Main point summary
Show no partiality in favoring one person over the other, which would be acting and speaking against the truth of the Gospel.
My brothers, 1 w show no partiality
as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,
x the Lord of glory.
For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly,
and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say,
“You sit here in a good place,”
y while you say to the poor man,
“You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”
have you not then made distinctions among yourselves
and become z judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my beloved brothers,
a has not God chosen those who are poor in the world
to be b rich in faith and heirs of c the kingdom,
d which he has promised to those who love him?
But you e have dishonored the poor man.
Are not the rich the ones who oppress you,
and the ones who f drag you g into court?
Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable h name
by which you were called?
If you really fulfill the royal law
according to the Scripture,
i “You shall love your neighbor
you are doing well.
But if you j show partiality,
you are committing sin
and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
For whoever keeps the whole law
but fails in one point
k has become accountable for all of it.
For he who said,
l “Do not commit adultery,”
l “Do not murder.”
If you do not commit adultery
but do murder,
you have become a transgressor of the law.
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under m the law of liberty.
For n judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.
Mercy triumphs over judgment.
The Gospel of Christ is not lived out in favoritism which causes division, but in sacrificial true love which units in Christ.
Why "the Lord of glory" in this context? Is it because when believers are partial, they seek glory from man?
Partiality because of earthly goods.
God chose the weak to shame the proudly strong 1 Cor 1:27
The Lord Jesus became poor, that the poor of this world become become rich in Him 2 Cor 8:9
Two different kind of riches. One earthly, the other toward God Luke 12:21
No proud person can inherit the kingdom. A spiritual needy person inherits the kingdom of heaven. Mat 5:3
Paul and Silas were dragged before rulers, when some business man lost their hope of gain because of them. Acts 16:19
James brings partiality to the same level of evil as disgusting adultery and cruel murder.
Love gives to the needy, but a partial person seeks his own.
Why did James pick adultery? Adultery is unfaithfulness. A partial person turns to people for blessing, instead to God. In this sense he says: "God is not enough" i.e. he is unfaithful toward God.
Why did James pick murder? The holocaust, KKK and slavery were all lead by partial people. They thought themselves higher and killed the ones they thought are lower.
Our live should be lived as such that are forgiven and set free from sin. James does not want them to go back under the bondage to sin. Partiality is sin.