Tag Archives: partiality

John MacArthur – Fulfilling the Royal Law

 

“If . . . you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2:8).

Love is the only antidote for partiality.

In Matthew 22:36 a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest. Jesus answered, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (vv. 37-40). Love for God and one’s fellow man summarizes the intent of God’s law, and is the measure of true faith.

Jesus wasn’t calling for the shallow, emotional, self-oriented love that is so prevalent in our society, but for a sacrificial quality of love that places the needs of others on par with your own. That kind of love is utterly incompatible with partiality, which seeks only to further its own selfish goals.

Showing partiality breaks God’s law because it violates God’s attributes, misrepresents the Christian faith, ignores God’s choice of the poor, and condones the blasphemous behavior of the rich (James 2:1-7). But when you treat others impartially, you fulfill the royal law. “Royal” in James 2:8 translates a Greek word that speaks of sovereignty. The law was given by God, who is the supreme authority in the universe, so it is authoritative and binding. Love fulfills God’s law because if you love someone, you won’t sin against him.

Apparently not all of James’s readers were showing partiality, so he commended them, saying they were “doing well.” The Greek word translated “well” speaks of that which is excellent. They were doing an excellent thing because they were acting in a manner consistent with God’s impartial, loving nature. That’s God’s call to every believer: for “the one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). As you do, you fulfill God’s law and thereby prove that your faith and love are genuine.

Suggestions for Prayer

God’s love is the only antidote for partiality, so pray each day that He will teach you how better to express His love to those around you.

For Further Study

Read the following verses, noting the characteristics of godly love: John 3:16, Ephesians 5:25-29, Philippians 1:9-11, and 1 John 5:1-3.

 

John MacArthur – The Impartiality of God

 

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

Because God is impartial, we as Christians must be impartial too.

People are prone to treat others differently based upon external criteria such as looks, possessions, or social status, but God is utterly impartial. He never shows favoritism and always judges righteously.

Favoritism can be defined as a preferential attitude and treatment of a person or group over another having equal claims and rights. It is unjustified partiality. James 2:1-13 confronts it as sin and admonishes us to avoid it at all costs.

God’s impartiality is seen throughout Scripture. For example, Moses said to the people of Israel, “The Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:17-19). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, warned his judges to rule without partiality because God Himself has “no part in unrighteousness, or partiality” (2 Chron. 19:7).

God’s impartiality is also seen in His gracious offer of salvation to people of every race. In Acts 10:34-35 Peter says, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him.”

God is also impartial in judgment. Romans 2:9-11 says that God will bring “tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil . . . but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good. For there is no partiality with God.”

Our text is a timely admonition because prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry are ever-present evils in our society—both inside and outside the church. I pray that God will use these studies to guard you from favoritism’s subtle influences and strengthen your commitment to godly living.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to reveal any partiality you might be harboring. As He does, confess it and turn from it.

For Further Study

Read Ephesians 6:5-9 and 1 Timothy 5:17-21. How does God’s impartiality apply to how you should respond to your co- workers and your church leaders?

John MacArthur – Fulfilling the Royal Law

John MacArthur

“If . . . you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2:8).

In Matthew 22:36 a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest. Jesus answered, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (vv. 37-40). Love for God and one’s fellow man summarizes the intent of God’s law, and is the measure of true faith.

Jesus wasn’t calling for the shallow, emotional, self-oriented love that is so prevalent in our society, but for a sacrificial quality of love that places the needs of others on par with your own. That kind of love is utterly incompatible with partiality, which seeks only to further its own selfish goals.

Showing partiality breaks God’s law because it violates God’s attributes, misrepresents the Christian faith, ignores God’s choice of the poor, and condones the blasphemous behavior of the rich (James 2:1-7). But when you treat others impartially, you fulfill the royal law. “Royal” in James 2:8 translates a Greek word that speaks of sovereignty. The law was given by God, who is the supreme authority in the universe, so it is authoritative and binding. Love fulfills God’s law because if you love someone, you won’t sin against him.

Apparently not all of James’s readers were showing partiality, so he commended them, saying they were “doing well.” The Greek word translated “well” speaks of that which is excellent. They were doing an excellent thing because they were acting in a manner consistent with God’s impartial, loving nature. That’s God’s call to every believer: for “the one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). As you do, you fulfill God’s law and thereby prove that your faith and love are genuine.

Suggestions for Prayer:  God’s love is the only antidote for partiality, so pray each day that He will teach you how better to express His love to those around you.

For Further Study: Read the following verses, noting the characteristics of godly love: John 3:16, Ephesians 5:25-29, Philippians 1:9- 11, and 1 John 5:1-3.

John MacArthur – The Impartiality of God

John MacArthur

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

People are prone to treat others differently based upon external criteria such as looks, possessions, or social status, but God is utterly impartial. He never shows favoritism and always judges righteously.

Favoritism can be defined as a preferential attitude and treatment of a person or group over another having equal claims and rights. It is unjustified partiality. James 2:1-13 confronts it as sin and admonishes us to avoid it at all costs.

God’s impartiality is seen throughout Scripture. For example, Moses said to the people of Israel, “The Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:17-19). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, warned his judges to rule without partiality because God Himself has “no part in unrighteousness, or partiality” (2 Chron. 19:7).

God’s impartiality is also seen in His gracious offer of salvation to people of every race. In Acts 10:34-35 Peter says, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him.”

God is also impartial in judgment. Romans 2:9-11 says that God will bring “tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil . . . but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good. For there is no partiality with God.”

Our text is a timely admonition because prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry are ever-present evils in our society–both inside and outside the church. I pray that God will use these studies to guard you from favoritism’s subtle influences and strengthen your commitment to godly living.

