Maturing Faith: Maturing in Love for the Poor – Bruce Hansen
Sunday, February 8, 2015
CWOW member Bruce Hansen takes us on a deep dive into the meaning of the “law of liberty” in James, where it comes from, and the profound implications it has for us as we consider how we love and respond to the poor. Put on your seatbelt, we’re headed for Leviticus!
Tonight’s reading comes from James 2: 1-13:
My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude ofpersonal favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your [a]assembly with a gold ring and dressed in [b]fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you [c]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,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil [d]motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor [e]of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and [f]personally drag you into [g]court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name [h]by which you have been called?
8 If, however, you are fulfilling the [i]royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the [j]law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole [k]law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the [l]law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will bemerciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy [m]triumphs over judgment.