James Chapter 2


James 2 Commentary

Welcome to World Events And The Bible. I'm Brandon T. Ward. We're going to continue in the book of James today. Pick it up with chapter two here. Before we do, let's just do a quick summary of chapter one. All right.

Some of the things we learned there was we asked God for wisdom. If we want to understand about the Bible, maybe something in life that we're trying to figure out. A path that we want to go on.

Talk to God about it. That's where the that's where the beginning of wisdom all comes from. It comes from God. Okay.

And don't waiver, that was another one. Don't waiver. Don't be double-minded. If you're going to follow Jesus, follow Jesus and go all the way. Whatever it is that you set out to do in life and put your heart to it, pray about it. Talk to God about it and then go do it.

And the last one here I want to talk about is our setting our mind on the things that are above. You know, let that be our focus, God and his eternal kingdom be our focus. Don't let the world basically run your life and tell you what is important and don't get so wrapped up in the world. That the only thing that you focus on is the world. Okay.

All right. Let's say a prayer before we begin. Chapter two, heavenly father. We ask you for wisdom and understanding of your word in Jesus name. Amen. All right.

The Sin Of Partiality


James chapter two, verse one. My brethren have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory with respect to persons.

Now what it's saying here is that we can't be Christians. We can't hold the faith of Jesus Christ and also be a respecter of persons. That means we can't favor someone over another because their color, creed, anything like this. Social status. And the Bible is so tied together, Deuteronomy, or I should say the Old Testament, the New Testament, everything meshes real good.

But I do want to give you an example from Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy chapter one verse 17 talks about God is not a respecter of persons.

And then you can tie that together with Romans chapter two, verse 11. It will tell you the same thing. That's always been the message, you know, God, he looks on our heart. He doesn't look on our outward appearance. Men do that. That's how they do, but God, he always looks on the heart. Okay.

Verse two. For if there come unto your assembly, a man with a gold ring, talking about coming to your church in goodly apparel. He's decked out boy, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment.

That means like dirty or cheap clothing, you know? So you got one guy that just walked into your, your church. Maybe it's your place of business. Apply the scripture to your life. All right. Apply it to your life. What's going to happen here. Let's see.

In verse three it says, and you have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing. That means the nice clothing and say, unto him, sit thou here in a good place.

Hey brother, sit right over here. We got the spot right up in the front for you, buddy. And say to the poor stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool.

You don't really care where that guy goes. Matter of fact, why don't you be my footstool. I mean, come on. That's not how you treat people because the clothing that somebody has on. Man, that's terrible.

So you certainly wouldn't want to do this in a church, but you shouldn't do it anywhere. No matter what it is that you do in life. Because someone has a certain appearance, don't make a judgment on them, learn about them. See what's in their heart. And then you can decide how you want to go about your business with this individual.

Okay. You know, there's been some stories you probably heard where say a guy that's dressed in sweat pants. You know, kind of average clothing goes to buy, like say a brand new truck or some fancy sports car, and the salesman will turn him down. You know, don't really give them the time of day. This guy can't afford this car.

Little did they know the guy could probably buy the whole car lot. You know, I've talked to people who that's actually happened to them.

And I remember when I went to go buy a vehicle, one time. I was pretty young in my early twenties and they didn't really want to give me a time of day because they didn't think I could afford the car. You know, it was a mistake on them, it was a mistake on them.

So don't judge somebody by their clothing or by their appearance and make assumptions. Okay. Because you're really losing out in the end.

Verse four. Are you not then partial in yourselves and our become judges of evil thoughts.

That's what it becomes. It does become an evil thought because you're placing some judgment on them. And certainly in the case of the guy saying, Hey, you'd be my footstool buddy. That's just messed up. Right. All right.

Verse five. Hearken my beloved brethren, listen up. I'm trying to tell you something, he says. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith. You see the difference there and heirs of the kingdom, which he had promised to them that love him.

So we got to talk about this one. So these, the poor, but they're rich in faith. You know, maybe in social status, maybe financially they're poor, but they're rich in faith and they're going to inherit the kingdom of God because of that.

But the main thing that ties in at the end to those that love him. To those that love God. Okay. If you're rich and you love God, you're going to inherit his kingdom. You're going to inherit his kingdom. All right.

Verse six. But you have despised the poor. You look down on him. You wanted him to be your footstool. Do not rich men oppress you.

They're the ones always coming and throwing some court case against just suing you for something. Trying to shut you down. And draw you before the judgment seat. There it is.

They're the ones always trying to do it, and you're giving them the best spot in the house. Why? Because they're giving you five minutes of their time and they're coming in there

And these rich people, they're not rich people. That you think like someone, if a Christian is rich because they worked hard for their money and they did it God's way, there's nothing wrong with that. James is going to make it clear as day at the end of chapter five, that these are con artists.

They're thieves, they're crooks. They stole from people, basically. They are ripping them off. And that's why they're rich. Okay.

