Church: Where Everybody Is Somebody | TBN

Church: Where Everybody Is Somebody

Watch Church: Where Everybody Is Somebody
October 4, 2020
27:29

Dr. Jack Graham's mission is to glorify God by introducing Jesus Christ to as Lord to all people.

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Church: Where Everybody Is Somebody

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  • [Music]
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  • I want to invite you to takeGod's word and turn to the
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  • Second Chapterof James.
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  • We're going to beginreading in Verse 1 through the
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  • 10th Verse. James is talkingabout real religion. Real
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  • religion. That is life inChrist. A genuine faith in
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  • Christ. When you hear the wordreligion what do you think? You
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  • might think of words likeritual, ritualistic,
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  • religiosity. You may think ofwords like rules and
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  • restrictions, but when Jamestalks about real religion at the
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  • close of Chapter 1, and rememberthere were no chapters or verse
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  • numbers when this passage waswritten, The Letter of James,
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  • but it just all flows together.As he talks about real
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  • religion, true religion ascompared to false religion,
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  • religion, in a good sense is theoutward expression of the inward
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  • experience because religionworks as life works. Real
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  • religion, someone said the Bookof James is religion in shoe
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  • leather. It's about beliefs thataffect our behaviors. D.L.
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  • Moody, the famed evangelist ofthe 19th century, once said that
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  • the Bible should be bound inshoe leather. That's descriptive
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  • because it's about walking thewalk as well as talking the
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  • talk. Real religion includes,
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  • a controlled tongue.We manage our mouths. A
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  • compassionate heart. We care forthe widows and orphans, those
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  • most vulnerable in our society,and we live a consecrated life,
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  • so a controlled tongue, acompassionate heart, a
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  • consecrated life un-spotted fromthe world. With that we take up
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  • our reading in Chapter 2 Verse1. "My brothers, show no
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  • partiality as you hold the faithin our Lord Jesus Christ, the
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  • Lord of glory. For if a manwearing a gold ring and fine
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  • clothing comes into yourassembly and a poor man in
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  • shabby clothing also comes in,and if you pay attention to the
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  • one who wears the fine clothingand say, 'You sit here in a good
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  • place,' while you say to thepoor man, 'You stand over there
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  • or sit down at my feet,' haveyou not made distinctions among
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  • yourselves and become judges,"watch this, "with evil thoughts?
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  • Listen my beloved brothers. Hasnot God chosen those who are
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  • poor in the world to be rich infaith and heirs of the kingdom
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  • which he has promised to thosewho love Him, but you have
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  • dishonored the poor man. Are notthe rich the ones who oppress
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  • you and the ones who drag youinto court? Are they not the
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  • ones who blaspheme the honorablename by which we are called? If
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  • you really fulfill the royal lawaccording to the scripture, you
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  • shall love your neighbor asyourself and you are doing well,
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  • but if you show partiality,favoritism, you are committing
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  • sin and are convicted by the lawas transgressors, for whoever
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  • keeps the whole law, but failsin one point has been
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  • accountable for all of it." Thereligion of our Lord Jesus
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  • Christ changes lives. Someonesaid, "If your religion hasn't
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  • changed your life, you need tochange your religion." We don't
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  • preach religion; we preach JesusChrist. Christ, the reality of
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  • Christ living us changes the waywe practice our faith. This
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  • passage tells us what truereligion is compared to false,
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  • futile, worthless religion doesand does not do. When we walk
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  • with Jesus we will walk in loveand welcome people, and treat
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  • people right. Every one. I'mcalling this message, "Church:
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  • Where everybody is somebody andJesus is Lord." Where everybody
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  • is somebody and Jesus Christ isLord. How do you treat people?
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  • Especially people who aredifferent than you? Especially
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  • people you don't know very well?James talks to us about the
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  • danger of discrimination, theperil of prejudice, the sin of
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  • snobbery. The church of the LordJesus Christ is not a snooty
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  • religious country club. It is aplace where everyone is welcome.
