My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.  For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,  and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”  have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?  Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?  But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?  Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?“-{James 2:1-7}


There is a sin that had and has become acceptable. The sin of favoritism, which James says come forth from “evil motives.”  These acts of favoritism comes down to a person’s perception of others and dividing them into two groups. Those who are wealthy and those who are poor. The wealthy is identified by his  gold ring and fine clothing. The poor man is identified by  his clothing also, but his is “dirty clothing. And note the treatment depending on which class they belonged in. The wealthy man is favored and told to ” you sit here in a good place.” They are honored, exalted and put in the place of favor. All because of their wealth!  In contrast the poor man is not afforded the place of honor but instead is told to “stand over there, or sit down by my footstool.” One is brought to the place of honor, pre-eminence, the other is removed.

But what does it reveal about the one who treat these dear people like this?

  1. They have an attitude of personal favoritism.
  2. They make distinctions among themselves
  3. They set themselves up as Judges over people
  4.  They have evil motives
  5.  They dishonor the poor man
  6. The rich Blaspheme the name of God.

But this is so unlike God who is characterized by IMPARTIALITY. “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.”-{Deut 10:17}. He is totally impartial to a person’s color, sex, wealth or poverty,economics, academics, athletic abilities, culture, looks, job or lack of job, education be it the finest and most brilliant learned center or the one who has never headed to school, or dropped out. A person’s fame or unknown, prestige, or lack of, celebrity or  considered a “no body. None of these impress or cause God to look away from an individual. For love is unconditional, selfless, impartial!  For all He has created have dignity in His perspective. Created equal in His eyes. ” be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality.“-{2 Chron 19;7}.”So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”-{Malachi 2:9 NIV}. God judged them because they showed partiality.God does not take kindly to showing favoritism elevating someone because of their monetary value while demeaning, dishonoring those who are poor! DO you show favoritism based on a person’s social standing. Have you forgot or not known, “The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. “-{1 Samuel 2;7}. “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth,…”-{Deut 8:18}. “For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? “-{1 Cor 4;7  NLT}. Whatever you have is because God has chosen to gift you with and to boast as though you are self made, is not only self deception but dishonoring God who is the giver of what you have! “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,“-{Acts 10:34}. God is Impartial!

James exposed not only the tendency, sin of his day in the church, but it is also practiced today. We can be impressed with a “celebrity,” be it an Christian athlete, or what someone does. Have you ever wondered why men on meeting another man one of the first questions is “What do you do?” and depending on the answer is how they grade the person, and if they are wealthy, have standing and a prestigious job the tendency is to show favoritism and partiality. We may not like to admit it but nevertheless we are guilty at times of it. We look at the outward and the occupation, wealth, the person has and tend to want their favor, exalt them, love to be identified and associated with them and not the poor person!  God does not view people on this standard, “man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart!” He looks on the internal! We too should value what God values! For example see what causes Paul to give God continually thanks and pray for in the lives of other believers namely “constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, -{Read 1 Thess 1;2-3}. Note their character is what causes continual thankfulness to God.

There is equality in Christ, no social difference to determine a person’s worth to Him! ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. “-{Gal 3;28}.

How to Honor and treat the Poor;

If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;  but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.  Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the Lord against you, and it will be a sin in you.  You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’“-{ Deut 15;7-11}

” These also are sayings of the wise.To show partiality in judgment is not good.”  -{Prov 24:23}

James is a book of Tests. Testing the genuineness of Saving Faith.

1.There is the test of How you Respond to Trials

2.There is the Test of How you Respond to Temptation

3.There is the Test of how you React to The Word

4.There is the Test of Partiality in your relationships as here in chapter 2:1-7

Do you show favoritism? How do you treat the wealthy? How do you treat the poor?

Does it reveal the condition of your relationship with the LORD Jesus? Consider the words of the LORD Jesus,”The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’“-{Matthew 25:40}. When the LORD confronted Saul on the road to Demascus over his treatment of Christians He said, “and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”-{Acts 9:4}. Jesus took it personal! He was in heaven, yet His people were been persecuted and He took it as though it was Him whom Saul was persecuting!

The way we treat one another is in exact proportion to how we treat the LORD Jesus! Think on that!

How we treat and respond to people is a test to reveal the genuineness of saving faith. To say I have faith in the LORD Jesus and treat people with favoritism is a contradiction.

 The word “respect of persons” means “partialities” it’s a plural.

John Mac Arthur writes, The roots of the word mean to lift up somebody’s face, to raise the face of someone, to elevate them, to lift up their face. The idea is to judge someone by the face or to exalt them strictly on a superficial level…superficial evaluation of a person’s worth based on nothing but what appears on the outside.  People, I can’t impress to you enough how we do this. We tend to judge people by what they look like,their clothes, their hair, where they live, what they drive, their economic situation, that’s just built into our fallenness. And so the emphatic phrase at the beginning is, “My brethren, with respect of persons…that is with preferential treatment based on race or wealth or dress or rank or social status…hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory.” And that’s an imperative command. Don’t you hold the Christian faith and hold alongside it partiality. In fact, the verb carries the idea of “do not be in the practice of partiality.” It is absolutely inconsistent with being a Christian. You see, the whole of our faith is based on the fact that God looks on the heart…the whole of our faith. Everything we know to be true about God is that the value of a person is based upon the value of their soul. And this attitude of favoritism disregards the basic truth of our faith. And the basic truth of our faith is that the gospel is for everyone and God judges everyone on the basis of the heart. The soul of the person is the issue, not their outward appearance. And any favoritism that judges a person on the outside that plays up the people because they dress fine or they’re wealthy, any of that kind of thing is sin. James 2:9, look at it, “If you have respect of persons you commit what? sin and you are convicted of the law as a transgressor.” 

Seeking to gain from recognizing and promoting the wealthy person because of their wealth and the sin is making the poor person to stand away from the favored place afforded the wealthy person! Looking and judging others based on their financial standing and the clothing they wear is inconsistent with true Christianity. It is loveless, Christless, and is denounced!

It is Inconsiderate

It is Inconsistency with the LORD

It is Immoral!

It dishonors God.

It is SIN!

 Don’t do this!

Remember, “Rich and poor have this in commonThe Lord is the Maker of them all.“-{Prov 22:2}.