Monday, August 17, 2009

The Problem of Prejudice


"The Problem of Prejudice" was an awesome sermon from John Lindell at James River Assembly on Sunday morning; I would urge you to listen to it at the link above. John is continuing the Sunday morning service's study of the book of James, and his sermon was based on James 2:1:
ESV— My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
NLT— My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
Partiality, better known today as prejudice, is sin, according to the Bible. Prejudice comes in many ways, but an area of concentration John wanted to address was the area of racial prejudice because of its problem in our country, state, and even at a more local level.

When looking at the sin of partiality, it's important to consider some points, as outlined in John's sermon:

1. Partiality is not God's character; He is completely impartial.
  • 2 Chronicles 19:7: Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.
  • Deuteronomy 10:17: For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
God shows no partiality in:
A. SalvationActs 10:34-35: So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."
B. JudgmentRomans 2:9-11: There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

C. EmploymentEphesians 6:9: Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
  • 1 Samuel 16:7: ... For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
2. Commandment from James
  • We're all one race — the human race living just like everybody else:
  • Acts 17:26: And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place
3. A Call to Action for Christians
A. Recognize that racism is sin.
James 2:8-9:
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

B. Repent the sin of prejudice.

C. Stand firm against the devil.
Don't let him feed you the lie that, "Oh, it's just how I was raised."

D. Let the Holy Spirit help heal our hearts from any partiality.

What did God tell Peter in Acts 10?
  • v. 28: And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
  • v. 34-35: So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

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