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  • The scripture says, in 1 Samuel16:7, that God doesn't look on
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  • the outward appearance, but Godlooks on the heart. Jesus never
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  • showed partiality. He welcomedeveryone from the smallest child
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  • to the outcast to the up andouts, the down and outs. He was
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  • not impressed with social orcultural or racial or even
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  • religious standing. God caresabsolutely nothing about any of
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  • that. What people look like, ortheir professions, or their
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  • success, or lack of success,their standing in life or the
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  • strata of life. God is norespecter of persons according
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  • to 2 Chronicles 19. God is not asinner. There is no iniquity in
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  • Him. There is no respecting ofpersons with God. We put people
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  • in various categories andclasses don't we? It comes
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  • natural to us. We categorizepeople in terms of affluence or
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  • lack of affluence, age,appearance, accomplishment, all
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  • these categories. There are nocategories with God, well, there
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  • is one category really, saved orlost. Those who know Jesus and
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  • those who don't know Jesus, butGod doesn't look on the
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  • exterior. God doesn't playfavorites. God doesn't look at
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  • the skin. He looks at the heart.
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  • Therefore, faithand favoritism are not
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  • compatible in the Christianlife. God is impartial and
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  • therefore, those who know Godand follow Jesus are also to
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  • become impartial. It is alifelong struggle for all of us,
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  • but remember the goal in theBook of James is becoming mature
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  • in Christ. Becoming more likeJesus. I know this, everyone is
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  • loved and leveled at the cross.Everyone is loved and leveled at
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  • the cross. The gospel of JesusChrist which is the gospel that
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  • God so loved the world, everyonein it, that he gave his only
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  • son. Jesus bled and died for alland he rose again on the third
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  • day. The gospel is the greatequalizer. We're all leveled and
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  • loved at the cross. We're allsinners who need a savior and
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  • when we come to Jesus our livesare changed. The gospel is for
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  • all. It's not the Americangospel, or the European gospel,
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  • or the African gospel, or theAsian gospel. It's the gospel of
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  • the Lord Jesus Christ. It's foranyone and everyone. It's
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  • amazing grace for every race.We're told to go into all the
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  • world and preach the gospel ofChrist. Real religion loves
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  • without limits. It loves withoutliables and it loves without
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  • labels. We are called to gooutside our own comfort zone and
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  • to welcome all into the familyof God. We're to welcome the
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  • stranger, to receive the sinneras Jesus did, those who are
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  • outsiders, those who areoutcasts, we're to love all,
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  • rich or poor, educated orilliterate, cultured or crude.
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  • No one is to be excluded fromChrist and therefore, no one is
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  • to be excluded from the churchof the Lord Jesus Christ.
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  • Everybody is somebody in Hisbody. Now, with that principle
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  • in place, James gives us astory. This evidently was a
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  • problem in the first centurychurch as well as the
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  • twenty-first century church andeverything in between. James
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  • tells us about two guys who goto church. First guy goes to
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  • church, guy walks into a church,not into a bar, into a church.
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  • Guy walks into a church and itis obvious that this guy's got
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  • it going on in his life. He'sdressed like he just walked out
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  • of GQ. His clothing is fine.Literally is shining. It's
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  • shimmering. He lights the placeup. Beautiful and brilliant and
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  • he's wearing gold rings.Literally, he's gold fingered.
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  • This is Mr. Goldfinger. He's gotrings on his finger, bling on
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  • his neck, and it's obvious thathe's got money. He's got
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  • self-worth and net worth. He's abillionaire. When he walks in
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  • the usher takes notice of Mr.Goldfinger and says, "Oh, sir.
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  • Come on in. I've got just theseat for you." He takes
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  • Goldfinger and brings him downto the best sear in the house.
