Are You Judgmental?

Sermon Passage: James 2:1–13

Select Notes

  • James 2:1–4
    • After we make a judgment, we only see what confirms our judgment. We have confirmation bias.
  • James 2:5–7
    • When we judge who is valuable according to wealth or other worldly standards, the evidence doesn't support our judgment. God uses the weak and poor. You think being partial to the rich or other group will help you advance the kingdom, but God doesn't work that way. James is saying that the rich have a bad track record, and God prefers to use the weak and poor so it will be more obvious it wasn't their doing.
  • James 2:8–9
    • Instead, we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
  • James 2:10–11
    • Partiality is a sin that transgresses the whole law. Obedience is a pass or fail grade. God doesn't grade on a curve.
    • There is no middle ground of "I slip up from time to time, but I'm generally a good person." Again, God doesn't grade on a curve.
    • What kind of law do you want to be judged by? A merciless and strict one or mercy alone?
  • James 2:12
    • If you speak and act as one under the law of liberty, how will you act?
    • None of us were picked because we had skill or talent but because of God's perfect mercy and wisdom.
  • James 2:13
    • Don't judge people without mercy.
    • We don't live up to the standards we impose on others.
    • Main Point: "Mercy triumphs over judgment."
  • Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment
    • Type 1 Judgment (Bad): Judgment of worth of an individual.
      • Type 2 Judgment (Good): Judgment of the truth of a statement.
    • "Homosexuality is a sin" is Type 2.
    • There is nothing merciful about lying to people saying that homosexuality is okay in order to win them as a friend. That condemns them.
    • Partiality: A sin where you can't get a statement (Type 2) out of your mind when relating to someone. When you look at them, you can only think of that statement. You commit type 1 sin, which is bad as being a homosexual.
    • If all you can say is "You're wrong," and don't proclaim mercy, you sin. Anyone can be brought under the law of liberty, just as you were. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Don't stop with "That's wrong." or you'll be an angry mob. Finish the story with a proclamation that God is merciful and offers salvation to those who don't deserve it.
    • Our possible responses:
      • (1) "That's wrong."
      • (2) Call something evil good (like calling homosexuality good).
      • (3) "Mercy triumphs over judgment." Don't judge value based on one statement or sin. Their main problem isn't homosexuality, it is sin. They are in peril of eternal death and separation from God.