community (speaking generally) we are condemned by our inability to work out this maxim in our practical lives. There are those who genuinely are prepared to preach to anyone and accept anyone, but I think if we are honest, most of us are not happy with this teaching. A moment’s reflection on it today then will do no harm. Would we, for example, like Jesus in John 8:3-11, accept the repentance of the prostitute (which is seems this woman was) so readily? Lev.19:15

Peter Forbes  comments:

2:1-4 It is said that we form an impression about someone within a few minutes of seeing them. We have not had enough time to assess their character and yet we make decisions which may colour our view for the rest of our lives. It is really clear why God does not judge by outward appearance – 1Sam 16:7 – we should emulate His approach.

2:4 So we see that partiality which starts by looking on the outward appearance – see 2:2– is in reality judging the way others think.

2:4  Partiality is a consequence of being ‘double minded’ as mentioned in James 1:8

2:5 In speaking of ‘the poor of this world’ James echoes Paul’s comment about men of faith – Heb 11:37 . One cannot but wonder how we would have reacted to some of the men and women of faith if we had seen them in the street.

2:6 Continuing thoughts on our contribution for June 8th James asks his readers to think on the realities of their experience. The very ones that they would revere were the ones who were their persecutors!

2:6     ‘despised’ <818> is translated ‘shamefully’ Luke 20:11 and ‘dishonour’  John 8:49 showing that James is reproving the brethren for denigrating the ‘poor’.

2:9 That we should show ‘no respect of persons’ draws on the Law of Moses and is seen extensively in Scripture. Here are some occasions. Leviticus 19:15 Deuteronomy 1:17 16:19 2 Samuel 14:14 2 Chronicles 19:7 Proverbs 24:23 28:21 Romans 2:11 Ephesians 6:9 Colossians 3:25 1 Peter 1:17 No matter how one dresses up the prejudice against the poor and favour toward the well dressed it is a violation of the Divine law. Actually it manifests pride. We like to identify with the rich in this world rather than the poor.

2:11   James here clearly shows that there are no degrees of sin. Sin is sin. Agreed the consequences of some sins is greater than others insofar as our actions impact upon other men. However any sin violates God’s principles.

2:13 These words of James draw upon the teaching of Jesus in Matt 7:2

2:14-17  I suppose one could summarise what James is teaching here by saying “talk is cheap”.  It is ever so easy to talk about how we love and serve God. It is far harder to simply get on with doing that.

2:21-23  We notice that Abraham was “justified” in Gen 15:6. However it was many years later when he was willing to offer Isaac – Gen 22:9 – which demonstrated his faith. So, even though God saw Abraham’s faith no man could have seen the evidence of Abraham’s faith. But God knew in advance that Abraham had faith.

2:23    There are two earlier occasions when Abraham is called God’s friend – (#2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8)

2:23 How would you like to be called ‘the friend of God’? Such is the description of faithful Abraham – he believed that God would keep His word and so acted upon that knowledge. So we know the way to friendship with God.

2:23 There were quite a number of years between the statement in Gen 15:6 that Abraham believed God and his offering of Isaac. Faith is not a ‘flash in the pan’ activity.

2:25 The inclusion of Rahab as one who was justified by faith is a powerful testimony to the truth that observance of the law of Moses is not a pre requisite for pleasing God. A powerful lesson for Jews.

Michael Parry comments:

James exhorts against favouritism in our assembly.  Brothers and sisters should be treated equally in love and respect.  Do we naturally gravitate towards some and find it difficult to deal with others?  Of course we do.  But let us remember the example of Jesus.  Although He was drawn affectionately to John (John 19:26; 21:20), He still treated His betrayer Judas with love (Matt 5:44).

A point about verse 19:  there exist no such supernatural entities as devils (or demons).  What are being alluded to here are people possessed with demons (mental disorders).
There were demoniac people who recognized God and the Lord Jesus  (Mark 5:1-13, 16:9, Luke 4:40,41, 8:2).

Having scriptural knowledge, understanding, and faith means nothing unless it is translated into Godly action.

V.8 James is the only one to use the phrase royal law.  Loving one’s neighbour is the second part of the greatest law (Matt 22:37-39).  The first part concerns the love for God who is King over all – hence James’s royal reference.

V.12 James also talks of the law of liberty. No longer is anyone judged under the Law of Moses.  But, the moral commandments under the Law are carried forward and form part of the Commandments of Jesus.  It is expected that believers follow these commandments willingly.  Believers will be judged on their adherence to these laws.

