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FAITH AT WORK: Devotions through the book of James

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (James 2:1, ESV) 

It is so easy to look down on others, for whatever reason. When it comes to wealth, we can look down on both rich and poor. We can regard with contempt those who are rich because they spend money on what we deem exorbitances. We can demean in our sight those who are poor because we consider them below our station. In both cases, we adopt the self-righteous position of the Pharisee that we are better than others (Luke 18:11). 

All sin of partiality neglects the perspective of the apostle Paul: “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor. 4:7). 

All sin of partiality rejects the posture adopted by our Lord Jesus: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3–4). 

James presents the sin of partiality as an affront to the gospel. If we hold to the faith in our Lord Jesus, the Lord of glory who humbled Himself, we cannot help but see ourselves debtors to the unmerited, unexpected, undeserving favor of our God. Our position of privilege has nothing to do with who we are or what we have. It has everything to do with the love of God conditioned only on His sovereign, saving purpose. 

When our Lord Jesus humbled Himself, taking on the position of a servant, He did not seek out those the world esteems and considers worthy. Rather, He came to seek and save the lost. As the psalmist put it, no man has the wherewithal to “ransom another or give to God the price of his life” (Ps. 49:7). Only God can “ransom my soul from the power of Sheol” (Ps. 49:15). That ransom is paid by the Lord of glory who made Himself nothing. 

“Father, grant me grace of humility that I may be lifted up in Christ’s glory and not my own.”

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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