James 2:1-7. Have faith in God, Jesus Christ also is God, God is not a respecter of persons.

 

Email: Pastor True Gospel

 

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This study is neither evangelical nor doctrinal. It is a study of the letter written by apostle James to the Jews, who were scattered because they were persecuted by other Jews, since they followed the Lord Jesus Christ. We studied those details in the previous chapter. Now let us study the content of this letter, assuming that the apostle is writing to us, who are believers in Jesus Christ. This will help us to grow in our spiritual life.

1. Faith is Substance of things hoped for, Evidence of things not seen.

James 2:1 "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." What is faith? Faith is our trust in God. But most of us think that faith is our mind power, but it is not. Presumption also appears to be faith, but it is not either. Say, we plan to do something, hope that God will help us, and we call this belief as faith. This is presumption, but it is not faith. But if God tells us to do something, and if we do it believing that God will help us, this belief is faith in God. So, faith is the belief that God will do the things that he has promised to do. Faith is not for ungodly people; for them faith is strong belief. "1 Peter 1:21 says, ... God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." So, our faith and hope must be in God, but not in our ability. That is, if God said that he will do it, we must believe that God will do it, and it is the faith in God. If God did not say something, and if we believe that God will do it, it is presumption and it is not faith. "Hebrew 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." So, faith is a substance, and it is the evidence for our hope. So, we must have hope as an origin to have faith. If there is no hope, there is no room for faith. If we hope to inherit the kingdom of God, the substance of that hope will be, the promise that God has made. What is the promise God has made? God gives commands to do, and if we do them, he will give his kingdom for us to inherit. This is his promise. Examples 1: "Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." So, if we overcome, we can sit on his throne in his kingdom. This is his promise. Believing on this promise of God, is Faith. What is the evidence for this? We will overcome the world and Satan as Jesus Christ overcame. If we show this evidence in life, it is proof that we have the faith of Jesus Christ. Example 2: "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." Our hope is that we will see him as he is, and we will be like him, that is to be as the sun in its full strength. If we are sons of God, we will look like Jesus Christ in his glory, we will be with him and we will inherit the kingdom of God. This is the promise of God, which will be the substance of our hope. Now, what is the evidence for this? Verse 3 says, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." This is the evidence of our inheriting the kingdom of God. So, we will purify our life as Jesus Christ is pure and it will be the proof for others to see in us. If the evidence is not in us, then we do not have faith of God in us.

However, all of us may not have the same hope to inherit the kingdom of God as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. There are several levels of faith mentioned in Hebrew 11:6 to 39, almost the whole chapter. Our hopes may differ from person to person. Whatever it may be, if you wish to get that status, you seek God diligently as in verse 6. So, hope for the thing, which is possible for you to do, and seek God diligently so that you may receive it. If you like to study more about these four levels in heaven to choose from, please look at this link: "Four levels in heaven."

2. Masterknow that your God in heaven; is no respect of persons.

The second point of this verse is, not to hold the faith with respecter of persons. Respecter of persons is to show partiality from person to person. God is not a respecter of persons, especially with matters of eternal life. So, we must not show our faith with partiality among believers. Even though God creates us with many differences, he compensates them. Jesus Christ says in "Luke 12:48, ... For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: ... " He includes this with his righteous judgment for eternal life. God is impartial and righteous, and he expects us also not to respect persons because of their different status. But, we must not have fellowship with evil people; and it is to keep ourselves pure. Verse 9 says, "if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin,..." Ephesians 6:9 says, that we must know that our Master in heaven is impartial, and so, we must also be impartial. Many verses say that since God is not a respecter of persons, we must also be impartial with people. "1 Timothy 5:21 says, I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality." So, we must not be partial towards anybody, especially with our brethren in the Lord. This is very strong.

3. You are judges of evil thoughts, if you are partial with people.

"James 2:2 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; 3 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:" Gold ring, goodly apparel, gay clothing, and such, show the rich; and vile raiment and such, indicates that they are poor and of low status. Apostle James complaints that even churches and fellowship of the brethren, respect people of status, and disrespect those who are of low status. Despite that God warns us not to be respecter of persons, churches show partiality for status. He condemns this behavior as sin. Rich and prominent people are respected in society, although they plunder poor people and exploit them. Poor people are always considered low, even though they have more faith and love for God. Society has changed a lot from olden days, that is from the first century. Yet, partiality and bias exist even now to favor the wealthy and powerful. Celebrity preachers are wealthy, and they are well respected. But they deceive us. Poor people in verses 2 & 3, may be even preachers and apostles of the first century. The so-called servants of God of our times are of the upper class. See; how Satan took over churches! "4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?" If we are with bias or partiality, we are judges of evil thoughts. Jesus says in "John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." False Christians demands us not to judge at all. But Jesus Christ says that we must judge, and judge righteously, but not with bias.

4. God chosen the poor as rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom.

"James 2:5 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?" James uses the word harken to draw the attention of the people. "Mark 7:14 says, And when he (Jesus) had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:" Here, James wants us to pay attention and understand. He says, "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith"? It is common for us to think that poor people seek God more, since they do not have enough, and they need God's help. But we just saw what faith is. It is the substance of our hope, and the evidence in our life. Please harken, pay attention! Even though life is difficult because of poverty, their hope is in heaven, but not for the things here. It is a mystery. Their hope is for eternal life, to inherit the kingdom of God, and their trust is on God. The wealth is the distractions from God, and it keeps us busy here on earth. Those who do not have the distraction, look for heaven. "Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." And God says that the poor are the heirs of the kingdom of God. Notice, Matthew 11:5 says, that "... the poor have the gospel preached to them." Matthew 5:3 & Luke 6:20 say, "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." Then he says that God has promised his kingdom to those who love him. So, poor people love God more than the rich.

