Messages from Pastor Raddatz


James 2:1-10, 14-18

The real question for churches is not what kind of programs you offer, but how are we going to treat each other.  Stated by a church official in the ELCA.

STATISTIC – in a ten-year study done by the Schaeffer Institute done in 

  • Of those 3,348 who were surveyed 2,039 people left their last church because of a conflict with another The real question for churches is not necessarily what we believe, but how are we going to treat each member resulting from gossip or strife that would not stop, was not true, or was not properly dealt with.  See SCHAEFFER INSTITUTE on Web.

Man’s Way of Treating Others = PARTIALITY

See James 2:1-4 for explanation of favoritism and cliquish behavior

The word partial means divided. James talked about how synagogues could be divided because it is easier to show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes instead of showing the same attention to a poor man.  Rich people are often catered to because people feel you can get more out of a rich person instead of a poor person.  

In Palestine, synagogues served both as houses of prayer and as community courts.   That is why the writer uses a legal image in verses 6 & 7.   The rich can exploit the poor.  In Roman law the rich were favored.  Roman law prescribed harsher penalties for lower-class people than for higher-class people.  Although Jewish courts tried to avoid this partiality, but as in most cultures people of means naturally had legal advantages: they were able to argue their cases more articulately or to hire others to do so for them.  

God’s Way of Treating Others = IMPARTIALITY

If you show partiality you behave like unsaved rich people (summary of vv. 6-7).  James 2:8 reminds us that there is a “royal law” that guides God’s people: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  

2 Corinthians 8:9 ... Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

In the life of Jesus he broke down the walls that separated people from God.  He broke down the walls that separated people from each other.  He came from heaven above not so man could become one with God, but that God would become one with man.  Man was God’s creation, but rebelled against God’s ways.   “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” James 2:10. 

The book of James reminds us that there is a difference between Justification and Sanctification.   These doctrinal terms have to do with how we are made right with God (JUSTIFICATION) and after being made right with God how are we going to live our life (SANCTIFICATION). 

Jesus shows that he has come to save all people.  He desires that people will love one another as he has loved them (John 13:34).


Summary from devotional on Web: Why Did Jesus Become Poor? David Maxson 06/21/15


For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich”,2 Corinthians 8:9


When did Jesus become poor?


 Was it when He was born? Jesus was born in a stable to a humble carpenter and his wife. But that's not when Jesus became poor.


 Was it during His earthly ministry? Jesus was often homeless with no place to lay His head. But that's not when Jesus became poor.


 A clue is found in this verse. We're told that we became rich through His poverty. We are rich even when poor materially (Revelation 2:9). We are rich because of what we have in heaven (Matthew 6:20). We are rich because of our enduring inheritance that will not pass away (1 Peter 1:4). 


 If Jesus made us rich spiritually, the poverty here must be spiritual. Jesus gave up much to come to the earth, but He gave up even more when He suffered and died for us on the cross. Jesus gave up more than we could ever imagine when He went to the cross. He became truly poor for us! 


 "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)


 Father, why did your Son come to earth, to be born to a poor family, to live as a homeless man, to die as a common criminal? It's your love for us! Your love has made us rich beyond measure!

A class church is not a church that magnifies the grace of God.  God promises HIS KINGDOM to those who love Him (James 2:5), not to those who love this world and its riches.


God calls us to meet the needs of people no matter who they may be.    Sometimes the best way to do that is to support agencies that know how to sort the needs of people in spite of their wants.  Many agencies have a way of “GATE KEEPING” which allows for the most even distribution of supplies possible.  They are able to read people to find which ones are lying and/or which ones are truthful.  

Matthew 25:40, “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

            Faith is not believing in spite of evidence, but faith is following God’s way in spite of consequence” –Anonymous

A church is only as strong as each individual member.  It is only as effective as it follows the word of God and acts on it.   

How are we going to show others that our faith is not dead?  May we rejoice not only that we are saved, but that we can be a church that not only asks the question, “How are we going to treat each other?”  But answers that question with “we are going to treat each other like Jesus treated us”.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God the Father be with you all.  Amen.

Your Fellow Servant,

Pastor John Raddatz

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