James 2:21-26 – Living Faith

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Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Living Faith

James gives living illustrations of living faith.

  • The first is Abraham

A revered patriarch and father of the Hebrew people.

justified by works

This doesn’t contradict Paul’s teaching that Abraham was justified by grace through faith. James cannot mean that Abraham was made righteous before God because of his own good works:

First, James already stressed that salvation is the gift of grace (1:17–18); Also, in verse 23, James quotes Genesis 15:6, which states that God credited righteousness to Abraham on the basis of his faith; Finally, the work that James said justified Abraham was his offering up of Isaac, this occurred many years after he first exercised faith and was declared righteous before God.

Instead, Abraham’s offering of Isaac demonstrates the genuineness of his faith and the reality of his justification before God. James is emphasizing the display before others of a man’s claim to salvation.

By works was faith made perfect

This refers to bringing something to its end, or to its fullness. “Just as a fruit tree has not arrived at its goal until it bears fruit, faith has not reached its end until it demonstrates itself in a righteous life.” James asks, “Seest thou?” Do you see my point?

  • The second is Rahab

A Gentile prostitute is James’ 2nd illustration of living faith

Rahab the harlot 

The OT records her faith, which was the basis of her justification before God. She demonstrated the reality of her faith when she protected the messengers of God at personal risk. James did not intend, however, for those words to be a commendation of her occupation or her lying.

Justified by works 

The Greek verb dikaioo (justified) has two general meanings. The first pertains to acquittal, declaring and treating a person as righteous; The second meaning pertains to vindication or proof of righteousness; It is this 2nd meaning that is in view in this passage.

Rahab was justified by works, or her faith was vindicated. She had to have faith to hang the cord out the window before anything ever happened. She had to have faith to believe the men & hide them.

The 3rd illustration of living faith is a human body

While a dead body is by appearances the person we knew, once the soul is gone that person is not there. The body is dead. James says so it is with faith. When unaccompanied by works, it is dead. Living faith will be proved or vindicated by works.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 4:1-6, Following Christ

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Christ’s suffering is a pattern for the believer. Christian, would you respond to the Word of God today? Do I live By the Will of God? Do I live Counter to Culture? Once you’ve experienced forgiveness of sin, a renewed life, a relationship with God, you’ll never go back!

1 Peter 4:1-6, Following Christ

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for May 26th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is For the Cause.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:18-20 – Dead Faith

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Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Dead Faith

In the verses we cover tonight, James contrasts living faith with what he calls dead faith. He contrasts saving faith with non-saving faith and productive faith with unproductive faith. Godly faith with a kind of faith that is exercised even by demons. This is Dead faith.

A man may say

Some disagree on who “a man” is referring to, whether it is his humble way of referring to himself or not. Or it could refer to one of his audience who objected to his teaching; how much of the following passage should be attributed to this antagonist as opposed to James. Regardless, the main point is the same: The only possible evidence of true faith is works. By his statement in verse 18, we see James saying that the two (faith and works) cannot be separate.

Thou believest that there is one God

To his readers, this is a clear reference to a familiar passage.

Deut 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

This was/is the most basic doctrine of the Old Testament.

The devils also believe

Even fallen angels affirm the oneness of God and tremble at its implications. James is saying here that Demons are essentially sound in their doctrine (they know the Word better than us and they have lived some or most of it), but sound doctrine by itself is no proof of saving faith. They know the truth about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but hate it and them.

What wilt thou know, O vain man

It means literally empty or defective. The objector’s claim of belief is fraudulent, and his faith is a sham. He is no better than fallen angels.

2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

That faith without works is dead?

What wilt thou know, O vain man? The faith you profess that is without works is dead. James is not contrasting two methods of salvation (faith versus works), instead, he contrasts two kinds of faith: living faith that saves and dead faith that does not.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 3:18-22, Jesus Christ—The Perfect Example

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Jesus Christ is the perfect example of one who suffered unjustly and yet obeyed God. Let’s consider the Death of Christ, His Resurrection, Ascension, and finally the
implications of this all within the church today.

