Showing posts with label bias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bias. Show all posts

12 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 2:8-11

D3 Believers Should Know This Was Taught in the Old Testament James 2:8-11

James 2:8-11 WEL If, however, you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” You do well. 9 But if you are partial, you commit sin and are exposed by that law as being lawbreakers. 10 For whosoever will obey the whole law and yet fail in one [point] is guilty of all. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not kill.” Now if you do not commit adultery, yet you kill, you have become a violator of the law.

  • The Greek word for fulfill is τελέω teléō. It means
    • To bring to a close, to finish (Matthew 13:53)
    • To do in the sense that something was done and finished (Galatians 5:16)
    • To finish what we commanded or prophesied (Luke 18:31)
  • In our passage, it refers to doing something that is now completed.
  • If I love my neighbor as myself, then I have done what Scripture has commanded.
Royal law= This is “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” It is the King of Kings’ law.
  • This the Greek word προσωποληπτέω prosōpolēptéō. It means to show favor to one person regardless of truth. Often you see this when a pastor or other respected leaders commit credible sin. Instead of believing and helping the victim, people will cover up the sin and then shame/abuse the victim. They treat the sinning leader and the victim differently.
  • Bible verses and examples
    • Deuteronomy 1:16-17 NLT At that time I instructed the judges, 'You must hear the cases of your fellow Israelites and the foreigners living among you. Be perfectly fair in your decisions and impartial in your judgments. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don't be afraid of anyone's anger, for the decision you make is God's decision. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them.' (See also 2 Chronicles 19:7, Proverbs 24:23-25).
    • Mark 15:15 NLT So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
    • Exodus 23:1-3 GNB Do not spread false rumors, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony.  2  Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice.  3  Do not show partiality to a poor person at his trial.
  • The Greek word for fail, stumble, offend is πταίω ptaíō. It means here a mistake, a failure.
  • Just one sin brought curse on the world (Genesis 3:12-19, Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:22).
  • The solution is 2 Peter 1:10 CSB Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.
Violator (guilty)=
  • The Greek word is ἔνοχος énochos. It means doing something worthy of punishment.
  • God’s requirement is absolute perfection to be holy as He is holy. Galatians 3:10 NLT But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God's Book of the Law.
  • In Elliott’s commentary on Ezekiel 18:13, he writes: (13) Hath done all these abominations.—This expression is collective, while that in Ezekiel 18:10 is partitive. This is not because he who commits one sin is considered as having committed all, but because he who willingly commits any sin thereby puts himself into the class of sinners, of those who do not wish or intend to abide by the Divine will, but choose rather to do their own. Such a man places himself among the enemies of God. (Comp. James 2:10.)
  • This includes both intentional and unintentional sins whether in thoughts, desires, words, or deeds.
    • Leviticus 4:13 NLT If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the LORD's commands, but the people don't realize it, they are still guilty.
    • Leviticus 6:2-5 NLT Suppose one of you sins against your associate and is unfaithful to the LORD. Suppose you cheat in a deal involving a security deposit, or you steal or commit fraud, or you find lost property and lie about it, or you lie while swearing to tell the truth, or you commit any other such sin. If you have sinned in any of these ways, you are guilty. You must give back whatever you stole, or the money you took by extortion, or the security deposit, or the lost property you found, or anything obtained by swearing falsely. You must make restitution by paying the full price plus an additional 20 percent to the person you have harmed. On the same day you must present a guilt offering.
  • Think of some examples of loving your neighbor as yourself.
  • How can you love your spouse, child, parents, co-workers, people who meet on the street, shoppers, bullies, etc.?
  • Why does God hate partiality?
  • If we love our spouse or children more than others, are we guilty of partiality? Explain.
  • Why does committing just one sin condemn a person to God’s judgment?

08 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 2:5-7

D2 Believers Should Know Why God Treats Equally James 2:5-7

James 2:5-7 WEL Listen, my beloved brothers, hasn’t God chosen the poor of this world [to be] rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you, you despise the poor. Don’t rich people oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Don’t they curse that beautiful name you are named after?

