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?

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About Steven Sarff

If I were to offer any one piece of advice to one wishing to serve God, it would be to put Hebrews 11:6 and Acts 17:11 into action and let God guide you to grow in the grace and knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ.

Posted on December 10, 2011, in Christianity, Comments on James, Faith, Love and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Steven, I appreciate you pointing out that there is a law to be followed. I have had so many conversations with people who believe that we are under NO LAW at law because the scriptures teach we are under grace (John 1:17). I have tried to teach them that there would be no need for grace if it weren’t for sin and no sin if it weren’t for a law (Romans 6:1,2; 1 John 3:4; 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2).

    I think the Good Samaritan is always a good example on how to treat to our neighbors. I think the Royal Law would be a good application to being mature like God (Matthew 5:43-48). I’m enjoying these readings about James’ letter.

    • It is a hard concept to grasp and once you think you have grasped it, God shows you another passage and says “ok. now add this to the mix.” James is such an excellent book to help us really grasp the balanced line between pleasing God and God still accepting us with our faults. Knowing that perfection is not required to be accepted and yet knowing that we still have to BE a certain type of people to accepted.
      One thing is for sure: Being quick to hear, slow to speak, and letting the implanted word (recieved with meekness) grow, helps when dealing with the practical aspects and yet they are even MORE important when one wrestles with the big concepts.

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