1 Peter 3:18-22, Jesus Christ—The Perfect Example

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for May 19th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

2 Timothy 1:1-7, Grandmother, Mother, and You

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Harpeth Baptist Church

That which was passed from our mothers should be seen in our lives. Praise The Lord for all of the faithful women here today: mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, aunts, sisters, etc. The world would not be the same without you.

2 Timothy 1:1-7, Grandmother, Mother, & You

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for May 12th, 2019

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Our special song this week is Speak,O Lord.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:15-17 – The Simple Illustration

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If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

The Simple Illustration

A poor believer came into a fellowship, without good clothes and in need of food. The person with dead faith saw the need, but he didn’t do anything to meet the need. All he did was say a few words.

James 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

So the person went away as hungry and naked as he came in! Food and clothing are basic needs whether saved or unsaved.

1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Matthew 6:31–32 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Believers have an obligation to help others in need.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

James asked the question in verse 14, “Can ‘this kind of’ faith save him?” John answers this question very well:

1 John 3:17–18 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

We are saved by faith unto good works. But, if the works or deeds are absent, is there any faith?

The Simple Answer

Again the question surfaces: “Can that kind of faith save him?” What kind? The kind of faith that is never seen in practical works. The simple answer is no! “Any declaration of faith that does not result in a changed life and good works is a false declaration.” James calls this dead faith.

Faith (if it hath not works) by itself    is dead. “Just as professed compassion without action is phony, the kind of faith that is without works is mere empty profession, not genuine saving faith.” According to John Calvin, “It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone.”

Being alone

By itself. True saving faith can never be by itself: it always brings life, and life produces good works. Dead faith has only an intellectual experience.  In the mind, one knows the doctrines of salvation, but has never submitted to God and trusted Christ for salvation. He knows the right words, but doesn’t back up his words with his works. Faith in Christ brings life (John 3:16).

Where there is life there must be growth and fruit. James warns us that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17, 20, 26). Beware of a mere intellectual faith.  No man can come to Christ by faith and remain the same. No more than he can come into contact with a 220-volt wire and remain the same.

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12).

Dead faith isn’t saving faith. Dead faith is counterfeit faith.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 3:13-17, Suffer for Doing Good

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There is a blessing of suffering for Christ. Peter writes to encourage Christians toward Hope in Christ through their suffering. Suffering can be associated with a poor decision or something one brought upon their self. However, there will be times of suffering while only ever doing good — or, even suffering FOR doing good.

1 Peter 3:13-17, Suffer for Doing Good

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for May 5th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is He Will Hold Me Fast.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:14 – Can Faith Save Him?

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What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Can Faith Save Him?

though a man say

This important phrase governs the interpretation of the entire passage. James does not say that this person actually has faith, but that he claims to have it.

faith

This is “faith” in a broad sense, any degree of acceptance of the truths of the gospel. Professing Christians.

and have not

Here, someone who continually lacks any external evidence of the faith he routinely claims. Not a onetime slip-up or an occasional/irregular sin.

works

Works refer to all righteous behavior that conforms to God’s revealed Word.  Specifically, in the context, to acts of compassion.

can faith save him?

“Can that kind of faith save?” Or, “Can the faith this man claims forgive his sin and get him to heaven?” James is not disputing the importance of faith; He is opposing the notion that saving faith can be only an intellectual exercise without a commitment to active obedience. The grammar and form of the question demand a negative answer. “NO.”

James is not asking here can faith save. James is asking can this kind of “faith” save. This brings us to the introduction of our study on Faith and Works in James.

