The CCN Daily Worship.
by Pastor Don. Roy Hemingway.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen.
The Gospel according to….
James 2. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come into 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 for him that weareth the grand clothing and say unto him, “Sit thou here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “Stand thou there,” or, “Sit here under my footstool,”
4 are ye not then partial in yourselves and have become judges with evil thoughts?
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 those who love Him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you and drag you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” ye do well.
9 But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend on one point, he is guilty of all.
11 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.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as those who shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, who hath shown no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and hath not works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you say unto them, “Depart in peace; be ye warmed and filled,” without giving them those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, “Thou hast faith, and I have works.” Show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well. The devils also believe — and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
23 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.
24 Ye see then how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also, was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Lord our God, remind us again and again of what you have done in our hearts and lives to make us certain of the resurrection. Help us to live in this certainty and to hold fast to everything good and great which you bring into our lives. Grant us the assurance that we are gaining ground in the battle for the redemption of those who are still in darkness and in the shadow of death. May we find joy in what we have here and now. Give us patience in our struggles. Give us hope for all that has gone wrong, because even what is in darkness is still in your hands. In the end everything must be brought to the light so that all humankind may glorify your name above all others. In Jesus our lord and Saviour we pray. Amen.
A Lesson for the learning.
(1) My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
In his epistle, the apostle James is combating the practice of showing favoritism toward the wealthy at the expense of poorer brethren. He asks in James 2:4, in doing so, “have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” As converted children of God, we are supposed to be able to make righteous judgments through the gift of God’s Spirit. However, when we show partiality or respect of persons, we have allowed evil thoughts to compromise our judgment.
The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary emphasizes that “the sin in question [respect of persons] is peculiarly inconsistent with His ‘faith.'” Christ died for all, rich and poor alike, and His doctrine consistently stresses the spiritual equality of believers and unity in a brotherhood of believers. Thus, preferring one person over another because of wealth or status introduces an element of wickedness into Christian relations: division.
Matthew Henry agrees:
The apostle is here reproving a very corrupt practice. He shows how much mischief there is in the sin of prosôpolepsía—respect of persons, which seemed to be a very growing evil in the churches of Christ even in those early ages, and which, in these after-times, has sadly corrupted and divided Christian nations and societies.
. . . You who profess to believe the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the poorest Christian shall partake of 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: how ever any may think of it, this is certainly a very heinous sin. What about God’s supposed favoritism for His chosen people? For many centuries, it seemed as if God was partial toward Israel in that only Israelites had an opportunity for salvation. From our perspective today, we know that He was working solely through Israel only for the time being, preparing a people for the coming of His Son in the flesh.
After Jesus’ resurrection, God soon opened salvation to the Gentiles too, as related in the story of Cornelius in Acts 10. In verses 34-35 of this chapter, Peter draws a conclusion from his experiences with the vision of the animals let down in a sheet from heaven and with the conversion of the household of Cornelius: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”
In Romans 2:11, speaking of the righteous judgment of God, Paul repeats this point: “For there is no partiality with God,” a truth Paul understood from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 10:17). To the Galatians, the apostle makes the spiritual equality of Christians even more specific: “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” (Galatians 3:28; see I Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 3:11).
It is clear that God is not a respecter of persons, giving everyone an equal opportunity for salvation and judging all by the same standards. And certainly, we should want to be like God, respecting every member of the church as an equal brother or sister in Christ.
English playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote, “We educate one another, and we cannot do this if half of us consider the other half not good enough to talk to.” The church of God is an educational institution, and every member has a part to play in helping to build up others as they prepare for God’s Kingdom. Eliminating biases and prejudices will go a long way toward bringing unity and growth to God’s church.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
May God bless you all and ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’, Amen.
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