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to reveal any partiality you might be harboring. As He does, confess it and turn from it.

For Further Study:Read Ephesians 6:5-9 and 1 Timothy 5:17-21. How does God’s impartiality apply to how you should respond to your co- workers and your church leaders?

John MacArthur – The Impartiality of God

John MacArthur

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

People are prone to treat others differently based upon external criteria such as looks, possessions, or social status, but God is utterly impartial. He never shows favoritism and always judges righteously.

Favoritism can be defined as a preferential attitude and treatment of a person or group over another having equal claims and rights. It is unjustified partiality. James 2:1-13 confronts it as sin and admonishes us to avoid it at all costs.

God’s impartiality is seen throughout Scripture. For example, Moses said to the people of Israel, “The Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:17-19). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, warned his judges to rule without partiality because God Himself has “no part in unrighteousness, or partiality” (2 Chron. 19:7).

God’s impartiality is also seen in His gracious offer of salvation to people of every race. In Acts 10:34-35 Peter says, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him.”

God is also impartial in judgment. Romans 2:9-11 says that God will bring “tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil . . . but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good. For there is no partiality with God.”

Our text is a timely admonition because prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry are ever-present evils in our society–both inside and outside the church. I pray that God will use these studies to guard you from favoritism’s subtle influences and strengthen your commitment to godly living.

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to reveal any partiality you might be harboring. As He does, confess it and turn from it.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 6:5-9 and 1 Timothy 5:17-21. How does God’s impartiality apply to how you should respond to your co- workers and your church leaders?

Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread

James 2:1-10

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. —James 2:1

A 2010 survey by Newsweek contained some startling statistics: 57 percent of hiring managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate would have a harder time getting hired; 84 percent of managers said their bosses would hesitate before hiring a qualified older candidate; 64 percent of hiring managers said they believe companies should be allowed to hire people based on appearance. All are clear examples of unacceptable prejudice.

Prejudice is not new. It had crept into the early church, and James confronted it head-on. With prophetic grit and a pastor’s heart, he wrote: “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1). James gave an example of this type of prejudice—favoring the rich and ignoring the poor (vv.2-4). This was inconsistent with holding faith in Jesus without partiality (v.1), betrayed the grace of God (vv.5-7), violated the law of love (v.8), and was sinful (v.9). The answer to partiality is following the example of Jesus: loving your neighbor as yourself.

We fight the sin of prejudice when we let God’s love for us find full expression in the way we love and treat each other. —Marvin Williams

Thinking It Over

Who helped you determine what is the right way to

treat people? Was it based on external things?

What are some ways you can love people as Jesus did?

Looking up to Jesus prevents us from looking down on others.

Bible in a year: Numbers 31-33; Mark 9:1-29

Insight

In James 2:8, we see a guiding principle of Scripture—our responsibility and privilege to love our neighbors as ourselves. This theme was established in the ancient law of Israel (Lev. 19:18) and was the life principle illustrated by Jesus in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:27). In addition to James’s words here, it is affirmed by Paul in Galatians 5:14.

 

John MacArthur – Fulfilling the Royal Law

John MacArthur

“If . . . you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2:8).

In Matthew 22:36 a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest. Jesus answered, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (vv. 37-40). Love for God and one’s fellow man summarizes the intent of God’s law, and is the measure of true faith.

Jesus wasn’t calling for the shallow, emotional, self- oriented love that is so prevalent in our society, but for a sacrificial quality of love that places the needs of others on par with your own. That kind of love is utterly incompatible with partiality, which seeks only to further its own selfish goals.

Showing partiality breaks God’s law because it violates God’s attributes, misrepresents the Christian faith, ignores God’s choice of the poor, and condones the blasphemous behavior of the rich (James 2:1-7). But when you treat others impartially, you fulfill the royal law. “Royal” in James 2:8 translates a Greek word that speaks of sovereignty. The law was given by God, who is the supreme authority in the universe, so it is authoritative and binding. Love fulfills God’s law because if you love someone, you won’t sin against him.

Apparently not all of James’s readers were showing partiality, so he commended them, saying they were “doing well.” The Greek word translated “well” speaks of that which is excellent. They were doing an excellent thing because they were acting in a manner consistent with God’s impartial, loving nature. That’s God’s call to every believer: for “the one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). As you do, you fulfill God’s law and thereby prove that your faith and love are genuine.

Suggestions for Prayer:

God’s love is the only antidote for partiality, so pray each day that He will teach you how better to express His love to those around you.

For Further Study:

Read the following verses, noting the characteristics of godly love: John 3:16, Ephesians 5:25-29, Philippians 1:9- 11, and 1 John 5:1-3.

John MacArthur – Ministering to the Poor

 

“If a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?” (James 2:2- 4).

Partiality is an age-old problem that exists in almost every area of life. Perhaps its most common manifestations are racial, religious, and socio-economic discrimination. By implication James denounced partiality in any form, but in James 2:2-4 he specifically mentions preferential treatment of the rich over the poor. He knew such favoritism was devastating not only because it is sinful, but also because the majority of believers in the early church were poor, common people. Discriminating against them would have struck a blow at the very heart of the church!

From its inception the church has upheld the priority of ministering to the poor. Acts 2:44-45 says, “All those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” Paul organized a relief fund for the needy saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1-4), and during one severe famine, “in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders” (Acts 11:29-30).

God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, but some of James’s readers were dishonoring them (vv. 5-6). That had to stop! We too must honor the poor by treating them with dignity rather than prejudice, and meeting their needs whenever possible. Be alert to those around you whom you might help in some practical way.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask the Lord to keep you sensitive to those around you, and for wisdom to know how to respond to their needs.

For Further Study:

Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, noting the kinds of people God uses to accomplish His purposes.