Introduction to Faith and Works:

As we being a section on Faith and Works, we should be careful to remember a few things:

  • James is writing to Christians

Converted Jews Scattered abroad. This is not necessarily a topic for discussion with non-believers. The idea here is not, “Are you really saved & going to heaven?” Rather, “Is your ‘so-called’ faith living or dead?” Also, James is not writing for an examination of others. He is writing for an examination of self.

  • James is not writing that faith is by works.

Clearly, he settles this before the area we are reading. In James 1:17–18 he says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” Some would use this passage to say James is contradicting Paul. Paul stressed that man is saved by faith alone. But, Paul also stressed the importance of works. Paul clearly feels similarly to James on the importance of our faith and works. One other factor to consider between James and Paul: Audience.

James is writing to established religious people, established in their Judaism, and now converted and more mature Christians.

Paul is writing to some established in religion, some new to religion, and mainly newly converted Christians. He went to a place and started a church of new converts. He left and later wrote back.

  • James was writing to Jews who had abandoned the works righteousness of Judaism to accept Christ.

Now, they had the mistaken idea that since righteous works and obedience to God’s law were not necessary for salvation, they were not necessary at all. Thus they reduced faith to a mere mental assent to the facts about Christ. Some have done just the same today. We should be careful with this in modern day salvation.

The main idea of James’ writing here is:

“What we do, reveals who we are.” We err in this passage when taking a “what we do makes us who we are” point of view. Sure that is the natural human way but in sanctification, it is not God’s way.

So as we study this area of James…

Use the teachings here to examine yourself. Is your faith dead due to lack of works? Are you a hearer only and not a doer? Have you allowed yourself to back-off into the state of “do-nothing” with the mentality: It’s not my works that save me. I am not under the law.

Be careful not to let your mind wander. You will want to think of others who you think may have dead faith. You will want to try to run the controversial debate of faith vs. works in your mind.

James and Paul do not contradict each other, they complement each other. Besides, who inspired these men to write?

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 3:8-12, The Good Life

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Everyone wants “the good life”! Peace and relaxation… to be healthy and wealthy, etc. We want the weather to be fishing weather all the time. We want the cool and crisp mountains and the warm sunny beaches, right in our own back yard!

1 Peter 3:8-12, The Good Life

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for April 28th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is All I Have Is Christ.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:12-13 – The Appeal to Avoid Partiality

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So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

The Appeal to Avoid Partiality

So speak and so do

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Here James again reminds them to be doers.

Shall be Judged

The majority of verses 12 and 13 deals with coming judgment. Let’s look at that first then at other parts of the verses. Most every statement of faith contains a statement about the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment. None of us completely agree on the details of future events, but the certainty of them none denies. In spite of this none of us would deny the importance of a final judgment.

Both Jesus and Paul assured us that Christian believers will never be judged for their sins; John 5:24 says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” And according to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

But our works will be judged and rewarded accordingly. Our words will be judged. What we say to people, and how we say it, will come up before God. Even our careless words will be judged. Matthew 12:36, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” The words we speak come from the heart; so when God judges the words, He is examining the heart.

James contrasted two attitudes

Showing mercy to others and refusing to show mercy. If we have been merciful toward others, God can be merciful toward us. However, we mustn’t twist this truth into a lie. It does not mean that we earn mercy by showing mercy because it is impossible to earn mercy. If it is earned, it is not mercy!

The Law of Liberty

We shall be judged “by the Law of liberty.” The “Law of liberty” is the law of Christ. The Lord Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” -John 14:15

What is His commandment? “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” -John 15:12

Liberty does not mean license. License (doing whatever I want to do) is the worst kind of bondage. Liberty means the freedom to be all that I can be in Jesus Christ. “License is confinement; liberty is fulfillment.”

The Word is called “the Law of liberty”

God’s Word can change our hearts and give us the desire to do God’s will. Thus, we obey from inward compulsion and not outward constraint.