So don't let this whole poor rich thing make you feel bad if you're rich or, you know, anything like that. That's not what we're talking about. If you rip people off and that's why you are rich then we're talking about you. Absolutely.

All right. Verse seven. Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by which you're called. We're called Christians. Right? What worthy name? Acts chapter two, verse 38. Be baptized in the name of Jesus and repent in the name of Jesus. Right? Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Of course it is.

And these people, these rich people. Leaders, politicians, even. They're the ones blaspheming God's name, you know. Saying everything against him under the sun. Pass laws that are against God's word and say that it's equal, inclusiveness. It's fairness. It's all fairness until it comes to God, then fair doesn't matter. He's excluded from their policies, right.

Verse 8. If you fulfill the royal law, according to scripture. Like one of the main ones, the royal law it's telling us. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, you do well. You do really good if you do that. And that's been the message since the beginning. In Leviticus 19:18 tells you the same thing, love your neighbor as yourself.

You know why?

Who treats themselves badly?

You know, do you kick yourself?

You know, do you slap yourself around?

No, probably not.

Do you scream at yourself?

I hope not.

But, you know, you don't do, you wouldn't treat other people bad. If you treat yourself good and treat other people good. Treat others how you want to be treated. The Royal law.

Verse nine. But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin. You commit sin because you're not treating everybody how you want to be treated then. Cause you wouldn't want to be a footstool. Would you? Would you really want to be someone's footstool? And are convinced of the law as transgressors. When you break the law, you're a transgressor of the law.

That's what we're being told here.

Verse 10. For whosoever shall keep the whole law. That's all of it. And yet offend in one point he is guilty of all. If you break one of the laws, you are guilty of all.

Because you've become a transgressor of the law. Okay.

Verse 11. Let's see what else it says here. For he that said, do not commit adultery said also do not kill, now if thou commit no adultery yet, if thou kill that are become a transgressor of the law. You broke one, you broke them all. It's because we fall short of God's glory at that point.

You know, God is perfect. We are far from perfect. But when we try to do, we try to act perfect, right? We try to follow the law as best we can, but he's telling you, Hey man, if you slip up, you break one law, you broke them all. You're over here, respecting people. You're not treating everybody how you want to be treated.

You're not loving your neighbor as yourself. You're breaking the law.

Verse 12. God's law. So speak ye, and so do. If you're going to do something, then just do it. Don't go be double-minded about it. Okay. As they that shall be judged by the law of Liberty, this is the law of Liberty. Just let your yays be yays and your nays be nays. It's that simple, God's word. Isn't too difficult.

Verse 13. For he shall have judgment without mercy that has showed no mercy, and mercy rejoice it against judgment.

Mercy is a great thing. You know, mercy is a great thing. And if you don't show mercy to other people, then don't expect God to judge you and give you some mercy. If you were never merciful.

It's kind of like the unforgiving servant, the parable of the unforgiving servant if you remember that one.

Faith Without Works Is Dead


Verse 14. What doth it profit my brethren? What gain is there? Though a man say he have faith and have not works. Can faith save him? Now, if you're really paying attention, James is actually stitching everything together here, because he's talking about you can't be double-minded, treat your neighbor as yourself. So don't be a respecter or a persons.

That means you shouldn't be telling the guy that has these vile dirty clothes on to be your footstool then, because then it's just, it's faith only, just saying that you believe in the word of God. There's no works there.

There's no works there. Right?

And have not works. Can faith save him? So faith can't save you alone. This is one of the biggest things that Christianity gets tied up on is, all I have to do is believe. All I have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I'll be saved. Partly, partly. You got to go look up the word, believe, go take a look at it.

It means to commit. So you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. That means you become a doer of the word of God, not just to hearer. We're going to learn that lesson here in James. This is a great book. Apply this thing, this stuff to your life.

Let's go to verse 15. How about that? If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food here, he's going to give us an example now.

16. And one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be warmed and filled. Not withstanding you give them not those things which are needed to the body. What doth it profit?

You know, you see somebody over there, maybe it's somebody you know in need. And you're like, oh, well I wish you the best brother I'll be praying for you.

How about you throw them a loaf of bread or something, if they're starving. I mean, help them out. Why don't you do your part? Like how is that going to hurt you? That's works. You see the difference. Faith is just that, well, if I pray, that God is going to send someone along to give this guy a loaf of bread that's starving to death over here.

That's just faith. Faith is believing that, but then also doing your part, being a doer of the word, going ahead and being the one to give that bread to them because someone probably already passed by and said that prayer. If everybody just passed by and says the same prayer over and over again for this guy, he's never going to get anything.

You need someone here on earth, a man, or a woman to help out.

Verse 17. Oh, no. Before we move on, I do got to tie in this verse. First Matthew chapter, 25, verse 35 through 40, christ said when you help, one of the least of these, it's like helping him.

You know why?

