Thursday, October 13, 2011

LESSON 5: Do We Have Favorites?

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 10/12/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.

Just click HERE to listen!


Review Lesson 4
Read James 1:27, 2:1-7

1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

By caring for widows and orphans, we are putting God’s Word into action. When we commit ourselves to following Jesus’ ways, we protect ourselves from the world’s corruption. The world’s value system is based in money, power and pleasure.
• How does caring for the poor keep us from being corrupted by the world’s values?

Chapter 2

In Chapter 2, James talks about three principles of faith: 1) Commitment is an essential part of faith. 2) Right actions are a natural bi-product of true faith. 3) Faith without good deeds is worthless.

2:1 My dear brothers and sisters,[a] 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[b] 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[c] you bear?


• What does favoritism look like?
• What is the reason for favoritism?
• Do we favor the well dressed, prosperous looking person over someone who appears to be poor? Why?
• The appearance of wealth may indicate intelligence, wise decisions and hard work. What else could it indicate?
• Do you believe that riches are a sign of God’s blessing and approval? Does God promise us riches? Christ calls us to be ready to suffer for Him! Matthew 6:19-21, 19:28-30, Luke12:14-34.
• When James speaks of the poor in verse 5, who is he talking about? Does he mean that the poor will automatically go to heaven and the rich to hell?
• What is one of the greatest barriers to salvation for the rich? For the poor?

Further Study

Read James, chapter 2 and look for themes.
Meditate on and memorize 2:1.


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