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  • Now, I like good seats, don'tyou? I mean, if somebody is
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  • going to give me tickets tosomething, I get to the event
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  • and it's a really good seat, Ilike that a lot. We all like
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  • good seats. Not a problem withthe good seats. He gets the good
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  • seat right down front and centerbecause the usher, of course, is
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  • thinking, "This person isimportant. He's a VIP. We're
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  • taking care of this guy becausehe just might do something for
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  • the church. Then another guywalks in the church. This guy is
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  • right off the streets. He's notdressed in fine clothing. He's
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  • dressed in rags; in fact, he'sshabby. He's maybe even
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  • homeless. Financially this guy'sgot nothing working for him. He
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  • has no net worth. He's told, "Gostand over there. Go sit over
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  • there on the floor." Now, noproblem in welcoming the rich
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  • man. That's not the issue. Maybethe rich man was a lost man who
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  • needed Jesus for all we know. Noproblem sitting the wealthy man
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  • on the front row, the best seatin the house. That's not the
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  • problem. Everyone is welcome,remember? Rich and poor. The
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  • problem is on how the poor manwas treated in comparison to the
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  • rich man because while the richman was viewed as worthy of the
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  • best seat in the house, the poorman was seen as unworthy of any
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  • seat in the house. He had noclout so he was out. "Sit over
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  • there. Stand over there." Therich man was a somebody. The
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  • poor man was a nobody in theeyes of the world. Therein lies
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  • the problem. The Bible callsthis here favoritism. There's a
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  • word that also meanssnobbishness. It's a elitism.
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  • The Bible says that snobbishnessis sinfulness. This is not just
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  • a social problem. This is aspiritual problem.
  • 00:14:21.417 --> 00:14:27.623
  • Discrimination and prejudice ismore than preference. We all
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  • have preferences, things welike, things we don't like.
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  • That's normal. That's life.Sometimes our preferences can
  • 00:14:40.602 --> 00:14:47.743
  • turn into prejudices. That'swhen it becomes sin in our
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  • lives. Partiality, playingfavorites, looking on the
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  • outside of a person and judgingthem instead of seeing the
  • 00:14:58.821 --> 00:15:03.058
  • person's heart as God would seethem. This is more than just a
  • 00:15:03.092 --> 00:15:09.098
  • preference. It is, in the siteof God, vicious sin, akin to
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  • murder and thievery because thesame passage compares partiality
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  • or prejudice in the samesentence as murder and stealing,
  • 00:15:22.845 --> 00:15:30.452
  • so we can't say, "Well, it'sjust my little thing. My little
  • 00:15:30.486 --> 00:15:34.323
  • sin. That's the way I wasraised. You know I came up in
