“Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”
to be rich in faith
If we discriminate against those who are rich in faith, we discriminate against the value of our own faith. The poor are only poor in financial wealth. They are truly wealthy in terms of eternal wealth. The readers of the book of James convoluted their estimation of true value. They diminished those who looked to God’s provision and providence in their lives.
Mt 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Re 2:9, “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
and heirs of the kingdom
An “heir” is a lot or possession in Greek. Jesus acquired an eternal lot or possession for the believer. The Christian owns the status quo of eternal life because he trusted in the blood of Christ to forgive him. We own a “lot” in eternity. We fall heir to the kingdom because of our association with Christ. Christ’s kingdom is our kingdom. God makes us rich in eternal things.
2 Co 6:10, “…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
Every Christian, without exception, falls heir to God’s estate.
When we leave this world without God, we possess nothing. When we leave this world with God, we inherit an eternal kingdom. Every human being likes to fall heir to some estate, yet every Christian falls heir to God’s estate.
Ro 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
1 Pe 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
The Christian owns a level of riches incalculable to those who do not know God. There is great dignity in this.
2 Co 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
He 11:24-26, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”