Mercy rejoiceth against judgment, v. 13

The person whose life is characterized by mercy is ready for the day of judgment. They will escape the charges that justice might bring against them because of God’s mercy. By showing mercy to others we give proof of having received God’s mercy.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

Matthew 28:1-15, The Resurrection

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He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. It proves that Jesus is God’s son. It verifies the truth of scripture. It assures our own future resurrection.

Matthew 28:1-15, The Resurrection

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for April 14th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is The Lord is My Salvation.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:8-11 – The Occasion to Sin

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If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

The Occasion to Sin

Royal law or “sovereign law”: the idea is that this law is supreme or binding. What is the Royal Law? Love your neighbor. If you fulfill this, you do well. According to the scripture, this most likely is written in reference to Leviticus 19:18 which states, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD..”

This same law is given throughout scripture: Matthew 22:39 says, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” And in Romans 13:9, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Lastly, according to Galatians 5:14, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. “

Love thy neighbor as thyself. This is the Royal law. This law, when combined with the command to love God, summarizes all the Law and the Prophets. “James is not advocating some kind of emotional affection for one’s self, for self-love is clearly a sin;” Though the fact of self being primary is evident. The command is to pursue meeting the physical health and spiritual well-being of our neighbor.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

Matthew 21:1-11, The Triumphal Entry

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Jesus enters Jerusalem to begin the week leading to His death. The most important life ever lived was that of Jesus Christ. The most important part of that life was the week that ended it. All of this began with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Matthew 21:1-11, The Triumphal Entry

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
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615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for April 14th, 2019

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Our special song this week is Jesus Shall Reign.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:5-7 – Man’s Inconsistency with God’s Impartiality

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Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

Man’s Inconsistency with God’s Impartiality

Listen! From verse 4’s example of partiality, James demands the attention of the reader to make the case for the poor. We see the partiality and how we humans would have the lesser sit on the ground underfoot, while commanding attention in a scornful manner, “Hearken!”

The Kingdom

Those over whom Christ rules presently, as well as its future millennial and eternal glory. We may have the poor sit on the floor. God has chosen them as heirs. They are now children of the King who would inherit the kingdom. Luke 6:20 says, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” Of course the rich would inherit as well, but the point being made here is that both would.

Therefore, man’s partiality is inconsistent with God’s impartiality. “How then can other believers force these poor to sit at their feet like conquered victims?” “Instead, every effort should be made to ennoble the poor and to rejoice in salvation together with them.”

Despised

Oppressed or literally “to tyrannize” rather than make effort to rejoice together in the coming kingdom and inheritance of incorruptible things. James writes that the poor were being despised in the church. Then he gives an example of what would happen in the world (rich vs. poor) to illustrate his view of what was happening in the church.

Draw you before the judgment seats

Drag you into court–a reference to civil court. Don’t the rich of the world drag you into court? Most likely for debt. The poorest of the poor could hardly afford to live. Money lending was a plentiful business. If a creditor met a debtor on the street he could drag him by the neck of his robe into the court. This was a common practice of the rich on the poor. There was no sympathy. Now, remember here, James is not condemning the rich, if anything their lack of sympathy. An unpaid debt should be called in whether rich or poor. The issue was that the rich were brutal in their handling. But, in reality, he is condemning the church for acting similarly at gatherings.

Blaspheme that worthy name

Probably a reference to religious courts. Wealthy Jewish opponents of Christ were harassing these poor Christians slandering the name of Christ. Slander is the use of blaspheme here not blaspheme as in the Holy Spirit.

By the which ye are called

Called – the same word used for a wife taking her husband’s name in marriage. Also, a son being called after father. The first church at Antioch had followers first called Christians. Most likely called this in jest or as a nickname. The Christians gladly took the name of Christ. As a child, we take the name of our father. As a bride, we take the name of our groom. The wealthy heathen would blaspheme this name.

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org

1 Peter 3:1-7, Husbands and Wives

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Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart. Certainly, we are entering a space today which is most intimate, important, and greatly effects: the home, the church, and the individual spiritual life. If both spouses can learn to imitate Jesus’s submission, obedience, and desire to serve others, there will be victory and joy in all the areas of life affected.

