|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-13 Those who profess faith in Christ as the Lord of glory, must not respect persons on account of mere outward circumstances and appearances, in a manner not agreeing with their profession of being disciples of the lowly Jesus. St. James does not here encourage rudeness or disorder: civil respect must be paid; but never such as to influence the proceedings of Christians in disposing of the offices of the church of Christ, or in passing the censures of the church, or in any matter of religion. Questioning ourselves is of great use in every part of the holy life. Let us be more frequent in this, and in every thing take occasion to discourse with our souls. As places of worship cannot be built or maintained without expense, it may be proper that those who contribute thereto should be accommodated accordingly; but were all persons more spiritually-minded, the poor would be treated with more attention that usually is the case in worshipping congregations. A lowly state is most favourable for inward peace and for growth in holiness. God would give to all believers riches and honours of this world, if these would do them good, seeing that he has chosen them to be rich in faith, and made them heirs of his kingdom, which he promised to bestow on all who love him. Consider how often riches lead to vice and mischief, and what great reproaches are thrown upon God and religion, by men of wealth, power, and worldly greatness; and it will make this sin appear very sinful and foolish. The Scripture gives as a law, to love our neighbour as ourselves. This law is a royal law, it comes from the King of kings; and if Christians act unjustly, they are convicted by the law as transgressors. To think that our good deeds will atone for our bad deeds, plainly puts us upon looking for another atonement. According to the covenant of works, one breach of any one command brings a man under condemnation, from which no obedience, past, present, or future, can deliver him. This shows us the happiness of those that are in Christ. We may serve him without slavish fear. God's restraints are not a bondage, but our own corruptions are so. The doom passed upon impenitent sinners at last, will be judgment without mercy. But God deems it his glory and joy, to pardon and bless those who might justly be condemned at his tribunal; and his grace teaches those who partake of his mercy, to copy it in their conduct.
Verse 7. - That worthy Name (τὸ καλὸν ὄνομα); the honorable Name; probably the Name of Christ, by which the disciples were known (Acts 11:26), and for which they suffered (Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 5:14-16). By the which ye are called; literally, which was called upon you (τὸ ἐπικληθὲν ἐφ ὑμᾶς). A similar expression is found in St. James's speech in Acts 15:17, in a quotation from Amos 9:12.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Of Christ, or Christians;
by the which ye are called? and which, as before, may design either unbelieving rich men, whether among Jews, or Gentiles, who blasphemed and cursed the name of Christ, and compelled others to do so likewise; or such who professed the Christian religion, who by their supercilious and disdainful treatment of their poor brethren, and by their dragging of them to the tribunals of the Heathens, and distressing them with vexatious law suits there, caused the name of Christ, after which they were called Christians, to be blasphemed and evil spoken of, among the Gentiles.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. "Is it not they that blaspheme?" &c. as in Jas 2:6 [Alford]. Rich heathen must here chiefly be meant; for none others would directly blaspheme the name of Christ. Only indirectly rich Christians can be meant, who, by their inconsistency, caused His name to be blasphemed; so Eze 36:21, 22; Ro 2:24. Besides, there were few rich Jewish Christians at Jerusalem (Ro 15:26). They who dishonor God's name by wilful and habitual sin, "take (or bear) the Lord's name in vain" (compare Pr 30:9, with Ex 20:7).
that worthy name—which is "good before the Lord's saints" (Ps 52:9; 54:6); which ye pray may be "hallowed" (Mt 6:9), and "by which ye are called," literally, "which was invoked" or, "called upon by you" (compare Ge 48:16; Isa 4:1, Margin; Ac 15:17), so that at your baptism "into the name" (so the Greek, Mt 28:19) of Christ, ye became Christ's people (1Co 3:23).
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