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  • the 50s or 60s. That's just theway I am." No, if you are in
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  • Christ you are a new creation.You don't see things, you don't
  • 00:15:43.799 --> 00:15:48.604
  • see people the way you used tosee people. Verse 4, that we
  • 00:15:48.637 --> 00:15:55.244
  • read earlier, says, "When youtreat people like this, when you
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  • discriminate against peoplebased on their external
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  • appearance, things they can'teven change if they tried, are
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  • you not," look at Verse 4, "areyou not made distinctions among
  • 00:16:09.091 --> 00:16:15.597
  • yourselves and become judgeswith evil thoughts, vicious
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  • thoughts? That amongyourselves," notice this is the
  • 00:16:19.435 --> 00:16:29.144
  • sin of the church. You wouldexpect this kind of behavior in
  • 00:16:29.178 --> 00:16:35.451
  • the world, right? But not in thechurch. It's been said that
  • 00:16:35.484 --> 00:16:45.961
  • prejudice in all its forms isignorance. True. Prejudice is
  • 00:16:45.994 --> 00:16:54.837
  • arrogance, but it is more thanignorance, and it is more than
  • 00:16:54.870 --> 00:17:01.710
  • arrogance, it is vicious sin,evil sin in the heart of an
  • 00:17:01.743 --> 00:17:10.152
  • individual. We should knowbetter. James, then, asks us a
  • 00:17:10.185 --> 00:17:15.457
  • question in Verses 5 and 6. Lookat it again. Verse 5 he says,
  • 00:17:15.491 --> 00:17:19.528
  • "Listen my beloved brothers."Now, lest you think James is
  • 00:17:19.561 --> 00:17:23.732
  • about to hammer us for thesinfulness of this sin and this
  • 00:17:23.765 --> 00:17:28.770
  • kind of behavior, he says, "Now,listen beloved brothers." James
  • 00:17:28.804 --> 00:17:34.877
  • is a pastor and he's counselingus. Brothers and sisters, listen
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  • to this. Pay attention to this."Has not God chosen those who
  • 00:17:40.482 --> 00:17:45.020
  • are poor in the world to be richin faith and heirs of the
  • 00:17:45.053 --> 00:17:49.191
  • kingdom?" Think about this, Godloves and receives all who come
  • 00:17:49.224 --> 00:17:56.932
  • to Him in faith and inparticular, God has an affection
  • 00:17:56.965 --> 00:18:00.035
  • for people who are poor. We seeit all thought the Bible that
  • 00:18:00.068 --> 00:18:06.975
  • God loves the poor and that weas believers shall also love and
  • 00:18:07.009 --> 00:18:14.783
  • minister to the poor. Jesus hungout with the despised, the
  • 00:18:14.816 --> 00:18:19.221
  • disregarded, the diseased, thedisrespected. He often did His
  • 00:18:19.254 --> 00:18:25.827
  • greatest work among the poor,the common people who heard Him
  • 00:18:25.861 --> 00:18:32.935
  • gladly, the outcast. God usesthe poverty of the poor to give
  • 00:18:32.968 --> 00:18:42.344
  • them the richness of faithbecause when you recognize your
  • 00:18:42.377 --> 00:18:48.550
  • desperation and your poverty,you're a candidate for God to do
  • 00:18:48.584 --> 00:18:56.191
  • something great in your life, tominister his health and hope in
  • 00:18:56.225 --> 00:18:59.428
  • your life. The richness of Hislove towards you, but if you're
  • 00:18:59.461 --> 00:19:06.034
  • flying high, if you're rolling,we tend to get self-dependent
  • 00:19:06.068 --> 00:19:12.941
  • rather than God dependent. Wesee this in our own lives. Maybe
  • 00:19:12.975 --> 00:19:17.279
  • you started out like Deb and Idid as college students getting
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  • married. We didn't have hardlyanything. We had a nice little
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  • place to live in student housingand had a little money that we
  • 00:19:27.155 --> 00:19:30.626
  • made each month, but we weregetting along just fine and
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  • maybe you're like that. Youstarted out slow and you were
  • 00:19:38.300 --> 00:19:41.803
  • poor, but you were rich infaith.
  • 00:19:41.837 --> 00:19:45.607
  • And I dare say for a lot of
  • 00:19:45.641 --> 00:19:47.776
  • us, there was a time in ourlives when we had less, but God
  • 00:19:47.809 --> 00:19:52.981
  • had more of us. That's the pointthat James is making, that when