5. You despise the poor. Rich men oppress and draw you to judge.

"James 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?" It is a shame that they had partiality even in the first century church. However, they were just converted from being gentiles, so, they might have brought their culture with them, and it was time for them to learn the ways of God. In Luke 7:22 and 4:18, Jesus says that God has anointed me "to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, ..." James says, "Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?" So, God is mindful of the poor and preaches the gospel to them, whereas rich men oppress them. Acts 4 says that they were "the priests, and the captain of the temple, the Sadducees, and such," who had influence among believers. Why did people respect the clergy, when the clergy does not reverence God? James corrected such situations in churches. Christians must reverence godliness, but not bow down to the dignity of pulpit.

6. They blaspheme the worthy name of God; but you respect them!

"James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?" If we are Christians, the name that we are called after, is Christ, and they blaspheme the name of Christ. In Matthew 12:31&32, Jesus Christ says that blaspheme against God is an unforgivable sin. In Luke 22:65, they blaspheme against Jesus also. They blasphemed the Holy Ghost when Jesus Christ was healing the sick and doing miracles. Jesus Christ rebuked them. Now also, Christians do the same. In the time of Jesus that was in the first century, those who blaspheme the name of God were priests, who were doing ritual worship in the temple, and zealous Jews. Even now, it is preachers and zealous Christians are those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost for his gifts manifestations, and thereby they blaspheme God. They may think that it is a show of attraction to their doctrine and to get applause from their people, without realizing that they will burn in hell for blasphemy against God. Most Christians respect them and adore them, because they also deny the power of God, which are Spiritual manifestations. However, Satan also is doing manifestations of signs, miracles, and lying wonders. Christians and preachers must discern them and reject them, instead of blaspheming the true manifestations of God. How to do that? If those, who do the manifestations, are humble servants of God, their manifestations are from God. But, if they do their show for money and fame, they are from Satan. Jesus Christ told his servants, in Matthew 10:8, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." You do not have to be a genius to find whether preachers collect money or freely giving. They collect good money and become rich. But only those, who do freely for the sake of the gospel, are of God. All others are of Satan. 

7. God highly exalted him, given him a name that is, Lord of Lords.

In the same verse, apostle James says that the name 'Lord Jesus Christ' is 'worthy name'. In bible-times every name has meaning. The name "Lord Jesus Christ" has three parts, and they are 'Lord', 'Jesus', and 'Christ'. These three names have separate meanings. Let us see what the meanings are, and why the bible calls the name as worthy name. 'Lord' means master, ruler, or even owner. By itself it is a worthy name. Acts 10:36 and Galatians 4:1 say that Jesus Christ is "Lord of all". "Romans 14:10&11 says, 10 ... for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, ..." "Philippians 2:9-11 say, 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." "Revelation 19:16.. he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." It is the worthy name.

8. Call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

When the angel told Mary about the birth of Jesus, in Matthew 1:21 he says, "... call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." That is, the name 'Jesus' means he will save his people from their sins. If we are saved from our sins, we do not have to be punished in hell, and so, we will be in heaven. Do your favorite preachers preach this Jesus Christ? Or, do they preach another Jesus Christ? Another Jesus understands your sinning nature and habit; he died on the cross just to forgive your sins; so, if we do not sin then his death will be in vain; and so, he looks forward to you that you commit sins, so that he may forgive you and take you to heaven. Is this the Jesus Christ they preach? Bible says that he is another Jesus, who is Satan. "Acts 3:26 says, ... first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." So, now Jesus Christ is in this world to save his people by turning them away from their sins and iniquities, to take them to heaven. If you still continue in sin, you will be rejected by God. Then, why did Jesus Christ die on the cross? You may see the details from these links. 1, "Purpose of the Cross," 2, "How to be Saved?"  

9. Christ is Son of God, on right hand of God, and come from heaven.

Preachers say that 'Christ' means the anointed, and it is not true. Jesus says in "Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; ..." This anointing did not make him Christ. Even applying oil is called as anointing. Jesus anoints his people with holy Spirit. These anointing are not to make them Christ. But 'Christ' means the Son of God in the Spirit. "Mark 14:61... the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." It appears as Jesus admits that his name is 'Christ' when he was a man. But he says that, who is sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven, is the Christ. It is the Jesus, after his resurrection and ascension, who is Christ, the Son of God in the Spirit, as well as he is God. "Acts 2:36 says that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." The bible says that Christ is the Son of God; the begotten Son; he was made Christ after his resurrection. Psalm 2:7 prophesied that God would declare him as his begotten Son Christ. Acts 13:32&33 explain the fulfillment of the prophesy, and it was the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Also, that was the time 'God the Most High' has become 'God the Father' as in Hebrew 1:5. This is a big study and so, let me give a link for you to study in detail: "Who is Christ?"

10. Bible says 40 times that the worthy name Lord Jesus Christ is God.

After ascension, Lord Jesus Christ has entered in the omnipotent Spirit body. He was anointed as God by God the Father and the Holy Ghost. It is in Hebrew 1: "8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Jesus Christ became God after his resurrection and ascension. Lord Jesus Christ is God for more than two thousand years with all power, and his name is worthy. It is mentioned in the bible at least 40 times. But most Christians say ignorantly that the bible does not say that Jesus Christ is God. I have a link quoting all the 40 verses that says Jesus Christ is God. The link is: "Jesus Christ is God, 40 times in bible." Please know such important things from the scripture, especially like that Jesus Christ is God. His name is the worthy name above all names, all knees in the world, in heaven, and in hell will bow down to him. He is almighty God. He is in the only one Spirit, who is God, and there is no other God never ever.

If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
Please write to me in the 'Mail Box' below. I will respond promptly.
Thanks.
 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India
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