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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
August 12, 2018
Central Passage
James 2:1-13

Favoritism, Does your church look like your community? How does it make decisions? Are you more concerned with losing people than you are with losing God? 

These are a copy of the pastor's sermon notes, not a transcript

Last Sunday we discussed Entitlement. This week we are going to focus on Favoritism. Entitlement is an attitude that is detrimental to the gospel. It resists evangelism.

Some new data was recently released and it has flooded the news that I read. This information shows that churches are dying. It shows that Churches care more about themselves than reaching the lost.

Are we living for the glory of God or our Glory?

The question I have is this: IS the Gospel Dead? Is it inadequate? Does it no longer save?

Or is the church dead? Has it heard the word but not done the word? Does it brag about a Faith that has no works?

Imagine a parent who never disciplines their child or loves one child more than the others? Imagine a grandparent that only loves 1 grandchild rather than all equally? Imagine a church that makes no impact on its community but gladly receives those that look and act like them?

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

ESV James 1:1-13 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? 8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.


He is not speaking against recognizing leaders or others, but when that recognition is at the expense of others, especially the poor it is wrong.

Who may dwell on your holy hill Psalm 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

James is not saying that we should not distinguish between people, but is questioning how and with what measure are we making such decisions.

  1. the Lord of glory

Faith in Christ and being a respecter of men is not godly. To be a respecter of the wealth, physically more appealing, gender, nationality, or skin color has no place in the ministry of Christ. If Christ is not the primary focus of your life then He is either out of place or not your Savior. The brightness and glory of Christ should radiate in such a way that we are forever drawn to seek Him and honor Him above all. When we play the favorite we are essentially saying that there is something in this world that is brighter, purer, more precious and valuable than Christ.

We are teaching others that yes our church recognizes Christ, but staying all white is more important than fulfilling God’s mission.

Yes, Jesus is great, but above all desire to be rich.

Yes, Christ is wonderful, but even greater is the opinion of the world. Oh how precious is the glory of Christ, but children have you seen the glory of the world. How easy it is to not see our sinfulness as it truly is?

Now that we have valued something over Christ another tragedy strikes. That is when we have favoritism we suppress the truth. No longer do we teach that there is none that is good no not one, but rather that if you can achieve a certain look, lifestyle, or status in the world, then JESUS needs you. Our entitlement has carried us to new lows, favoritism. Treason against God’s authority.

  1. the Lord of glory


V4 He is asking one or both of these questions? Do you not see how evil Favoritism is? Or Now that you know that your hearts are evil, will you repent?

  1. which he has promised to those who love him—Changing the gospel

V5 Aren’t you guilty of belittling those that God has exalted, the poor, and guilty of exalting those that God has called His enemy, not the rich, but those who are not saved.

In short, though God pours forth his grace on the rich in common with the poor, that the mighty might learn not to flatter themselves, and that the ignoble and the obscure might ascribe in what they are to the mercy of God, and that both might be trained up to meekness and humility.

God’s promise is based on Faith and not ability or position.

V6 They did not use judgement at all. If they had they would have seen their vanity and deception. They would have seen that they were not moved by acts of Faith or ministry, but by deceptive appearances. They are flattering those who are cruel and enemies, but harming those that they are suppose to love and care for.

V7 My father once told me that if I wasn’t going to do my best in school then to stop writing my last name. In this case, Favoritism, has lead to them dishonoring the name of Christ. The name Christian is being dragged through the mud because they have judged the world and their preferences to be greater than the name and glory of Christ.

V8-9 Favoritism and Faith don’t mix. They compete with each other. He makes sure it is known that those who have favoritism are living in sin. He doesn’t equate this sin to murder or adultery, but we must see that to have favoritism is to commit adultery against Christ our groom and this hatred of Christ and His law is the same a murder. We are betraying Christ and seeking to remove Him altogether. I am sure there are some who agree in part but not in full. That is exactly how the entitled leaders during Christ’s time on earth acted. They agreed in part but not in whole. The truth was they didn’t agree at all and now suffer a sinners eternity without Christ. I pray the same is not said of us.

  1. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

10-11 the lawbreaker is going against the lawgiver. To break one law is to go against the one who made the laws. We can not live in such entitlement as to think that we can live with sin as if its no big deal. A little leave destroys the entire lump.


Being Partial to others means that we are being partial to God. God wants all of us. Not just a part of us. Jesus died to save us from all our sins, not just some of our sins. Christ blood covers it all, not just a little.

Are we living for the glory of God or our Glory?

The question I have is this: IS the Gospel Dead? Is it inadequate? Does it no longer save?

Or is the church dead? Has it heard the word but not done the word? Does it brag about a Faith that has no works?

May we come to the altar this morning and cry out to God! Let us plead the blood of Christ and receive our instructions to out and reach the nations.

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