John Wilson comments:

V.18 James introduces a third person into his explanation of faith and how it works by love. The third person is able to give a practical demonstration of his faith. James’ humility would not permit him to set himself forth as an ideal representative of a living faith. “I will show thee my faith by my works”  A practical demonstration of a motivating force that is greater than the individual himself, by which “he overcame the world”  (1John 5:4).

2:25 With the example of Rahab; along with that of Abraham (V.21,23), we would suggest is used by James to show the universality of the principle of faith that he was writing of. Abraham was the Father of all the Jews; Rahab was a Gentile who was converted. She was weak and sinful, but triumphed by faith. Not unlike what Paul wrote Gal 3:28.

2:26 Faith without works is like a corpse; there is a body, the substance of which is undeniable, but it is a dead body, and unless the breath of life enters into that body, it remains inactive and ineffective. Unless faith issues forth in a practical demonstration of a way of life which is pleasing God, it is a corpse without life, and incapable of imparting it.

Roger Turner comments:

v 5 First Principles>Kingdom of God>Gospel concerns God’s Kingdom
The Gospel preached by Jesus and the Apostles concerns the Kingdom of God.
2. Invitation for men to participate
Matt 25:34, Luke 12:32, 1Thess 2:12, James 2:5, 2Tim 4:1,8, 2Pet 1:10,11, Rev 2:26,27
For more about the Gospel concerning God’s Kingdom go to Matt 4:23 

Valerie Mello comments:

James 2:17

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

The apostle Paul defines faith as, “… the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Faith may be further defined as having a confident belief, value, or trustworthiness of a person, which does not necessarily rest on logical proof or material evidence.

This kind of faith requires development, and if we are not prepared to spend time in developing it, we shall not obtain the kind of faith that pleases God. The more we consider God’s actions in the past, and see His prophecies vindicated in the present, the more we come to learn to value Him, trust Him, and put our faith in Him concerning events not yet fulfilled, but promised by God.

This is a true story about a captain commanding a passenger ship who was sailing from Liverpool, England to New York. His family was on board with him. One night when everyone was sound asleep, a squall unexpectedly swept over the waters and tossed the ship violently, awakening the passengers. They were all scared, and the captain’s frightened eight-year old daughter asked, “What’s the matter?” Her mother explained that a sudden storm struck the ship. “Is father on deck?”  “Yes, father is on deck,” answered the mother. On hearing this, the little girl snuggled back into bed, and in a few moments was sound asleep. The winds still blew and the waves still rolled, but her fears were calmed because her father was at the helm! Our Heavenly Father is always at the helm! It is this kind of faith the Father is looking for in His children, and despite outward appearances, without this kind of faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6).

Wes Booker comments:

James 2:12,13.

What are some practical lessons and exhortations that we should try and practice in our lives in connection with what James is stating here – especially the last part of v. 13 – “Mercy triumphs over judgment”?

In thinking about a practical application of what James is exhorting us here, it’s important to keep in mind that within the pages of the Bible there are a number of very positive references to the idea of judgment. Though we might tend to immediately think of Christ’s words – “Judge not that you be not judged” (Mat. 7:1), there are a number of times where the flip side of the concept is there in such words as “judge righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24) and Paul’s words concerning the ongoing fornication in the Corinthian ecclesia – “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you” ((1 Cor. 5:12,13).

In the example that James uses following up his statement about mercy triumphing over judgment (v. 13) – in James 2:14-17 he gives the example of a brother or sister without clothes and daily food and what should be done by the ecclesia in that situation. What he doesn’t state is the reason for them to be in such a destitute situation. Was it due to things beyond their control? Or did they do certain things that brought this dire condition on themselves? Were they able-bodied and in a position to seek employment and get themselves out of this situation without having to come to the ecclesia for help? Whatever their situation was, James states categorically that the attitude that wishes them well without providing for their physical needs is an example of faith without works being dead. So the #1 priority of the ecclesia is to provide help when they have it within their power to do so. And, of course, the same should be true for individual believers in Christ.

The person or ecclesia who has it within its power to help and chooses to not do so really needs to have a really good Scriptural reason for not helping. And if there’s ever a question as to the rightness of a course of action, then the weight should fall on the side of mercy. And so with the seesaw effect, mercy comes up as judgment goes down. I remember reading years ago in one of bro. Islip Collyer’s books – I can’t remember which one it was – what he had to say on this subject. And it was so powerful that it really stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing here –

When a tough-to-decide situation comes up ecclesially where both sides – the severe and the lenient (merciful) – both have positive things that can be said for deciding in that particular way, I, for one, will always choose the side of mercy for this one simple reason. I know that on that great day of judgment, I will need all the mercy my Lord can muster on my behalf. So how can I go the other way? If I’m going to err, it is going to be on the side of mercy.

