“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.”
James’ appeal to his reads as “brethren” (15 times in James — 1:2, 16, 19; 2:5, 14; 4:11; 5:7) is an indication that he wants them to know that they are brothers in Christ even though he is going to take them to task in the next verses.
do not hold the faith
“The faith” does not refer to the faith we put in Christ when we believed but to the entire body of Christian truth. Christian doctrine is incongruous with partiality.
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Jesus Christ is the object of our faith. We place our faith in Him as a person. We direct our faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ac 20:21 “…testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
the Lord of glory,
The Lord Jesus Christ is “the Lord of glory” because He is the one who divulges the glory of God. One aspect of the glory of God is that He is not partial to rank and station. Jesus Christ is the glory of the Christian because He is the zenith of God. He is the object of our worship. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. Jesus possessed this glory before the creation of the world (Jn 17:5). He came to earth with this glory.
Jn 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
1 Co 2:8 “…which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
“Partiality” denotes deference of some persons over other persons. Literally, the word means to accept a face. Some people give preference to the powerful and rich over the rank and file of most people. This gives preference for the outward and circumstantial rather than the intrinsic value of a person. When we treat some people better than other people, we make distinctions that God does not make.
God is completely impartial in His dealings with us. He does not give preference to people because they are wealthy or wise. He gives no preference for place, face, grace, or race. He does not rank us by anything other than His own standards.
De 1:17, “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you bring to me, and I will hear it.”
De 10:17, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.”
2 Chr 19:7, “Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”
The genuine Christian shows no favoritism in his relationships.
The Christian who sticks his nose up at other Christian violates the nature of the glory of God. God does not judge by appearance. He gives no special favors to some over others. His judgment of others is not surface and without thought for their true qualities.
Those who do not have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ have a materialistic outlook on life. They see everything in terms of race, place, face, and even grace. These are superficial values in God’s economy. The Christian looks at everyone in his or her relationship to God.
1 Co 1:30-31, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’”
We judge people by their outward appearance and not by who they truly are. We assess them by their clothes or their car or the size of their house.
Pr 24:23, “These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.”
Pr 28:21, “To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.”