  • 00:19:53.015 --> 00:20:02.591
  • you're poor, you're rich infaith. He goes on to say that
  • 00:20:02.624 --> 00:20:08.030
  • isn't it the rich that areoppressing the poor. Then, why
  • 00:20:08.063 --> 00:20:14.136
  • would you honor the rich anddishonor the poor? It can happen
  • 00:20:14.169 --> 00:20:21.910
  • to all of us. I've had to repentmany times before I preached
  • 00:20:21.943 --> 00:20:27.649
  • this message. Attitudes andactions, because you see we
  • 00:20:27.683 --> 00:20:32.688
  • start valuing the wrong thingsin life and we start thinking
  • 00:20:32.721 --> 00:20:37.793
  • that our self-worth is allwrapped up in our net worth, but
  • 00:20:37.826 --> 00:20:43.432
  • it's not. Every man, everywoman, is of infinite worth and
  • 00:20:43.465 --> 00:20:51.973
  • value to God and should bewelcomed among Christians and in
  • 00:20:52.007 --> 00:21:02.684
  • the Christian church. Back toour story, rich man, poor man,
  • 00:21:02.718 --> 00:21:12.060
  • the problem of prejudice is whenwe indulge the wealthy and are
  • 00:21:12.094 --> 00:21:16.098
  • indifferent to the poor. That'sthe message. When we indulge the
  • 00:21:16.131 --> 00:21:26.641
  • wealthy and ignore or areindifferent to the poor, this is
  • 00:21:26.675 --> 00:21:33.615
  • anti-Christian behavior. It is.We're okay loving our neighbors
  • 00:21:33.648 --> 00:21:46.595
  • as long as we can pick ourneighborhood. Nothing wrong with
  • 00:21:46.628 --> 00:21:53.268
  • living in a nice neighborhood;no problem with that. Just as we
  • 00:21:53.301 --> 00:21:58.407
  • said, it wasn't the man's wealththat was the problem. It was the
  • 00:21:58.440 --> 00:22:02.010
  • way he was treated as comparedto the poor man. It's no problem
  • 00:22:02.043 --> 00:22:08.350
  • living in a nice neighborhood ifGod blesses you in the burbs.
  • 00:22:08.383 --> 00:22:15.657
  • The problem is when you closeyourself off to people, either
  • 00:22:15.690 --> 00:22:20.395
  • in your neighborhood or out ofyour neighborhood, and no longer
  • 00:22:20.429 --> 00:22:27.803
  • see needs all around you. Anyoneyou find along your life's road,
  • 00:22:27.836 --> 00:22:33.408
  • who need you, is your neighbor.Therefore, we as the church of
  • 00:22:33.442 --> 00:22:40.715
  • Jesus Christ, those who love andfollow Christ, we are to welcome
  • 00:22:40.749 --> 00:22:45.487
  • all and to reach out beyondourselves and our own friends
  • 00:22:45.520 --> 00:22:51.760
  • and our own click. Remember, thechurch is not a club where
  • 00:22:51.793 --> 00:22:59.067
  • religious snobs get together andtell each other how wonderful we
  • 00:22:59.100 --> 00:23:03.605
  • are. We are the church designednot just for us, but those who
  • 00:23:03.638 --> 00:23:11.913
  • are not yet with us. I wonderhow many people, not like this
  • 00:23:11.947 --> 00:23:17.319
  • poor man, at least he walkedinto church, at least he came
  • 00:23:17.352 --> 00:23:20.288
  • into church that day, I wonderhow many people would never walk
  • 00:23:20.322 --> 00:23:23.925
  • into church because in theirheart of hearts they think, "I
  • 00:23:23.959 --> 00:23:27.796
  • would never be accepted there. Iwould never be welcomed there. I
  • 00:23:27.829 --> 00:23:31.233
  • don't fit in there. Nobody caresfor me there." How many? What
  • 00:23:31.266 --> 00:23:38.640
  • is the solution to the sin ofdiscrimination? It's the
  • 00:23:38.673 --> 00:23:44.880
  • struggle for all of us at somelevel. The answer is the love of
  • 00:23:44.913 --> 00:23:50.085
  • Jesus Christ. Verse 8 Jamesspeaks of the royal law of God.
  • 00:23:50.118 --> 00:23:56.358
  • The royal law. The chief law.The king of all laws. What is
  • 00:23:56.391 --> 00:24:00.195
  • it? To love your neighbor asyourself. The full statement of
  • 00:24:00.228 --> 00:24:05.300
  • this great commandment given byour Lord, in summation of all
  • 00:24:05.333 --> 00:24:09.037
  • the law of God, is to love theLord, your God, with all your
  • 00:24:09.070 --> 00:24:11.973
  • heart, your mind, your soul,your strength, and your neighbor
  • 00:24:12.007 --> 00:24:15.010
  • as yourself. Love
  • 00:24:15.043 --> 00:24:18.113
  • people. Tell people about Jesusbecause when you do you open up
  • 00:24:18.146 --> 00:24:28.723
  • your heart and your life andyour world to make a difference
  • 00:24:28.757 --> 00:24:36.464
  • in somebody else's life.
