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Favoritism (Part 6 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2022 4:00 am

Favoritism (Part 6 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 5, 2022 4:00 am

Do you ever think about sins as if they follow a hierarchy—as if some don’t matter quite as much as others? Is that true? Find out why all sin matters and how God’s law actually grants us freedom from it. That’s on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Ever find yourself talking about about sin in different categories like there are the bad sins, and then the not so bad sins today on Truth for Life will find out why all sin matters and will learn how God's law actually grants us freedom. Alastair begs teaching from chapter 2 in the book of James. Looking today at verses eight through 13. It was customary for the Jews are the Essenes of the Pharisee to draw little circles around themselves when it came to the fulfilling of the law of God. And so the law is perfectly clear. Love God in his entirety, and with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself man says that Jesus could you please just tell me who my neighbor is trying to do is try to limit the number of people that are in his circle so that he can disregard all the people that are outside his circle and I say to you again that man is not an unusual man. That is why the challenge here in James chapter 2 reverberates through our congregation, and indeed through our lives.

I haven't found these verses the easiest to get a handle on and so I've gotten my thoughts under four words I'll tell you what the words are so that you can know that were making progress.

The first word is if the second word is but the third word is so the final word is because second word but but if you show favoritism.

James still hasn't let go of the CC is back in favoritism again. The contrast is clear. If you keep this royal law you do right. If you show favoritism, you sin. I remember what James is introduced as his illustration back up. In verses two and three. Suppose he says this is a supposition.

Imagine a man comes in and he wears a gold ring and has fine clothes and a poor man in shabby close also comes in. If you show particular attention to the man wearing the fine nice seat and you disregard the poor man then you have become judges with evil thoughts. In other words, you violated the royal law found in Scripture.

Now I find it very interesting that he comes back to favoritism not not on account of the five that it was mentioned previously, but in light of what he then goes to in verses 10 and 11 to make his other point. He goes to murder and to adultery. Nobody can say that because the did one failed to do one that there are clear and the other, but the interesting thing to me is that he doesn't say love your neighbor as yourself you're doing right. But if you but if you murder, you sin and are convicted by the law is a lawbreaker or if you steal, or if you call that he does actually go to one of the commandments per se. He goes back to favoritism, which makes it all the tougher because some of us are tempted to think that providing we haven't done any of the big 10 is it where or not the meaning the main ones in the Big Ten that we can somehow or another I just go quite narrowly, along with a little bit of slander and a little bit of gossip and a little bit of favoritism a little bit of a judgmental spirit, and so on. Because after all, you know were not were not breaking anything here really of significant.

James lays the acts to that notion.

Favoritism is not a small matter because favoritism says we have broken the ruling principle that summarizes God's expectation for his people to love our neighbor as ourselves.

See the moral law of God is not multiple-choice.

I don't know how it is here because I never take exams here but in Britain when you take exams, especially in the arts.

If you're taking an exam in history or or Shakespeare or whatever might be, they will often allow you to choose your questions so that they may set 10 questions which are there on the sheet and in the bottom it says 6/10 to be attempted. You not to do the whole 10 you can choose whichever six you want, which is exactly the way in which we are tempted to regard the 10 Commandments there's 10 Commandments, have a go at six of CRC are you doing you know you don't have to choose the same six or just go ahead and choose six and do your best. No, no, it's not multiple-choice is not 6/10 to be attempted because look at what he says whoever keeps the whole law and stumbles. At one point is guilty of breaking all of it. The fact of our breaking God's law is significant and serious because God's law is an expression of his character and his nature. The reason we have the law of God is because it says to visit if you like.

Veritably what God is ontologically God does not reveal himself to the people in the Old Testament, and to show you this if you want in. In Deuteronomy 4 in Deuteronomy chapter 4 when God reveals himself in this great call for obedience.

This is the hallmark of the chapter and then the forbidding of idolatry. Just Deuteronomy 4 if you just look down in verse 11. You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while ablaze with fire to the very heavens with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire you hear the sound of words but saw no form. There was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the 10 Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and he wrote them down. Verse 15 he comes back to the same thing you saw no form of any kind. The day the Lord spoke to you at horrible out of the fire.

Therefore watch yourselves very carefully so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape and so on. The fact is that God revealed himself in court. He said he revealed himself and what he said and what he says is expressive of his character and of his nature therefore of I look at the law of God and say I don't have to deal with this one.

What I'm saying is that the number one of my love for God is deficient but also at the same time that there are aspects of God's nature, which actually don't matter and that cannot be say that one of the commands has less of an impact on me than another to break God's law to show favoritism is to be a law breaker. So thirdly so there's no saw the beginning of verse 12, but we could put one in there without altering the flow of the argument. If you do this in verse eight, but if you don't. In verse nine.

