BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 26, Day 4: James 2:1-13

Summary of passage:  James tells believers bluntly not to show favoritism because Jesus didn’t.  Favoritism is discriminating and passing judgment on others (Jesus’ job, not ours).  God judges the heart, not appearances.  God chose the poor to be rich in faith and yet the people (you) insult them.  The rich often sin against you (the people) in their quest for money.

If you show favoritism you sin.  Even if you stumble and break just one law you are guilty of breaking them all.  We are not to choose which laws are more important.  We are called simply to obey.

We are free to show favoritism or not but out of mercy we must choose not to for this mercy will then be shown to us on Judgment Day and mercy is greater than judgment.


10)  Preference is “to like better or best; the act of giving advantages to some over others”

Favoritism is “the showing of special favor; partiality; a special privilege or right granted or conceded”  Both according to Webster’s Dictionary.

Preference and favoritism is much the same.  If you prefer or favor someone you grant them special favors or concessions.  Friends by definition (“one attached to another by affection or esteem” Webster’s) is someone you show favor to.  Not everyone is your friend.  Why not?  Because you don’t like them.  So not for sure what BSF is aiming for in terms of friendship here.

Co-workers and Christians should all be treated the same.  Much of the time however favoritism is involved and it’s hard not to do this.  If you like someone better, you are partial to them.  It’s human nature and something we must fight against in a professional setting.

My guess is the answer is this:  it’s okay to show favoritism to your friends because you choose your friends.  Your co-workers and Christians you should treat equally because God chose them.  Just a guess here.  Still not sure what BSF is aiming for here.

11a)  Any thing in the political world.  The rich are courted because to win an election unfortunately these days it all comes down to money raised.  I would say schools as well at least charter and private schools that rely on outside funds.  They constantly solicit money for this project or that project and in my limited experience the administration knows who has money and who doesn’t and plays favorites.  Sports as well at least in the early years.

Favoritism is a human trait and must be a choice to be overcome.

b)  Well, I’m not a member of any group to be honest with you.  Yes, I vote.  I homeschool.  My kids do sports. And I go to church.  But I am not intricately involved in terms of the nitty-gritty.  I choose not to be.  My calling is elsewhere.  And I don’t see favoritism in any of these places I traverse.  Not saying it doesn’t exist. Just saying I don’t see it on my level of involvement.

12)  James is saying in this verse that you cannot pick and choose which laws to follow.  You must follow all of God’s laws or you will be guilty of breaking them all even if you just break one (basically you will have sinned and need forgiveness).

Personally, I would not use this verse to speak to an unbeliever.  I don’t know about you but I sin every day of my life and I repent every day of my life.  I am a sinner and I need Jesus.  Every day of my life.  This verse is hard for us to swallow.  Yes, it’s true.  But it’s not a good place to begin a conversation with an unbeliever.

Some unbelievers don’t even know what a Savior is.  You have to start with the fundamentals before diving into the nitty-gritty.  First, talk about Jesus, who he is, what he did for you, and how Jesus can save the unbeliever.  THEN, dive into the laws of God and keeping them.  First, explain the Savior.  Then explain the reasons behind.

Just my opinion, of course.

Conclusions:  Not for sure what these questions have to do with the passage to be honest with you.  Didn’t like Question 12 at all.  In truth, I wouldn’t begin a conversation with that verse.  Most people don’t like to hear the fact they are guilty of anything but this says if you break just one little law you are guilty of the whole crime.  Not for sure unbelievers would jump on the band wagon after this verse.  Better to start off with “Jesus loves you” than this one.

Did not get much out of this.  I just didn’t.  Favoritism is everywhere and being that we can only control ourselves and the rest is in God’s hands I’m not for sure the overarching lesson in these questions.  The passage conveys my role much better than the questions.

Maybe I’m missing something here.  Any thoughts?

End Note:  Lesson I learned from the passage:  I liked the verses (9-11) that compared and contrasted adultery and murder.  For we are not here to choose which laws to follow and which ones not.  We are called to obey.  God decided.  He made the laws.  We do not question.  We do not judge.  We merely obey.


7 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 26, Day 4: James 2:1-13

  1. Hello I agree, i wasn’t sure where the questions were going, especially in ques. 12, I just finished a James study by Beth Moore, which i would highly, recommend… and she goes into so much detail about what James was really saying. I agree, i wouldn’t start a conversation with an unbeliever there either. I love your honesty.


  2. My thoughts on question #12: At some point, though, we need to realize our sin state before we can realize our need for a Saviour. I took it as not that you have to begin your conversation w/ an unbeliever using that verse, just that AT SOME POINT, there is going to need to be that conversation. Many people don’t think of themselves as sinners, because they think of sin as the big things: stealing, lying, adultery, etc. To me, this question reminds us that all of God’s law that we break (pride, gossip, self-centeredness, etc) is a sin, so therefore, we are never good enough to get to heaven on our own, and therefore we need a Saviour. That would be the conversation I might eventually have with an unbeliever, but in agreement with you, not something I would probably initiate the conversation with if we hadn’t spoken about salvation prior to this.


  3. Hi there, my take on question 12 is that the great deceiver started with our first parents in the garden. Now to each person ever since he says, “your not that bad, your pretty good”. They say even mass murderers think they are basically good people. So our whole understanding about what is good and evil are messed up. Kirk Cameron has some great takes onthis on YouTube. On the worlds terms we all make judgements on the sliding scale of how everyone else seems to be doing, not that there is a perfect God who demands absolute perfection that no one can achieve without His intervention. At the BSF seminar on sharing the gospel I learned that before we can even know we need a savior or want one we must see God is perfect and demands perfection to enter His presence. They gave 4 simple things for me to remember when sharing the gospel.
    1 The truth about God (His standards)
    2 The truth about man (the sin delimna)
    3 The truth about Jesus Christ (solution)
    4 Mans reasonable response
    That helps me be able to lovingly tell someone else they are a sinner since every person in existence is also a sinner, except Jesus the one God provided to pay the price. Seeing we are born on the wrong side of God doesn’t make anyone any better than anyone else. And I need an advocate every day, too. And I love Romans 4:25-5:11.
    Love to you all


  4. After struggling and wrestling with questions for a week, it’s SO refreshing to come here and discover that I’m not the only Christian seeking Truth who can’t figure out where BSF is trying to go sometimes. Regarding Question 12, that verse, read in context, is MUCH more appropriately applicable to judgmental Christians, than to any unbeliever.


  5. This is my first year at BSF and some days I love the questions and other days I’m not so sure. I do know I’m grateful for this blog and so appreciate your taking time to do it.


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