Rich in faith=
  • Manser in his Dictionary of Bible Themes lists a number of spiritual riches.
  • The greatest is God’s love through the Gospel.
  • The Kingdom of God (Kingdom of Heaven) is the place...
    • Where God reigns. In this world, it is the believer’s heart.
    • A coming kingdom is coming as prophesied in many places especially in Revelation.
    • This kingdom has rules. We might as well start obeying now. The Bible teaches that if we love God, we will keep (obey) His commandments.
      • He shows love to us when keeping His rules (Exodus 20:6, Psalm 25:10, Daniel 9:4).
      • We show love to Him by keeping (obeying) His rules (John 14:15, 1 John 5:3).
      • He knows we cannot do this perfectly, so we have an advocate (1 John 2:1).
  • Not just ignoring them but despising them.
  • The Greek word is ἀτιμάζω atimázō. It means to dishonor, to insult, being rude.
  • This can be in desires, words, thoughts, and deeds as any sin.
  • Zechariah 7:9-10 NRSV Thus says the LORD of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another;  10  do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.
Rich people
  • Money has an effect. It doesn’t make any difference whether Christian or not.
  • Seems most people have been treated badly by many rich people.
  • God, the richest, does not treat people rudely, so we must follow His ways.
Curse= a blasphemy of God’s character, words, actions, etc.
Beautiful name=
  • The Greek word is καλός kalós. It means good in many senses. It has the sense of beautiful, honorable, noble, etc.
  • Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
  • Philippians 2:9-11 NIV Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • We are Christians. Acts 11:26 NIV and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
  • Name some spiritual riches.
  • Why should we be laboring for these riches? (Matthew 6:19-24)
  • What are some dangers of earthly riches?
  • How do we avoid despising our Christian brothers and sisters?

06 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 2:1-4

B2 Chapter 2

C1 The Christian life—no socioeconomic prejudice James 2:1-13
D1 Believers Should Treat All Christians Equally James 2:1-4

James 2:1-4 WEL My brothers, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory [of God], with partiality. 2 For if a man with a gold ring and expensive clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor man with shabby clothes comes in also, 3 And you favor him who wears the impressive clothing and say to him, “Sit over in this place of honor,” but you say to the poor, “Stand over there,” or “Sit here under my feet.” 4 Are you not prejudiced in yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ= His Gospel, His Beliefs (doctrine), His life (worldview and lifestyle)
The Glory=
  • Various interpretations as Lord of Glory, of the Glory (heaven or the only Glory), or the Glory (of God) as in the Shekinah Glory of God (See Robertson’s Word Pictures for example).
  • Some verses
    • Luke 9:26 LITV For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that one when He comes in His glory, and that of the Father, and of the holy angels.
    • Luke 9:31-32 LITV Appearing in glory, they spoke of His exodus, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.  32  But Peter and those with him were pressed down with sleep. But fully awakening, they saw His glory, and the two men standing with Him.
    • John 17:5 NASB Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
    • Jesus is THE Glory, the standard, the ultimate, so compare: 1 Corinthians 15:41 NLT The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
  • The Greek word is προσωποληψία prosōpolēpsía. It means showing favoritism to one and disregarding the other.
  • God has no partiality. He wants all to be saved and forgiven, not just a few that He elected before creation or, if you prefer, after Adam’s sin. 1 Timothy 2:4 NIV Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
  • This partiality is not treating our spouse better than other men or women, treating our children better than other children, treating a fellow Christian better than another.
  • We are not to show partiality either, especially in the church (the people). Some brothers and sisters are rich and others are poor. We must treat and respect them equally.
  • Reasons
    • God does not show favoritism or bias.
    • It will cause someone to sin. Perhaps, they will take advantage or ignore the needs of the poor and find excuse to do so. Proverbs 28:21 NIV To show partiality is not good--yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.
    • It causes divisions in the church. 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 NIV You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere human beings?
    • It might cause elders (pastors, ministers, overseers, bishops, etc.) to not be disciplined in the church. 1 Timothy 5:21 NIV I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
    • It is listed in the New Testament as sin that God will punish. James 2:9 NIV But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
  • What we really believe is seen in our actions in private and public.
  • Actions like partiality are due to pride.
  • A decision has been rendered, not according to justice but evil thoughts.
  • Decisions like this come from an evil heart. Mark 7:21-23 NLT For from within, out of a person's heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.
  • Vincent’s Word Studies comments: Their evil processes of thought lead to these unjust discriminations.
  • Craig Keener comments on this passage (IVP Background Commentary): Roman laws explicitly favored the rich. Persons of lower class, who were thought to act from economic self-interest, could not bring accusations against persons of higher class, and the laws prescribed harsher penalties for lower-class persons convicted of offenses than for offenders from the higher class. Biblical law, most Jewish law and traditional Greek philosophers had always rejected such distinctions as immoral. In normal times, the public respected the rich as public benefactors, although the Zealots recognized in the Jerusalem aristocracy pro-Roman enemies. The Old Testament forbade partiality on the basis of economic status (Lev 19:15) and called judges among God’s people to judge impartially, as God did.
  • Why is God so against this type of discrimination?
  • How can we avoid this?