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Read Introduction to James

 

“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?”

 

Listen, my beloved brethren:

James strongly appeals to readers he loves very much to consider God’s viewpoint toward the poor.  To disrespect the poor is to disrespect God and God’s plan for the poor.  James wants to grab their attention on this issue.  This is a category that those who are not poor give very little attention.  The word “listen” emphasizes the important principle to follow. 

Has God not chosen the poor of this world

The Greek expects a “yes” answer to the question, “Has God not chosen the poor….”  God took the initiative in saving the poor.  This was no accident but took place totally within the eternal councils of God.  The poor did not choose Him; He chose them.  They are poor only in the world’s estimation, not in God’s opinion. 

1 Co 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Co 1:26-29 “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

The “poor” in this passage is not the spiritually poor but the financially poor.  God, from eternity past, chose the financially poor.  The poor have an honor in this choosing.  If we dishonor the poor we dishonor God’s plan in choosing them. 

Pr. 17:5 “He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;

            He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.”

Ga 2:10 “They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.”

PRINCIPLE: 

Prejudice against the poor is prejudice against God’s plan. 

APPLICATION: 

All Christians share the same regenerate nature.  That makes them all in the same family and deserving of the same respect. 

Ps. 41:1 “Blessed is he who considers the poor;

            The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

Ps. 68:10 “Your congregation dwelt in it;

            You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.”

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