1 Peter 3:1-7, Husbands and Wives

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This podcast is a ministry of Harpeth Baptist Church in Kingston Springs, TN“Holding Forth the Word of Life.” 

Feel free to contact us:
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN
615-378-1136
http://www.harpethbaptist.org

 

Call to Worship for April 7th, 2019

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Click here to see what is planned for this Sunday including message text, songs for each service, special music, and scriptures associated with our songs!

 

 

 

Our special song this week is Jesus, Thank You.

 

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  Psalms 111:1

 Call to Worship is a weekly post to help prepare our hearts for corporate worship in our Sunday morning service. 

 

James 2:1-4 – The Principle of Impartiality

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My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

The Principle of Impartiality

An attribute of God that is not spoken of often is His impartiality. Impartiality is a serious and recurring theme in Scripture. God is absolutely impartial in His dealings with people. And in that way, as with His other attributes, He is unlike us. Humans, even Christians, are not naturally inclined to be impartial.

We tend to put people in categories, ranking them by:

  • Their looks,
  • Their clothes,
  • Their race or ethnicity,
  • Their social status,
  • Their personality,
  • Their intelligence,
  • Their wealth and power,
  • The kind of car they drive,
  • The type of house and neighborhood they live in.

But all of those things are non-issues with God. They are of no significance or meaning to Him whatsoever.

The Principle of Impartiality

This is not referring to faith in the act of believing. This refers to the entire Christian faith, “Our Faith.” It says in Jude 3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

The Lord of glory

Christ is the One who reveals the glory of God. In His incarnation, He showed only impartiality. As stated in Matthew 22:16 “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Consider the variety of people included in His genealogy, His choice of the humble village of Nazareth as His residence, and His willingness to minister in Galilee and Samaria, both regions held in contempt by Israel’s leaders.

Respect of persons

This originally referred to raising someone’s face or elevating the person. It came to refer to exalting someone strictly on: a superficial, external basis, such as appearance, race, wealth, rank, or social status.

An Example of Partiality

Gold ring

Jews commonly wore rings, but few could afford gold ones. There are some reports that in their day the wealthiest wore rings on every finger but the middle one to show off their economic status. Some ancient sources indicate that there were even ring rental businesses.

Goodly apparel

This refers to bright, shining garments. Goodly apparel is used of the gorgeous garment Herod’s soldiers put on Jesus to mock Him. Also used when describing the apparel of an angel. It can also refer to bright, flashy color and to brilliant, glittering, sparkling ornamentation. James is not condemning for this flashy dress, but rather the church’s flattering reaction to it. It is okay to dress nice. It is okay to wear gold rings. Some would take this out of context and build a non-biblical principle out of it.

A poor man

There were people of means in the early church. In 1 Timothy 6:17–19, it says “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Sit in a good place

A more comfortable, prominent place of honor. The synagogues and assembly halls of the first century sometimes had benches around the outside wall and a couple of benches in front. Most of the congregation either sat cross-legged on the floor or stood. There were a limited number of good seats; and they were the ones the Pharisees always wanted. As stated in Mark 12:38–39, “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts”

Partial in yourselves

The true nature of the sin in this passage was internally seeing one human as better than another; not the goodly apparel, golden rings, being rich or that he was given a good seat. The pharisees in Matthew 12 wouldn’t be sinning by sitting in the better seat. They would sin by thinking they deserved to get the seat while others sat on the floor.

Judges of evil thoughts

James feared that his readers would behave just like the sinful world by catering to the rich and prominent while shunning the poor and common. We should look after the poor and rich alike.

Some would preach this as “Shun the rich” and “Cater to the poor.” However, wouldn’t this make God also partial?

Pastor Chance Strickland

Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN

http://www.harpethbaptist.org