The Danger of Superficial Distinctions: James 2

I. The Dangers of Superficial Distinctions (2.1-7)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and 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,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, 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? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

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Exegetical Notes: 1 Corinthians 1:10-25 (The Cross, The Calling, and The Unity of the Church)

10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

“I appeal to you” – An informal request, but with emphasis. “I strongly urge you” or ” I earnestly asking you”

“by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Paul appeals on the basis of Christ’s authority over the church and His redeeming work on behalf of his gospel. Paul’s overarching point throughout chapter one is his desire for all believers to remain steadfastly pointed to Christ and give him praise because his crucifixion provides the power for men to find forgiveness. Note that Paul begins his plea with Jesus at the center here in verse 10 and concludes this section by writing, “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

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