We've going through James chapter 2. And in verses 1-11, we see that James gives us three descriptions of snobbery. Read verses 1-11.
Notice the word “evil” in verse four. The act of snobbery is an evil act. In verse 5 we see that snobbery is erroneous. It goes against the very character of God. And in verses 8-11 we see that snobbery is disobedient. It directly violates the royal law of love.
Snobbery is even worse for the Christian. Not only is it evil. Not only is it error. Not only is it blatantly disobedient. Snobbery is also disastrous. In verses 12 and 13, James shows us that snobbery is disastrous because it may reveal that you are not who you say you are. It may reveal that you’re actually not a Christian.
Finish these verses with me:
1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is…love.”
Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is…love”
In John15:35 Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have…love for one another.”
The Son, the Spirit, and the Father are love. The one who says that they are a Christian, that they are ambassadors of God, must be loving.
That’s why James says in verse 12, “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.” You and I will be judged. Christians, God will call us, not to be judged by our sins, but to be judged on our life given to Him. All unbelievers will judged according to their works and God will not listen to their pleas. He will call them next to His standard of the perfect law of liberty. His absolute standard of perfection. We will all be judged.
What kind of person should fear the judgement? Look at verse 13.
“For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.” Now this is interesting because James just did the opposite of what Jesus did in the Beatitudes. So Jesus in the Beatitudes said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy,” but James flips it. James is saying that God will judge all of us, and if you don’t show mercy, God won’t show you mercy. So there was, where there is mercy you’ll receive mercy. Now he’s saying where there’s no mercy you can’t expect to have mercy. So James flips it and makes it more painful.
What kind of person should fear the judgment? Someone who has shown no mercy. If you’re saying, “I have faith. I trust in Jesus. I trust in his forgiveness. I trust in his mercy,” and yet you refuse to extend that to anyone else, that reveals something is broken in your heart and you don’t understand the gospel.
Look at what he says next. I love this sentence. “Mercy triumphs over judgement.” What exactly does that mean? The Christian who has shown mercy will not know God’s judgement. His mercy and love towards others will authenticate that he is one of God’s. Faith without mercy towards others is not genuine faith.
So here’s the command: Remember the mercy that was shown to you. Remember where you were when Christ found you. Remember he rescued you, remember he ransomed you, and in your remembrance of God’s forgiving grace and mercy, extend it to others.
A life of mercy validates that you are His. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” How do you know if you’re a Christian?
Let me give you three questions to ask yourself:
First, do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and trust Him as your Lord and Savior? To be a Christian means you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. That you believe His death paid for your sins and that He rose from the grave conquering sin and death forever.
Second, do you love God and seek to obey Him? To be a Christian means you love God and seek to obey His commands. We don’t perfectly obey them, but we strive to be perfect in our obedience. And when we fall short, we feel bad about it and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Lastly, do you love others? To be a Christian means you love people, especially your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Now if you’re a baby Christian and you’re stumbling right now, I’m not trying to put a hundred-pound dumbbell on you. If you’ve got some conviction and you’re feeling like you’re falling short, but you’re pushing into Jesus, that’s evidence that you are a Christian. If you answered yes to those questions, then praise God you’re a Christian. Rest in that glorious truth.
But if you’re in here today and you don’t care about anything I’m saying, you don’t care what this text says, you have no intention of applying any of this to your life, I’m trying to love you. You’re not a Christian. You are living under a false wrapper if there’s no lordship of Christ, if there’s no demand for obedience on your life, if there’s no evidence of having a new heart. You have deceived yourself, and you’re here today by the grace of God for me to lovingly tell you, “Define yourself correctly.” If you answered those questions with anything but yes, talk with someone. Talk with me, your youth leader, your parents, or your Christian friends. Figure out where you stand and respond accordingly.
So how does God see partiality, favoritism, discrimination, or snobbery? He sees it as evil, erroneous, disobedient, and disastrous because it reveals you may not match up with who you really are. Snobbery has no place in the life of a Christian.
I asked this last time we were here. How do people see you? Do they see you as loving or do they see you as a snob? The world has enough fake, snobby Christians. The world needs Jesus. The world needs true, radical, loving, merciful Christians who care less about the wrapper and more about people’s hearts. The world needs Christians of genuine faith practically living out what they believe.
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