So let me tell you what to do in verse 12 speak and act in the awareness of the fact that we are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, we going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, you say I don't like the sound of this raises up, doesn't it is why in class and the students in the back.

Always at his is is there a test on this resume is a test on this wise, and the first question in the class because they want to know is going to change the way they approach everything. If there's no test at the end when I listen we might not we may show up women and what James is saying there's a test of the snow for the believer who is passed from death to life, who has been justified by faith through peace with God, for whom there is no condemnation because they are now in Christ Jesus, that does not remove the believer from the dimension to which James is referring here, speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, the very same thing that we have when Paul writes in two Corinthians 5 when he talks about being confident that he is absent from the body and at home with the Lord and is confident confident and confident and then he says in verse eight, nine. He has his own soul. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. Now, here, here comes his because because we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Which part of that, don't we understand its mysterious, it's hard to put the pieces together. But it is impossible to step back from this, although in Christ, our eternal destiny will not be unsettled by this examination. This examination will nevertheless take place. That's why James speaks so clearly when he dies is simply drive home what is going to come to in verse 14, which were not going to come true and you can relax on that James is getting indication here that the proof of justifying faith is works. The proof of justifying faith is work the ground of our salvation is the work of Jesus.

The evidence of our salvation is to be found in our works and in our deeds hands. Verse 14.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds can such faith save your income. It is very very hard. What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith in you disregards the royal law which gives freedom. He doesn't say can faith save, he says, can such faith say because you remember already that in the end of chapter 1 he is or he's pointed out the fact that there is a kind of religion that is absolutely spurious is worthless. It is useless. It is not the people on going around saying I'm religious and I think I'm okay there doing that in totality. But the judgment of the Bible is is a waste of time is completely useless. It's fast. Now there is a religion that God our father regards as pure and faultless. What is it, it is a compassionate heart controlled tongue and an uncompromising testimony. What is he addressing here the compassionate heart.

If the religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is a compassionate heart and if a compassionate heart reveals itself in the royal law that gives freedom, love your neighbor as yourself. And we do not love our neighbor as ourselves then we call in question the validity of our profession of faith. That's what makes her so challenging and that's was supposed to happen when we take these tests. That's why the book of Hebrews is full not only of promises but of warnings promise warning warning promise, so that the warning may makers go well and the promise me bring us back to the place of security. Now let me wrap this up. Having escaped God's just penalty on our sins, on account of Jesus death on the cross.

We are then put in a position where we gladly accept the duties the obligations to which the law appoints us because of the indwelling Spirit of God gives to us the resources to enable us to keep the laws never before. That's why in Hebrews 10 you have an classically quoting Jeremiah 31. Whereas before the law was written on tablets of stone. Now the law is written on the fleshy tablets of our hearts. That's the prophecy of Jeremiah and after the writer to the Hebrews is dealt in the finished work of Christ, he says, and we have this on the strongest of authority records.

Jeremiah 31. In other words, the law is written, the law is written into ice and is a law which sets us free, is a law which enables us because in Jesus the precepts become promises or they remain they remain precepts, but to become promises. Imagine a thief coming to church on a Sunday. He comes in is this office where FiFi still stuff all the time. Not everyone knows this and find the people around him about no clue. He sets out in the church and he looks up behind the poop and he finds that the 10 Commandments are up there in bold letters and then it says it thou shalt not steal. And he sits on the Lord in his chair because he realizes that the law condemns the minister then explains that Jesus Christ, the perfect one has The law and all of its detail, fulfilling all of his precepts for those who will love him and trust him and that this same Jesus has paid the penalty that the law brings upon the unbeliever by his death upon the cross, and that this wonderful liberation is available to those who will come and trust in Jesus and the thief says that sounds fantastic. That is exactly the kind of thing. I've been looking for.

I want to be free. I want to be free in my conscience I want my sins to be forgiven.

I want to be a new person just like the thief on the cross and out. He goes into his week comes back the following Sunday and he takes his place again in the congregation and he looks up on the 10 Commandments are still there and all of their brightness and convicting power. But when he looks up at thou shalt not steal. It's not an OT that is flashing.

