James 2:1-13

Talks for Growing Christians

Not Showing Personal Favoritism

James 2:1-13

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Lesson Number 3

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Showing favoritism reverses God’s normal way.
  2. Showing favoritism breaks God’s moral law.

Practical Application

  1. Let mercy triumph over judgment.


  1. Is favoritism an easy sin to commit?
  2. What is the theme of the epistle of James?
  3. What was the subject of Chapter 1?
  4. How big or how small are our tests of faith?
  5. What is the teaching of James 2?


  1. Yes.
  2. Practical Christian Living.”
  3. The proper Christian response when we face tests of our faith and when we face temptations to sin.
  4. Tests range from small to large. Recall both from your own life and how you dealt with them.
  5. It is in another area of Christian living – not showing favoritism because of someone’s wealth or position.


  1. Showing favoritism because of a person’s wealth or status or position is wrong in God’s eyes. Review the examples in James 2:2-4 of two people coming into a church setting. How would you respond to two such people coming into your church? To which one would you gravitate during fellowship time? Which one would you invite home for dinner? Actually, which one would you invite to church? Remember, God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith.
  2. If you show favoritism, you are not fulfilling God’s royal law. God’s law is a unity, and when you show favoritism your are breaking a part (and therefore all) of this law. Believers will lose out on reward if practicing partiality and showing favoritism. Who is your neighbor? With whom are you cultivating friendships? With those who can give gifts to you, or with those who cannot give you anything in return?


  1. Refer to James 2:12-13. See also Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. All of these verses have to do with the judgment seat of Christ, the place reserved for believers where lives will be reviewed as to their faithfulness and service to the Lord. When you show mercy to the poor and needy and handicapped and hurting people around you, it will go a long way in your favor when the Lord reviews your life before the judgment seat of Christ. Will you receive rewards from him for refusing to show favoritism now?

Key Verses

  • “Listen, my beloved brethren: has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” James 2:5
  • “If you show partiality, you commit sin…for whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:9-10
  • “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13

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