Friends, we must remember that our salvation in Christ is not something any of us deserve, and we have done absolutely nothing to earn it. Every believer is equally saved by God’s precious grace, “For God does not show favoritism” (Rom 2:11). That means every believer has never and will never be able to earn God’s grace by their own merit, good works, status, knowledge, or privilege. So, when we begin to understand God’s grace for our own life, then and only then can we begin to relate to people as all equal within God’s Kingdom. Kingdom equality is nothing like the world’s equality. The world has a surface appearance of wanting equality, but under the surface there is oppression, division, competition, judgement, favoritism, and slander. The world can never treat humanity with equality because it is sinful, but thankfully “God decided in advance to adopt us into His own Family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So, we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son.” (Eph 1:5-7)
The contrasting example between rich and poor that James speaks of in today’s passage should clearly point us to the richness of faith that his half-brother, Jesus, wants for us. If we accept that all of our brothers and sisters of faith are equally covered by grace, and are all filled with the same Holy Spirit, then we have no room for judgement or evil motives towards any of them. Instead, we will live by the work of the Spirit and allow its fruits to bear witness within our life through our thoughts, words, and actions.
Friends, it’s so important for us to be living by faith, covered by God’s grace, and in equality with one another for the Kingdom right now. Remember, Jesus talks about our future in Matthew 24 and the wealth of this world will disappear, as all things on earth will disappear, but the only thing that will remain is the Word. (v.35) We must be living in the Word of God every single day because our eternal existence, in the Kingdom realm, depends on it.
James 2:1-7 NLT
A Warning against Prejudice
1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
Prayer: Jesus, we come before You and ask for Your forgiveness of our sins. Please help us to be more and more like You. Help us to treat others like You would treat them. Increase our faith, Lord. We thank You for the work of grace within our lives. Allow Your wisdom to continue to grow as our faith is being increased. We want our hearts to feel for others, like Your hearts feels for them. We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.