It shalt that is flashing and he realizes the prohibition has become a promise in Jesus that he in giving his spirit to live in his life enables him to do what the law requires to do and it is not our ladder up which this poor thief is trying to claim to gain acceptance and to have, but it is a mirror which is showing him his need of a Savior and then it is a Mac which orders his way of life that you see why it is referred to as the law that gives freedom, freedom, free freedom was offered last night all around Cleveland to people in his bondage small list, try this. Go here and do this have this you want to be free invitation to bondage. The Bible is the only place that you can discover freedom because the Bible is the only place that is honest about the predicament of man in the predicament of man is that he is enslaved and is enslaved himself in his own passions and his desires and his ones and his interests and he needs to confess his enslavement and he needs somebody who can set them free, and that person is Jesus. When that Jesus says is free in this set is free to run around the community and do whatever is in our tummy to do he says no not only am I giving your forgiveness. I'm giving you a family I'm giving you a framework and have written it down here my book and I want you to go and read this book because it is my book to you and the precepts are promises as well as prohibitions while our last word is because if you keep it you do right. If you show favoritism to break the law so speak and act in light of the five you going to be judged by the law that gives freedom because notice a word of caution and a word of comfort, judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful for your home or you can read the story of the unmerciful servant in Matthew chapter 1823 to 35 bottom line of failure to display mercy is an indication of the fact that we have not entered into the mercy that is offered to us in Christ. Human mercy is proof of having received divine mercy and when we learn to live in obedience to God's word. We will deal with others as God has dealt with us. Therefore, no grudges, no grudges, no acrimony, no I'm not writing to her stories know he's my brother and he did and he stole a car and that's why I haven't spoken to in seven years, there's none of that atoll not in Christ. There isn't, because I'll tell you right now.

Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. What is it that our mercy earns God's mercy. It it is that our nursing reveals that we understand mercy. That's why the story of the unmerciful servant is so powerful he owes her son that he cannot pay he's forgiven.

He had a few workers and is in his garden. He was on the one on those and five dollars is as it was a five dollars you are going to give me the masses or give me a chance on getting back to you. He grabs him and chosen by the throat and wants them cast into jail and the this the master of the of the unmerciful servant said come here you said you probably don't understand what happened to you if you did you would not treat that person like that you want to think about in terms of another parable.

Think about it in relationship to the story of the prodigal son. The father represents God and he's running down the street with open arms. The Pharisees out in the backyard said there will be no party for my brother will tell you that right now.

That son was lost big time lost because he refused to show mercy because he didn't understand mercy and then the word of comfort. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Citrate word business because ultimately, even our own merciful acts are tinted auntie. They come from mixed motives and when I asked myself the question how merciful am I really only answer I get back.

That's why we have to retreat again to the place where mercy there was great and Grace was free and pardon. There was multiplied to me in there my burdens so found liberty at Calvary because that's where the ground level is not. I swear it doesn't matter what your school tires are what out with a square foot year footage of your house and matter if you're black, quite green or yellow nursing. There was great and Grace was free pardon, there was multiplied to me. Therefore, with the same comfort that I have been comforted with us in nursing that I've been show to show that to others. Every one of us will face God's judgment, but believers will be acquitted because of God's mercy through Jesus listing to Alastair big on Truth for Life. We learned in today's message that our mercy doesn't earn God's mercy we can't gain access into heaven by doing good deeds. Salvation is through Jesus alone. If you'd like to find out more about the gospel. Take a minute and visit our website. There are a couple of short videos available that will explain to you God's plan of salvation.

You can watch them download them. You can even share the videos as often as you like with others. You'll find them a Truth for more. Our mission the Truth for Life is to teach the Bible to as wide an audience as possible. This is the reason we offer so many free or at cost resources on our website all around the world, even in areas that are hostile toward Christianity. People are able to freely access thousands of Alistair's messages online and through our app this teaching library is free because of the generosity of listeners like you in particular the ongoing monthly support we received from our truth partners. If you are not already one of our true partners. Why not become a part of this essential team today.

You can sign up by going online to Truth for, and when you become a true partner. One of the ways will say thank you is by inviting you to request two books that we offer each month. Today we want to recommend to you and adaptation of a classic book that is perfect for children it's titled little pilgrim's big journey part two this is a children's book based on John Bunyan's sequel to his own original work titled the Pilgrim's progress in part to a bunion story. The female character.

Christiana navigates the challenges and pitfalls of the Christian life little pilgrim's big journey. Part two retells this adventurous sequel in language simplified for young kids. This is a book that does a great job introducing young children to the persistence and faithfulness needed for the Christian life. Each chapter is followed by a summary of key points to help you explain to your children, how to find comfort in God's promises and how to remain faithful to God regardless of their circumstances. There were also questions that promote further discussion this cloth hardcover book even includes a coloring book. So young listeners can further engage with the characters in the story. Now if this title sounds familiar. We offered little pilgrim's big journey part one earlier in the year which retells the story of Christian Bunyan's original many parents tell us just how much their children loved this book to request your copy of the book little pilgrim's big journey part two new sign up to become a true partner or when you give a donation Truth for about peen stories of deception about tomorrow will find out why self-deception may be the most dangerous of them all. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is for

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