4/5/2020 Easter People…Don’t Have to Tell Others They Are Christians James 2:1-13
This date marks Palm Sunday this year. Palm Sunday, Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. During Children’s Time we heard of “A Victor’s Parade”. The people lining the road into the city were shouting Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
That’s how Jesus would like the reception of his church, we the people who make up the church, to be announced. Blessed are you…you remind me of Jesus. Pastor George said that a vital key of a church is the love for others, it’s a sign of spiritual maturity. Verse 8 of today’s reading is where we read of the Royal Law “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
We’ve been studying in the Book of James for the past several weeks. It’s a short book being able to read it through in about 20 minutes or so. Written by the oldest of Jesus’ younger brothers, James wrote to the church at large, to Jewish Christians, to God’s people scattered everywhere. Those who teach on it say it’s a short course on Christian’s world view, the Christian response to the world. How we as Christians should be conducting ourselves. A Christian isn’t as much known by what he/she says as by what he/she does, our lifestyle.
RNM has a couple of series on the Book of James. First, we viewed The Book of James by Francis Chan regarding James 2: 1-13 . He referred to it as sin of favoritism. Chan went on to say, “don’t count partiality as a small sin”, “act everyday as if you are going to be judged” “evaluate your life as sinners, God loves you anyway”. Robert Emmett in his RNM series on The Book of James, refers to this scripture passage as Discrimination. He says it’s a pre-judged set of rules on somebody’s set of standards. It’s no difference if it’s judgement by evil motives, evil thoughts, or favoritism of one over another. In Sunday’s message we heard that we are to judge yes, but don’t judge with evil thoughts. Pastor George said God’s message is for ALL who trust in Him, we are to get beyond our partiality, to treat everyone with equal respect.
The passage goes on to talk about Mercy. Robert Emmett stressed that a sin is a sin. The sin of adultery or the sin of murder isn’t any more of a sin than the sin of discrimination or favoritism. Each soul will have their day before God. You will be judged by the Law that sets you free, that face-to-face meeting with the Lord. Robert went on to say that when we have mercy towards others, we get mercy from others. God will be merciful when he judges us. Rewards in heaven are different. Like saying, you will reap what you show. No mercy receives no mercy; have mercy, get mercy. To have mercy is to live with kindness, forgiveness, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, isn’t that what we say through the prayer Jesus taught us to pray?
Sunday’s sermon ended with encouraging us to pray to be the Easter People that Jesus empowers us to be. What He did to make us Easter People, Resurrection People, people of love. They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes, they will know we are Christians by our love! May God help us to love all people in a way that’s appropriate for their need.
Maundy Thursday’s reading in the Book of John Chapter 17, vs 23, "The Prayer of Jesus", from the New Living Translation, reads in red print….”I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
Easter People, it’s your faith, live it out – that’s faith in action – that’s love in action. Make clear what you believe.
Larry & Darlene