Proper Use Of Riches
Text: Jas 5:1-8
A. Caution against selfishness (5:1-3).
James warns against heaping up treasure. a. It is not wrong to save (2Co 12:14). b. It is wrong to hoard (Lev 25:35).
Our selfishness in using riches to help others will be a witness against us on the Day of Judgment. a. The selfish Christian is a worldly Christian (Mat 6:19-21). b. The selfish Christian does not have the love of God in him (1Jo 3:17).
Instead, we should use our riches to help those in need (Pro 3:27). a. The generous Christian will prosper physically (Pro 11:24-25). b. The generous Christian will prosper spiritually (Luk 14:13-14).
B. Caution against deceitfulness (5:4).
James warns against defrauding others. a. It is not wrong to hire workers (1Ti 6:2). b. It is wrong to mistreat your workers (Lev 19:13).
Our deceitfulness in obtaining riches will be known by God. a. The deceitful Christian will not preserve his wealth (Jer 17:11). b. The deceitful Christian will not find satisfaction (Pro 20:17).
Instead, we should obtain riches through honest work (Eph 4:28). a. The honest Christian will increase his wealth (Pro 13:11). b. The honest Christian will have enough to support his family (Psa 37:25).
C. Caution against excessiveness (5:5).
James warns against extravagant living. a. It is not wrong to enjoy the fruits of your labour (Ecc 3:13). b. It is wrong to splurge with indifference (Amo 6:4-6).
Our excessiveness in using riches will be judged accordingly in the Day of Judgment. a. The excessive Christian is in spiritual apathy (Rev 3:17). b. The excessive Christian is unprepared for judgment (Luk 21:34).
Instead, we should be good stewards of our riches (Luk 12:42). a. The responsible Christian earns the trust of men (Luk 16:10-12). b. The responsible Christian earns the trust of God (Mat 25:21,23).
D. Caution against unfairness (5:6-8).
James warns against oppression of the helpless. a. It is not wrong to show respect to others (1Pe 2:17). b. It is wrong to discriminate on the basis of social status (Jas 2:9).
Our unfairness in despising the poor will be recompensed at the Day of Judgment. a. The partial Christian is inclined to bribes (Pro 28:21). b. The partial Christian brings shame to God (Pro 17:5).
Instead, we should be merciful towards others (Mic 6:8). a. The merciful Christian will find joy (Pro 14:21). b. The merciful Christian will obtain mercy (Mat 5:7).