Sundays: 9 & 11am LATEST MESSAGE

Do Mercy

Charlie Boyd - 10/30/2022


Freedom from favoritism (2:1-4) comes from a right understanding of God (2:5-7), of the Scriptures (2:8-13), of faith (2:14-17), and the Gospel (2:1). In this passage, to “do” our faith means to “do” mercy.

SCRIPTURE: James 2:1-17


James is more of a preacher than a writer. In one sense, his letter to Jewish Christians is more like a sermon than a letter. His purpose in this sermon is to encourage his readers and us to put our faith into action—to live out our faith in visible, tangible, practical ways. James calls us to “do” our faith (cf 1:22-25). Last week we saw how “doing” our faith always flows out of what God has made us to be in Christ. “Doing” flows out of the new identity God gave us when we first put our faith in Christ. Before the Bible tells you what to do, it tells you who you are. There’s always an “indicative” (a statement of fact about who God is and who you are) that underlies an “imperative” (a command to do something). Remember, the “who” before the “do.” The “big Idea” of this passage is to live out our faith in a way that treats all our brothers and sisters in Christ as equals—not favoring one person or group over another. One reason is that God has chosen the poor, needy, and oppressed by calling them to himself. He sees rich/poor, black/white/Hispanic/Asian, Democrat/Republican/Independent, “cool”/”uncool,” popular/unpopular, etc., as equals at the foot of the Cross. Anyone who is rightly related to God will do the same. The way we move beyond the favoritisms of our American culture is by keeping our focus on the glory/the beauty of what Jesus has done for us (2:1). The glory of Jesus is that He gave up His glory so we could be clothed with His glory (cf Phil2). Though He was rich, He became poor for us., that we might become rich through Him. That’s the Gospel, and it’s the only motivation we need to move toward people in need who desire to help them as God gives us the opportunity.

Read 2:1-17 — One way of understanding this passage is to break it down like this:

  • The Command — As a community of faith, do not show favoritism (2:1).
  • The Hypothetical Example — Favoring the rich over the poor in the church (2:2-4).
  • The Reasoning — God’s heart is for the poor and needy (2:5-7).
  • The Scriptural Basis — “Love your neighbor as yourself” (2:8-10).
  • The Warning — “No mercy to those who show no mercy (2:12-13).
  • The Tie-In with Faith — A faith that does not act to help a person in need is worthless; it doesn’t do you or anyone else any good (2:14-17).

*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.