  • 00:24:36.498 --> 00:24:38.266
  • [Music]
  • 00:24:38.300 --> 00:24:46.841
  • The book of James was written a
  • 00:24:46.875 --> 00:24:48.510
  • long time ago, 2000 years ago,to Christians who were dealing
  • 00:24:48.543 --> 00:24:51.479
  • with serious, significantproblems just as we face today.
  • 00:24:51.513 --> 00:24:55.884
  • And the strong, direct words ofJames teach all believers how to
  • 00:24:55.917 --> 00:25:00.889
  • truly live our faith in times oftesting, in tough times. The
  • 00:25:00.922 --> 00:25:05.393
  • Christian life isn't just aboutwords but works as well. It's
  • 00:25:05.427 --> 00:25:08.897
  • about our conversations, ourconduct, not simply our creeds
  • 00:25:08.930 --> 00:25:14.135
  • but our deeds. VISIBLE FAITH isabout the faith that saves and
  • 00:25:14.169 --> 00:25:19.407
  • works. VISIBLE FAITH is our giftto say thank you for your
  • 00:25:19.441 --> 00:25:23.011
  • donation to help PowerPointcontinue reaching out on this
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  • station with the life-changingtruth of God's word. So all you
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  • need to do is just call or clickto give and we will send you
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  • your book. Thank you for yourgenerous support and for helping
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  • us broadcast the transformingmessage of the gospel 'till the
  • 00:25:38.193 --> 00:25:41.663
  • whole world hears.
  • 00:25:41.696 --> 00:25:48.470
  • There's awell-known scripture that tells
  • 00:25:48.503 --> 00:25:50.705
  • us that man looks on the outwardappearance but the Lord looks at
  • 00:25:50.739 --> 00:25:55.276
  • the heart, God sees the heart.You know, in all my years of
  • 00:25:55.310 --> 00:25:58.146
  • ministry I've observed few sinsin the church as destructive as
  • 00:25:58.179 --> 00:26:04.352
  • favoritism and prejudice. Butthe gospel of Jesus Christ is
  • 00:26:04.386 --> 00:26:08.490
  • the great equalizer because it'smore than trite to say that the
  • 00:26:08.523 --> 00:26:14.496
  • ground is level at the foot ofthe cross, we are all the same
  • 00:26:14.529 --> 00:26:18.633
  • when we come to Jesus Christ.When people come to our churches
  • 00:26:18.667 --> 00:26:23.204
  • who don't seem to fit in we needto make sure that we welcome
  • 00:26:23.238 --> 00:26:27.108
  • them, that we show them theexact kind of love and care that
  • 00:26:27.142 --> 00:26:30.745
  • you would expect from a familymember or from your best friend.
  • 00:26:30.779 --> 00:26:35.316
  • The answer to favoritism anddiscrimination is of course
  • 00:26:35.350 --> 00:26:41.256
  • love, love, the love of God, thelove of Jesus Christ and you as
  • 00:26:41.289 --> 00:26:47.796
  • a follower of Jesus can be aforce for good when you show
  • 00:26:47.829 --> 00:26:52.067
  • unconditional love for others.Thank you for viewing each week.
  • 00:26:52.100 --> 00:26:57.572
  • PowerPoint is such an awesomeopportunity to teach God's word
  • 00:26:57.605 --> 00:27:02.744
  • and to speak truth into people'slives. I want to thank you for
  • 00:27:02.777 --> 00:27:06.815
  • praying with us, for watchingeach week and thank you for your
  • 00:27:06.848 --> 00:27:10.552
  • financial support, for giving sothat we can keep taking this
  • 00:27:10.585 --> 00:27:14.589
  • message to the world.
  • 00:27:14.622 --> 00:27:29.010