James 2:1 – My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
Unfortunately, much of Christianity, as expressed in denominationalism and independence, moved from a particular understanding of a restored truth the Lord was communicating to an attitude of separatism and favoritism by God. Many in the Lord’s church view their expression of faith and doctrinal understanding to be closer to the truth than anyone else’s. This is at the root of denominations and is sectarian in nature, rather than godly.
In the First Century church it was understood through the apostle’s teachings that only one church existed. The church found its expression in each city, such as Corinth or Rome. When the apostles spoke of “churches,” they were speaking of a region which contained more than one city. The early believers had their understanding rooted in the teachings of the apostles. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). Over the centuries, teachers of Scripture fell away from the teachings of the apostles. Men began to adhere to false doctrine and move the church in a new direction contrary to the apostle’s teachings. The church became divided and wrong attitudes were developed against other believers.
In James 2:1, the apostle is dealing with the attitude of partiality in the early church that set the rich against those who were not rich in worldly possessions. James implies, when we have an attitude of partiality, we dishonor the Lord’s purposes. His purpose is for us to see one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord. This means, rich or poor, bond or free as well as our particular expressions of faith in Christ. The Lord has been reviving His church for centuries and bringing it back to the foundations which the apostles taught: “One Lord, one faith and one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). The entire book of Ephesians supports what I am saying in our devotion today.
Ask our Father in heaven if there is any partiality in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any kind of bias against others in the body of Christ. Pray that He would open your heart to receive greater revelation of the apostles’ teachings and a willingness to set aside any teaching of men that God’s Word does not support.