Living Faith 1 Genuine Faith / James 2:1-7, 14-17
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We haven’t read James much on Sundays. In James, there is more about theological ethics, practical ideas for life, and less about who Jesus is, his life or death. So, reading James, it could help us to understand in easy ways about how we live out our faith in our daily lives.
As one of the leaders in the church at Jerusalem, James wrote from the city prior to the meeting of the Jerusalem Council, which Luke recorded in Acts 15. At that council, James, along with Peter and Paul, affirmed the decision to take the gospel message to the Gentiles. He doesn’t mention much else about Gentiles otherwise in James but teaches about how to be a Christian with the commandment of loving God and loving neighbors.
For James, faith was no abstract thing but had clear effects in the real world. So he offered many practical examples to teach the churches. For example, faith endures in the midst of trials, calls on God for wisdom, sets aside wickedness, visits orphans and widows, and does not play favorites. He stressed that the life of faith can impact every area of our lives and lead us to truly engage in the lives of other people in the world.
And in today’s text he talks about favoritism.
We hope we live in a world that everyone is treated equally, but we are not. We live in the world where favoritism and discrimination all around us. At some level, we all have been discriminated against whether that was because of how we looked, how we sounded when we talked, whether we were too skinny or too fat, whether we were smart or not to smart enough, whether we are old or young, ect.
Do you love all people equally? Do you care for all people equally? Do you value the poor as much as you do the rich? Do you accept the pretty person as much as you do the ugly person? That is what James is asking in this chapter. His point is genuine faith causes us to love everyone equally.