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Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2016 December 2

Portrait of a Gentleman (1450-1457)
Andrea Del Castagno (c. 1421 - 1457)
Italian Renaissance Style
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA
Image Source: Web Galley of Art

     Explanation: In James 2, James warns his readers not to have respect of persons. He cites an example of a two men, a rich man and a poor man who come into the assembly. The rich man receives respect. He is given good seating, but the poor man in shabby clothing is made to stand or to sit near someone's footstool. Those who make these distinctions become judges with evil thoughts. But God has chosen the poor of the earth, rich in faith, to be heirs of the Kingdom of God. The church leaders dishonor the poor man and exalt the rich man, but the rich men drag them into court, and they blaspheme the Lord's name (1-7).
     But, if they would fulfill the royal law of loving their neighbor as they love themselves, they would be doing well. Showing partiality makes them sinners and transgressors. Anyone who wants to keep the law must keep all of its commandments. To disobey one commandment is to break the covenant. And judgment is without mercy upon the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (8-13).
     If a brother or a sister is poorly clothed or lacks food, it is worthless to tell them to be warmed and filled without giving them the things needed for the body. So faith by itself, without works, is dead (14-17).
     Someone may question this idea that faith without works is dead, but two lines of evidence show that the statement is true: the belief of the wicked and the belief of the righteous. The Belief of the Wicked. The demons believe and shudder, but their faith produces nothing that is spiritually good. They live in sin. In them, faith is a mere instrument of information. The Belief of the Righteous (two examples). By faith, Abraham offered up Isaac on the altar. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" -- and he was called a friend of God." Likewise, Rahab was justified when she hid the spies from Israel and helped them escape. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works if dead. In the righteous, faith has two components, belief and commitment. Like the demons, the righteous believe. But because of their commitment to God, they also obey; faith is, therefore, an instrument of obedience (18-26). ]
     [Sermons: Maurice Roberts (Justification in Paul and James). Various. ]
     [Illustration: Today's painting depicts the type of person who often gets respect in the church. Today's chapter begins with an examination of favoritism in the church. ]


          [THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: James 2: Leviticus 19:15; Proverbs 24:23; Leviticus 19:18; Exodus 20:13-15; Genesis 22:9; Genesis 15:6; Joshua 2:1; Joshua 6:17, 23. ]

          [ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]


Gospel Harmony - Summary. | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine. | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible. |

Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF). | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF).

*** For Additional word studies use one of the Greek Interlinear Bibles below. ***

Mounce Interlinear. Bible Hub Greek Interlinear. Scripture 4 All Greek Interlinear Bible.

Book Outline:

JAMES (COVENANT LIVING: How to Properly Care for One Another)
1. Exhortations to all With Particular Application to the Poor & Rich (James 1:1 - James 1:27) - 40 A.D. Israel
2. Exhortations to the Church Leaders (James 2:1 - James 4:17) - 40 A.D. Israel
3. Exhortations to the Rich (James 5:1 - James 5: 6) - 40 A.D. Israel
4. Exhortations to the Poor (James 5:7 - James 5:12) - 40 A.D. Israel
5. Exhortations to all with Particular Application to the Leaders (James 5:13 - James 5:20) - 40 A.D. Israel

James 2

2. Exhortations to the Church Leaders (James 2:1 - James 4:17) - 40 A.D. Israel

     1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
     8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
     14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
     18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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