My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonoured the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honourable name by which you were called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (ESV)
How to let Mercy triumph over Judgment:
- Hold the Faith (2v1-4, 1v9-10):
Hold it brother, without partiality (Eph. 6v9, Col. 3v25), in the Lord, guarding your heart (see Prov. 4v23, Ps. 119, Ps. 51).
- Hear the Faith (v5):
Listen beloved brothers (be quick to listen and slow to speak) to the faith (1 Cor. 1v26). It’s about the chosen poor who are heirs of God’s kingdom (Mat. 5v3).
- Honour the Faith (v6):
How? By honouring the poor.
a) A sad indictment (you have dishonoured the poor).
b) A sure insight (do not oppress the poor, see Prov. 22v16, James 5v1-4, Jer. 22).
c) A sacred instruction (v8, love your neighbour as yourself).
- Heed the Faith (v9-10):
Avoid conviction by the law and achieve consistency with the law.
- Herald the Faith (v11-13):
Proclaim the faith in a tender manner, in triumphant mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement. Dwell in God’s mercy.
“The only thing that you can do to be saved is to faint into the arms of the Lord Jesus!”
– CH Spurgeon