2:1-4 We who hold the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are to show no partiality. No favoritism. No bias. No being unfair. No special fondness. No preference. No treating one person better than another. No discrimination. No prejudice. No disrespect. No hatred. God forgives all who hold the faith with no partiality so why would His children be any different? I want to be impartial just like Jesus, but alas, I am of human sin and will fail. But we are 100% sinners and 100% saints at the same time. It's covered! Just do my best. These verses give an example of a rich man and a poor man entering a gathering (Christian church/assembly in this example) and the rich man being given preferential treatment. In doing so, we are judging. Not only that, but we are judging by outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). God is the only one that should judge. Why would I ever want to take the position of God? That would be stupid-times-a-million! Being impartial is a sin. Not only that, but we are giving value to money! Sin! Not only that, but we are being selfish thinking this rich man might do us a favor! Sin!
2:5 This verse is in comparison with Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The poor (who love Him) are blessed in rich faith and will enter heaven as heirs. James reminds us who God has chosen. Who do I choose? Those who love Him? Those rich in faith? Well, I cannot judge that either, so I am to be impartial to everyone regardless. Favoritism insults God's creation because all people were made in God's image. In Matthew 19:24 we learn how hard it is for the rich to get into heaven which affirms how blessed the poor. However, this verse does not mean that God chooses only the poor, but merely that the poor are blessed in rich faith. Even those with a "mustard seed" of faith are saved (Matthew 17:20).
2:6-9 I feel sorry for the poor man in verse 2 and 3. I can picture him in my imagination watching all the pomp and circumstance for the rich man while he stands ignored and unseen. Yet the very rich man who is getting all the pomp and circumstance is the same one that also oppresses and drags people into court when they do not pay their bills timely. This rich man also blasphemes the Christian name. This God who we hold dear is profanely spoken about by the very person who we are giving partial treatment too. Wow! Partiality aligns us with the enemy! However, I am not to treat this rich man who is my enemy any differently than the poor man. There is no reverse discrimination either! Neither person is to get better treatment.
2:8-9 We are presented with the royal law vs. royal sin. The King of Kings gives us a royal law, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." This is the royal rule of love! Favoritism goes against God's commandment to love and, therefore, it is sin. This great commandment is also in Matthew 22:36-40 and Leviticus 19:18.