“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” – James 2:1-4 (ESV)
You’d think that the church would be a place where class falls away and we are all equal as children at the feet of Jesus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so in the New Testament days and it isn’t always so in our own era. In James 2:1-4 we see the difference shown in the Church between the rich and the poor; Christians demonstrating their perception between the wealthy and the poor, thinking wealthy are more spiritual than the poor. Coming to that conclusion is easy: rich people have possessions so God is listening to their prayers and blessing them more than others.
The Sadducees and Pharisees demonstrated this dynamic because they thought that as men of God they were more spiritual than others. But Solomon, one of the wisest and richest men in history cleared this all up in Proverbs 22:2: “The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.” This clearly shows that no matter what your social status is, what God cares about is who you are in Christ Jesus.
The bottom line is that all Christians are equal in the sight of God, no matter your status, culture or background, 1 John 3:1 says; “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” Since we are all children of God we should remind ourselves now and again that the mercy that has been shown to us by Jesus Christ should be extended to others. If we would constantly remind ourselves of the “grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2), we would be less prejudiced and not be quick to pass judgment on others.
in Romans 2: 6-11 Paul says, “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;… For God shows no partiality.”
“For God shows no partiality.” There is a universal respect that God shows all His children. After all, “he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matthew 5:45). This is something fundamental about God. He is not moved by irrelevant external appearances. He sees through them and goes to the heart of the matter and is not partial to appearance and circumstance. And since God is impartial we should be impartial as well.
- What does God being impartial mean to you?
- What does God being impartial mean in our daily walk with Him?