The entire second chapter of James addresses two areas: the hypocrisy of partiality or prejudice (James 2:1-13) and the life-altering alliance between faith and works (James 2:14-26). In the first section, using the rich and poor as an illustration, James disassembles the sin of prejudice, as it existed among the congregation.
Many, when they think of Romans, think of the Roman Road, the road to salvation as this unknown quote reveals. There is a Romans Road that leads to Heaven! But, it is not one of the roads that was built by Caesar’s workmen. It is not posted on any of the 53,000 miles of roads that the Romans built. You will find the “Romans Road to Heaven” clearly marked in the Book of Romans, starting in Romans 3:10. Romans is the sixth book of the New Testament. This small book of sixteen chapters was written by the Apostle Paul while he was at Corinth. He sent it to the Christians at Rome by the hands of Phoebe, servant of the church at Cenchrea (Romans 16:1.2). But there are many other roads to walk on in this book. Today we’re going to look at some of them and why they matter.
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Orphans are tender to Gods heart. The evidence for this abounds in God’s directives to Israel about them. Here James picks up that same familiar song. Perfect religion, true religion, the crowning or height of true spiritual love is taking care of the fatherless. By estimate, between 143 million and 210 million orphans exist worldwide. These numbers do not include abandonment, as well as sold or trafficked children 1. The numbers are staggering but the clarion call is clear.
I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a moral community or nation without faith in God, because without it everything rapidly comes down to “me,” and “me” alone is meaningless. Today Americans have stopped acting in terms of their own moral, ethical and religious beliefs and principles. They’ve stopped acting on what they knew was right—and the “me” has become the measure of everything. 1. Taking God at His Word solves all of our problems along this line. Putting the Word of God into use in your everyday life is the heart and soul of the growing Christian.
Jesus spoke of the giving nature of His Father. He said in Matthew 7:9–11, that His Heavenly Father is way better than the earthly father who refuses to give his sons rocks instead of bread, or snakes instead of food. In Jesus mind, a great gulf spans between earthly and heavenly. The width of which Jesus describes as ‘how much more’. God is the perfect and supreme giver. The model that we are to copy. The example we are to follow as James lets us know in closing this paragraph on tests and trials.
In 1970, comedian Flip Wilson and his show ‘The Flip Wilson Show’ debuted on NBC. His most popular character, was Geraldine Jones, a flirty women whose most famous line, “The devil made me do it” became a national catchphrase. 1. James, in this portion of his letter, addresses just who makes a person sin. Only one choice qualifies and its not God and its not the devil.
The crown of Queen Elizabeth II has 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies. The crown includes the Cullian II diamond, known as the Second Star of Africa which weighs 317.4 carats. God is into jewelry. Each gate of New Jerusalem consists of a single pearl. Twelve pearls equals twelve gates. What do you think of Gods’ blink? Did you know one day God will hand out His version of a crown? The Crown of Life the saints of God can receive has far more value than any earthen crown. Earthen decadence never compares with heavenly glory. James mentions this crown in the same breath as overcoming tests and trials in verse twelve.
The trials of life mows everybody’s lawn the same height on planet earth. People’s money and social connections won’t spare stewing time in life’s great crock pot. From the penthouse to the basement, all tenants stomach hard times. Do you remember the mark of the beast in Revelation thirteen? Did you notice how all classes get the same stamp? The assets and connections of the rich won’t keep them from the branding. Full bodied bank accounts will get you a designer version of the mark but not much else. And the poor? Do they get a pass since they have no money to control anyway? No, the poor line up to receive the mark just like government cheese (Rev. 13:16). 666 is an equal opportunity intrusion into life. Compliance is compulsory. Resistance is futile. Tests are like taxes, you can’t avoid them. James starts this paragraph on tests by addressing the subject with rich and poor.