Living by the Royal Law Part two
Part one was yesterday. Now on to part two…
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (Jas 2:12-13)
James’ words here are a rebuke to men who have broken the royal law by showing partiality. He says that they should change the way they speak and act. He instructs that they are to speak and act as those who are governed by a law of liberty. This is because men of God speak differently than the world speaks and they are certainly to act differently than the world.
The Hebrew writer also says that men of faith spoke in a certain way.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. (Heb 11:13-14 emphasis mine)
Oh, if we would all realize that our speech betrays us. Sometimes the accent tells people were we are from. Peter was betrayed by his speech. (Mt 26:73) Sometimes it is the words we use. Here, James says your speech “sit here…sit there” betrays a judgmental, evil heart.
How should we speak? Like those who will be judged with liberty; with Mercy and compassion to others. God sees all those who love him as children. These men have judged and dishonored based on wealth but God will not give extra points for wealth; he will not say to a poor man “Well, we might be able to find a little shack somewhere for you”…No!, the poor man gets a mansion too! One of the lessons we learn from the first 11 chapters of Romans is a proper reaction to others and especially brothers in the Lord. We realize that being saved by Grace allows us to…NO… “allows us to” is not quite right, it demands us to show grace and mercy to others.
The warning is clear. If you don’t show mercy, don’t expect mercy. Read Luke 16:19 about the rich man and Lazarus. As you read the story, you don’t read that the rich man didn’t obey the law or do the sacrifices or even tithe…but he did not show mercy to Lazarus. Oh, if every Christian would hear that!
Of course, a law of liberty does not mean “no law” or else even partiality would not be condemned, nor does it allow for sexual immorality, nor covetousness. But a law of liberty does mean that those who realize that they cannot earn their salvation, in gratitude to God, will strive to live as Christ lived, these people will treat their brother with a different standard. They will not see rich and poor, black and white, good singer and bad singer; they will honor all who love God the same way.
Soon, I would like to post on the Royal Law. James makes it apply to the situation of showing partiality but it, by itself, is bigger and worth a few posts. In the meantime, a question: In what other ways do you think the Royal law to love your neighbor should apply?