Lifestyle of Mercy - Gospel in Life

Lifestyle of Mercy

Tim Keller |  December 10, 1995

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  • Mercy & Justice
  • Christian Living and Obedience
James 2:5-17
RS 266-09

James 2:5–17

James tells us that it’s important to treat everyone fairly, no matter if they’re rich or poor. He reminds us that God often chooses those who are poor in money to be rich in faith and to receive His promise of heaven. James warns us not to play favorites, especially with rich people, and emphasizes how important it is to love our neighbors and show our faith through our actions. He especially calls us to care for the poor, saying that showing kindness and mercy is a natural part of being a Christian.

1. Christians should show respect

God chooses poor people to be full of faith, which shows us how important it is to respect and value them. As Christians, we’re encouraged to actively help those in need, not just wait until their problems happen to affect us. This active approach shows a thoughtful and respectful decision to stand with those who are poor.

2. Our help should be respectful

Both liberal and conservative ways of helping the poor often fall short of truly respecting them. Liberals sometimes treat them as projects, while conservatives might act like it’s every man for himself. We need a kinder approach, one that treats poor people with respect and doesn’t look down on them. True faith isn’t just about believing—it’s about acting, especially when it comes to meeting the basic needs of those less fortunate.

3. Complete care

It’s important for Christians to address all the needs of the poor, because not doing so is a serious breach of God’s commands, just like adultery. The Golden Rule—treat others how you want to be treated—extends to meeting people’s physical needs with urgency and care. This shows that faith without good deeds is empty. We should remember that our actions towards those in need will be judged, and politicians who ignore the poor aren’t being true to their faith. Sometimes, being poor can help people recognize their own sins and start the journey towards forgiveness.



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