I. The Problem with Favoritism (James 2:1-13)
1. When we show favoritism, we adopt the world’s values, not God’s.
2. When we show favoritism, we break the royal law of love.
II. The Character of Faith (James 2:14-26)
1. There is always an excuse for why we don’t love people.
2. Real faith is accompanied by action.
III. Trusting our glorious Lord Jesus Christ means…
1. You see yourself in the faces of those you meet.
2. You see suffering in the faces of those you meet.
3. You see Jesus in the faces of those you meet.
Follow-up Questions from Sunday:
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?
1. Read James 2:1-4. We don’t have special seats in church for wealthy people, but this situation happens in the world generally. What are some of the ways wealthy and famous people are honored in our culture? Why does this behavior not belong in the church?
2. Have you ever been poor? What sustained you in the most difficult times of your life? Read James 2:5 and Matthew 5:1-10. What does this teach us about worldly priorities vs. God’s?
3. Read James 2:8 and Matthew 22:37-40. Why do you think James names this the “royal law”? What does this tell you about Jesus’ priorities? What should we conclude about our own responsibility as people who trust and follow Jesus?
4. Read James 2:15-17. James allows that there is a kind of faith that doesn’t express itself outwardly, as in the example of wishing someone well but refusing to help them. He refers to this as “dead” faith. Why is it sometimes a challenge to live our faith outwardly, like in this example? How do we overcome this?
5. Read James 2:20-26. James uses two examples from the Old Testament to illustrate what faith should look like. The two examples are very different. Why do you think he picks these two? What are some characteristics of active faith, as seen in these examples?
Close your group with prayer, asking the Lord to give us wisdom for our daily lives in these unique days we’re living.