Because everybody, no matter if they're rich poor, no matter what their status is, they're all a child of God and God wants all of them to be in the kingdom. So let's help each other out.

Now we can go to verse 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, it is dead being alone. Faith without works is dead. I mean, it's right here in the Bible.

How are you going to argue with it?

You can't have just faith. You have to be a doer of the word.

Verse 18. Yea, a man say, thou hast faith and I have works. Show me thy faith without thy works and I will show thee my faith by my works. Anybody can say they're a Christian. Tons of people say they're a Christian. Most of them don't even know what that really means. And I'm not being rude or anything. I mean, I'm just kind of giving it to you how it is.

A lot of people think that they just need to have faith. They just need to believe, the devils, evil spirits also believe and tremble it says. But they're not going to have eternal life. All right. They know Jesus exists too. They've seen him, they know he's all powerful, but they're not going to be saved.

Because they're not a doer of the word. Instead, they relish and doing evil deeds. All right. You want to think real good about that? It's not just about belief and look up the word in John three 16, look up the word believe. It means, commit. Commit your life to Jesus Christ. When you do that, then you're fulfilling what James is talking about here.

You're doing the works then. And when you do the works, it backs up your faith. It proves your faith. All right.

Verse 19. Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well. That's good. The devils also believe and tremble. There it is. The devils, the evil spirits. They also believe, they've seen him. You think they're going to be saved? You're crazy.

They're going to go to that famous lake you probably heard about. The Lake of Fire


Verse 20. But wilt thou know o vain man. That faith without works is dead. There it is, again. How many more times do we need to hear it, before we get it? You gotta have works. All right.

Verse 21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works? The father of the 12 Tribes of Israel. When he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar.

Remember that? He didn't just have faith. You know, and so you can read yourself it's in Genesis 22, you can read all about this. I'm just going to briefly explain. God had told Abraham already that his children were going to be numerous as the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven.

They were going to be many kingdoms. Okay. And they're going to be a blessed people and they would bless the world. And then God says, Hey, Abraham, I need you to go sacrifice your only son, Isaac. Abraham was going to go do it. Not was going to do it. He was in the process of doing it. He took Isaac and they made an altar and he bound him to it.

And he drew out the knife and he's getting ready to, to really kill Isaac. His only son and God said, stop! There's a ram in the bush, sacrifice it instead.

And so he did, but that proved to God, 100% that Abraham was going to do whatever God had asked of him. It didn't matter. So that's why James is bringing that in here, that Abraham's works, proved his faith. Very important lesson

Verse 22. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works with Abraham's works and by works was faith made perfect. His faith made it perfect. His faith made him complete, with the works. The works proved the faith.

Verse 23. And the scripture was fulfilled, which sayeth Abraham believed God. And it was imputed unto him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.

And so he was, and so he was.

Verse 24. You see then, that how by works, a man is justified. That's how you're justified, by your works and not by faith only. Because anyone can say I'm a Christian. Anybody can say that I'm a Christian, no big deal whatsoever.

The difference comes when you prove it by how you carry yourself in life. Think about Matthew five 16, let your light so shine before men that they can see your good works and glorify your father which isn't heaven. So it's all about how you conduct yourself in your daily walk through life.

Once you wake up out of bed, before your family. When you step out your front door to the world. We're supposed to be a reflection of Jesus Christ we're made after God's image. And that's more than just physically. That's also spiritually. We need to conduct ourselves like that. All right.

Verse 25. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works. When she received the messengers and had sent them out the other way.

You can read about this one in Joshua chapter two, I encourage you to do that. She heard about how God's people, the Israelites were going to come to the land. Come to the land of Canaan and they were going to dwell there. And she knew that meant trouble for them, but she believed in God.

And so she was helping the Israelites because she had faith that it was going to come to pass, meaning that the Israelites were going to come there. And then she had the works because she helped them out. Go read Joshua chapter two to find out all the details on that. But she had faith and works.

Abraham had faith and works.

All right, let's close it out here with verse 26. For as the body, without the spirit is dead. So faith without works is dead.

I mean, it's pretty plain and clear their faith without works is dead. We've had it over and over and over again to draw the point to us. And if you're, if your body, think about it, your body doesn't have the spirit, then it's dead.

It's just bones and flesh at that point. I mean, we ourselves are spirit. I think all Christians recognize that we're all spiritual beings. So to be absent from the body means to be present with the Lord.

So, hey, I think it's a fantastic message. I hope you're thinking about these things. And as we read these verses applying this stuff and working to applying this to your life, it's going to make you a better person.

It's gonna make you a better Christian. And I think you're going to not only see improvements in you, but also in your family as well. Okay. Hey, that's gonna conclude James chapter two.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Like What You’re Reading?

Have more delivered right to your inbox!

Thanks for subscribing!

To ensure deliverability, add
to your email contacts.


Bible study, commentary, and news right to your inbox.