James 2

Chapter 2

I find it so amazing to realize that in the center of the church being persecuted & believers laying their lives down for the cause of the Gospel, that James addresses such issues as he does in chapter 2.  For me, it is a reminder that difficult times do not give me permission to let go of Truth and begin to allow myself to do whatever I wish.  As we dig into this next chapter let’s keep our hearts open before him and ask him to give us the ability to live right in all times & to give us a faith that is demonstrated in our actions.

When Faith is genuine, it does show up in our lives. We will have real, dependable love that transitions into respect for God, care for others, and for ourselves!

James begins by addressing an issue that was happening in the church.  There was special attention given to those who held some place in society.  What would that possibly look like today?  Well, could it be that special favour might be given to someone we think might be able to give something back to us?  Could it be that we don’t want to put a whole lot into someone that cannot give us anything back in return?  For us today, I believe we need to ask ourselves, Lord am I showing favouritism to those who I believe have something to offer?  What are my responses to those I might struggle with, those I might feel pull on me, those who might have nothing to offer?

Guard Against Favoritism and Prejudices.

           Verses  2:1-4  – He gives a charge to paying attention to what is important (Luke 12:21)

           Verse 2:5  –   The meek will inherit the earth – The value of being poor in Spirit. (Matt. 5:5; Luke 6:20)

Guard Against Indifference and Wrong Mindsets.

            Verses 2:6-9 –  Love your neighbor as your self (Matt. 22:39; Mark 12:30-31)

            Verses 2: 10-12  – Do not break the commandments (Matt. 5:19)

            Verse 2:13  – Mercy triumphs over Judgment (Prov.21:13)

It is so easy to be influenced by what others do, or by what is happening around us.  However, as believers we are called to a higher life.  We must quickly deal with indifference in our lives and against a mindset that is in opposition to the nature of Christ.  Love must be real.  Obedience demonstrates our love.  We must be people of mercy.  I am finding more and more on this journey called life that the road that is easy to take is usually not the road one should take.  Demonstrating mercy is a difficult task when we feel like doing anything but that.  However, taking the seat as judge can come so naturally.  The question I must continually ask my heart is what would I want offered to me?  Would I want people to sit as judge in my moments of weakness or would I want them to look beyond what they see and offer me mercy.  Obviously, I want mercy.  Well, I must learn daily to plant seeds of mercy if I am to get a harvest of it in my life.

Respond in Obedience and Let our Action be the Proof of our Faith.

Verses 2: 11-13 –  Faith without works is meaningless (Matt. 18:23-34; 25:41-46)

Verses 2:14-26  – We show our friendship with God by our obedience (Matt. 7:21-23, 26; 21:28-32; John15:13-15)

Many people believe that faith does not require actions.  There is nothing further from the Truth.  We are told that when faith is real, it acts.  When I truly believe in something, my life should become a presentation of that belief.  This is not an easy task because in many cases we have led people to believe that means they must do a program.  James is not talking about programs.  He is talking about acting out of what you believe.  When God asks something of us, we need to let our obedience to him be the proof of our faith.  It is not about doing everything, but about the things he asks of us.


  1. Reply
    John Cameron says:

    Good word Pastor! It is so easy to be a ‘hearer’ of the word but we are admonished to be ‘doers’. I’m still in the boat but I have one leg over the side, thinking, it must be wonderful to walk on water!
    An aspiring doer!

  2. Reply
    suholmes03 says:

    “For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.” James 2:13 (Message)
    One definition of ‘judge’ according to Webster’s dictionary is “to determine upon or deliberation; to esteem; to think; to reckon”. This describes something dome over time, not rashly and with some deliberation.
    Judgement without mercy is harsh judgement. Lack of judgement can also result in something just as harsh. A distinction should be made between judging people and judging sin. People should always be approached with mercy. To do anything less would be to make mockery of the sacrifice made on the cross. Christ always handled the person being judged by the world with mercy. The lady caught in adultery for example. He approached her with gentleness and kindness. But He also instructed her ‘to sin no more’. (John 8:1 – 11)
    A popular trend these days is to not judge sin in fear of offending people … especially people who seemingly have influence. Indifference to sin or wrongful acts can be one of the harshest judgements … one which we can execute without even realizing it.
    In Hebrews Paul makes it clear that “the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves,” (Hebrews 12:6). We also need to be so careful to remember in judging sin that it is the Lord who corrects. We need always to follow Christ’s example of leading in love. Any act of ‘judging sin’ should be one of pointing a person lovingly toward the right path. To stand by and watch that person go down the wrong path not only lacks love but can be cruel.
    I love the way Jude 23 puts it in the Message … “Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.”

  3. Reply
    Jim says:

    Hi…I thought I would take a look at James chapter 2 like this…
    I thought I would take a little look at James from the perspective of “spiritual pride” which God detests and “humility”. The man…wearing fine clothes” coming to the the meeting and the poor man coming clothed with humility willing to take the lower seat… God sees both men, eyeing their heart motive…one serving for gain, the other who just served with love…one under the law, the other loves fulfilling the law. Both came to the meeting…yet the showing of favoritism shows a servant judging another servant whose Master is God… Aligning oneself with the “accuser of the brethern” we have fallen from grace and place ourselves under the law. There is no freedom without the law and when we have broken the law ourselves…we are judged such and so have sinned and are convicted. Thank God, that He delights in mercy…that Jesus took our punishment, that through the obediance of the law through Christ, by God’s grace…we have been set free. So then, by faith in Jesus and His work on the cross, and that He rose again (I have been crucified with Him, and rose in Him)…the life I now live, I live by faith in Him…and I show this by becoming like Jesus, who is the author of my faith and the finisher of my faith…and my life ought to express who Jesus is by the deeds I do…for faith without works is dead.

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