Acts + Letters Lesson 28 Day 4

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James 2:1-13

Avoid snobbery: keep the royal law.3

9. The royal law of love excludes prejudice. (TPT)

Never “attempt . . . to combine snobbery with faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ!” (James 2:1)3

During the time that James wrote this letter, the culture was “filled with prejudice and hatred based on class, ethnicity, nationality, and religious background. In the ancient world people were routinely and permanently categorized because they were Jew or Gentile, slave or free, rich or poor, Greek or barbarian, or whatever.”1

The Greek word translated partiality, favoritism, or snobbery means “making distinctions among people based on their rank or influence, showing preference for the rich and powerful.” (Strong’s #4380)

Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and tax collector

The Pharisee prayed this prayer: “I thank you, God that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”

But the tax collector humbly prayed, “‘O god, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14 NLT)

Jesus was despised and rejected.

The Pharisees didn’t approve of Jesus or his friends. They insulted by calling him “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” (Luke 7:34) 

Jesus said of himself, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Following Peter’s vision of unclean animals, he said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

10. a. Those given preferential treatment today.

—The wealthy, influential, attractive, talented, and younger.

—Educated at the pastor’s favorite Bible college

Friends of mine started a ministry to at-risk children in a trailer park. They helped them with schoolwork, clothing, and other necessities. They tried bringing the children to our local church, but some influential people complained. My friends had to find another place where they were welcome. 

The local ministry to men recently released from prison faced the same dilemma. Thankfully, one local church not only welcomes them, but partners with the ministry.

b. Love your neighbor as yourself.

If our motives are pure, we won’t show favoritism. Instead, we look for ways to give of ourselves.
Favoritism seeks out those from whom we can gain some advantage or just make us feel more comfortable.

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2 AWM Living Commentary
3 Phillips Translation

Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 28 Day 4

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