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James 2:1

ESV My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
NIV My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
NASB My brothers and sisters, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
CSB My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
NLT My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
KJV My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

What does James 2:1 mean?

In the previous chapter, James urged his Christian readers to believe God thoroughly. Their trust in Christ should change the way they think about money in this life (James 1:9–11). If we really believe that eternal riches await God's children in heaven, and that this life will be over in a moment, we should drastically reduce the importance we attach to money. In those verses, he showed how the poor should rejoice in their future rewards, and the rich should not rely on their possessions. This lead into a description of how Christians ought to obey the Word of God, not merely hear it.

Here, James starts to unpack the implications of those ideas. James begins with the issue of giving better treatment to wealthy people than to poor people. Apparently, this human tendency was a problem even in the early church. Christians were under heavy persecution. "If we treat the rich and powerful people well," they may have thought, "they will treat us well." James will insist that shows a lack of faith in the God who provides for us.

He begins in this verse with a command to Christians to do the opposite: show no partiality or favoritism. Period. True believers trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Lord of Glory (or the glorious Lord).

The implication here is that the Lord of Glory is fully capable of providing all we need at all times and forever. His glory will be ours for eternity. If you are trusting the Lord to meet all of your needs, why show favoritism to anyone in hopes that they will provide for you (or avoid harming you)?

In the following verses, James will paint a picture of what faithless favoritism might look at a gathering of believers.
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