Robert Prins comments:

Illogical Really

When James spoke about people showing faith through the things that they did, he gave two examples. One of them was Abraham as he was about to sacrifice Isaac, and the other was Rahab, as she hid the spies and sent them off in a different direction.

Neither of these actions were really common-sense logical. After all, if you had been promised that your son was to be your heir, and the door to a multitude of descendants, it would seem stupid to kill him! And in the case of Rahab, when approached by people who were planning to flatten her city, it doesn’t seem right to hide and protect them.

But, both Abraham and Rahab had their eyes on something bigger and better when they acted in faith. Abraham was so sure God’s promises would be fulfilled, that he obeyed anyway. And Rahab was so sure of God’s strength, and that God was good to those who were good to Israel, that she put her own life in peril from the authorities in Jericho to put her trust in God.

What faith opportunities do we have in our lives? What about the opportunities to let God take vengeance rather than ourselves? What about forgiving others and trusting God for the rest? Or giving money or possessions away when asked? Or speaking out about our faith in God at an appropriate time?

Faith is seen in what we do. Let’s make sure God sees it in our lives.

Rob de Jongh comments

The bird resting on the patio

From v14 to v26 James explains how faith without works is dead. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, so perhaps an analogy may help.

Last summer we were on holiday in a cottage that had large glazed patio doors leading to a patio outside where the children watched birds hopping around. One day we came back from a trip out and our little boy said,

“Mummy. Why isn’t that bird moving?”.

We suspected the bird had flown into the glass and either stunned or killed itself, but we didn’t tell the child.

“Maybe it’s resting”,

we said, while earnestly hoping that the bird was going to get up at any moment and fly away.

Here was a small child who knew nothing about death, yet he recognised from the inaction of the bird that something was wrong. Later in the day when the children were elsewhere we took the bird and buried it beneath some overgrown bushes in the garden. As grown ups we knew that if it didn’t move for a half hour, it was probably dead. It was still a bird — recognisable even by a child, but what good was that? So it is with us. Any or all of us may be called a believer, confessing that God is one (v19), but if there is no action based on faith, it’s likely that faith isn’t alive in us:

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26

But what can we do if we suspect this is so with us? The first step is to pray to God, confessing our lack of faith and asking for help. If we want to be alive, seek for it, and ask, we will have our faith revived, as promised in Luke 11:9-13.

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Preceding articles:

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

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Additional reading

  1. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  2. The sin of partiality
  3. The Greatest of These is Love
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  6. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice

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Further related articles

  1. (01/07/2016) Salvation Only Through Christ?
  2. Partiality In The Church
  3. Christian Prejudice: Finding Answers to a Shameful Problem
  4. Human Rights Are Not “Common Sense” – They Are Christianity
  5. Is Jesus Partial? Colossians 3 verse 11
  6. “What is Christianity about?” by Michael and Susanne
  7. Today’s life is full of fakeness..
  8. The James Series: Surprisingly Equal
  9. 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle B
  10. Micah 2: Soap in studying the Bible
  11. Favoritism Forbidden
  12. Are We Partial?
  13. Friendship and partiality
  14. My Journey to Racial Reconciliation
  15. Can Faith Save You? Sermon by Keith, 6.14.15, Pentecost 3
  16. How To Beat The Competition?
  17. Facing Our Prejudices
  18. James: Favoritism
  19. The Book of James Chapter 2:1-9,12-13 (NKJV)
  20. 2:9 – But if you show partiality, you commit sin
  21. 2:13. For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
  22. “Sunday Best”
  23. Partiality and The Law
  24. No Partiality
  25. What does the Bible say about partiality By…
  26. Mercy the missing piece
  27. Living Life Partially Impartial
  28. unjust justice
  29. How can you say God is not partial?
  30. Herrenhuter readings for Sunday, the 8th February 2015
  31. February 2 – Walking the Line
  32. Show No Favouritism. Show Mercy.
  33. Reflective Paragraphs Week 11 – James
  34. Losing Integrity Over Identity
  35. The imported and the favoured workers
  36. Playing Favourites in the Church. A Reflection on James 2:1-17
  37. Healing wilful deafness
  38. Daily Digest: Playing Favourites
  39. Disease favouritism
  40. Diminished
  41. Not Of This World
  42. How Important is Belief?
  43. Substance and Evidence
  44. Religious Literacy
  45. Bible-In-A-Year Day 33: Leviticus 16-18
  46. Death-Defying Faith.

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