The Sin of Partiality

James 2:1, 8-9 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. If you fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, you do well: But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 

Do not have the faith of Christ with partiality. Do not prefer the rich merely because of riches, and not for their moral, spiritual, and public usefulness (Jas. 2:1-4) or anyone for that matter because of what they look like or what they own or their station in life.

The law of both the old and new covenants demanded that men love their neighbours as themselves (Lev. 19:18; Mat. 22:39; Rom.13:8-9; Gal. 5:14). The new covenant – the perfect law of liberty – is referred to here, which came from God and was emphasized by Christ as being suitable and necessary to all men (John 13:34; 15:12).

If you show any degree of partiality and injustice you break God’s law and you are a transgressor (1Jn. 3:4).

Fade Away

James 1:9-11  Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls and the grace of the fashion of it perish: so also, shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 

A poor Christian must rejoice in his hope of heaven, but the rich one in his humiliation, for both are here only for a short while (Ps. 90:10). Lives burdens are compared with the burning heat of the sun that withers us away as we age.

The rich man who is outside of Christ fades away like a flower. Riches in Scripture are considered the cause of much sin and rebellion against God; and, for this cause, there are many warnings to men, especially converted men, to shun all covetousness of such (Mat. 6:19; Luke 6:24; 12:15-20; 1Tim. 6:9-18).