Thursday, 27 September 2018

James - Digging Deeper 8

Notes: EH = Everett Hill - Exploring the Elements of an Authentic Christian Lifestyle

James 2 vs 1 - 7: (1) My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. (2) For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, (3) and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” (4) have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

(5) Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (6) But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? (7) Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

This portion of scripture for me, is not only about favouring people because of who you think they are, or what their value is to you by how they present themselves.  It is also about how we treat people because of what we think they can do for us.

God says everyone is of equal value to Him, and thus they should be to us.  James points out that often times, the people we treat more favourably are the very ones who ultimately do us the most harm.  James says we make ourselves judge over others when we treat people unequally.

This is not to say that one treats people differently in terms of who they are in our lives.  EH points out that one would treat their spouse differently from a peer at work, or your children differently from someone on the bus.  The point is that we should respect everyone as a creation of God, and knowing their value to God, honour them with dignity and be gracious towards all.


EH also makes the point about good manners being basic Christian principles.  For example, a man opening a door for a woman.  Why not open the door regardless of who the person is?  Give up your seat for the elderly.  Why not give up your seat regardless of who the person is?  It is something to think about.  As a woman, I appreciate chivalry, but that does not excuse me from doing a kindness to and for others.  Something to mull on and seek opportunities to practice 😊.  Kindness is never ever a bad thing.

When reading Matthew Henry notes it occurs to me he makes the point that James is speaking to Christians about how they treat other Christians.

Matthew Henry Notes:
  • Jesus teaches us not to respect Christians for anything so much as their relation and conformity to Christ.  You who profess to believe the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the poorest Christian shall partake or equally with the rich, and to which all worldly glory is but vanity, you should not make men's outward and worldly advantages the measure of your respect.  In professing the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, we should not show respect to men, so as to cloud or lessen the glory of our glorious Lord:  however any may think of it, this is certainly a very heinous sin. 
  • Consider how commonly riches are the incentives of vice and mischief, or blasphemy and persecution: consider how many calamities you yourselves sustain, and how great reproaches are thrown upon your religion and your God by men of wealth, and power, and worldly greatness; and this will make your sin appear exceedingly sinful and foolish, in setting up that which tends to pull you down, and to destroy all that you are building up, and to dishonour that worth name by which you are called.  
  • The name of Christ is a worthy name;  it reflects honour, and gives worth to those who wear it.


Let us look to ways to treat all of the faith as we would want them to treat us, with respect and honour as any who bear the name "Christian".  And let us find ways to display kindness to everyone, as every person is a creation of Christ and thus a potential child of Christ.

God bless
Tracy


My ABIDE scripture for today is:
Galatians 3 vs 28:  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.





Also in this James Study series:
James - Digging Deeper 1
James - Digging Deeper 2
James - Digging Deeper 3
James - Digging Deeper 4
James - Digging Deeper 5
James - Digging Deeper 6
James - Digging Deeper 7

James - Digging Deeper 9 coming soon 😊

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Tracy! Love the Matthew Henry writings on your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aritha, I love him too. So direct and says things as they are!
      God bless

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  2. I completely agree. We should be kind to everyone, as much as we possibly can. I have never regretted an act of kindness, even when it was met with ingratitude. It gives a great sense of peace to be kind. Thank you for this wonderful post, Tracy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl, when you are kind without seeking a reward, you are always blessed.
      God bless my friend

      Delete

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