James 2: Faith Without Works
Sin of Partiality
In James 2:1, God (through the pen of James) tells us not to show partiality. Have you ever gone somewhere with a variety of people, and you notice that the pretty rich girls have several people crowding around them, and the girls that obviously aren’t as “well to do” don’t have as much attention? This is the sin of partiality. When we choose one person above another, we are making distinctions among ourselves (verse 4). If you are a Christian, God has chosen you because you are poor in the world, and He calls you to be rich in faith. You are no different than the “lowly” on earth: you have a soul that Jesus wants to save!
Works + Faith = Justified
Let’s say you are walking through the city, shopping with your friends. You see an elderly homeless man on the side of the road. You feel sorry for him, so you say, “Go, you’re not hungry anymore!” and walk away. That totally helped that poor man, right?! No, of course not. No one who actually wanted to help that person would do that. Having bucket loads of faith but never living it out is completely useless. I love what James says in verse 18: Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. There is no way anyone can know you have faith in Christ Jesus unless you live it out. A person is justified by their works.