Wednesday, September 1, 2010

James 2

"My brethren, do not hold the faith of our lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality..."

I think it's hard sometimes to remember the fact that God loved the WHOLE world, and He showed His grace and mercy through Christ without favoritism. Christ didn't just die for some, He died for ALL - because, whether we want to admit it or not, we all need Him! I think one of the things I struggle with the most is judging others, and it's usually fellow believers more than non believers. Without meaning to I start to think of some as "worthy" and others as "unworthy," but God commands us so clearly not to show partiality, and to love our neighbor (essentially, everyone) as ourself, and to love all equally.

"If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "you shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the law, and yet stumble in one point, is guilty of all."

He really doesn't leave any room for excuses or exceptions, does he? Sure, we may stumble and not always get it right (we're not perfect), but are not called to selective obedience. We can't pick and choose what we will obey, and discard the rest. This is a really hard standard to try to live by, but thank the Lord we don't have to strive for it alone. He is right here with us, and He will lead us to victory.

"So speak and do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy."

The "Law of Liberty" is the Law of Love. So if we, as believers, practice love and mercy from a sincere heart, and do not show partiality, we will be triumphed, through Christ, at the judgement seat. But if we judge and show no mercy, and practice says that we will not receive mercy ourselves. This is a very serious issue with God.

"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?"

I think this verse goes back to the whole section about being doers of the Word and not hearers only. Salvation is not dependent on works; however, when someone truly believes in a cause, it will change the way they live their lives. So do we truly believe in what we say we believe? I wouldn't be too quick to answer "yes" in less you are willing to back up your words with your lifestyle, because a few verses further it says, "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!" So obviously simply believing in God is not enough, unless we're okay with being ranked on the same level with demons!

So all in all, faith and works should go hand-in-hand. They shouldn't be separated. And if we truly love God, that love will show in the things we do, and not only in what we say.

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

So I would ask: What does your life's actions show about your relationship with God?

1 comment:

  1. There's this song (Go Hard by Lecrae) and this part of it just keeps popping up in my head as I read this "If you didn't know Christ would your life look the same? Can they tell you about your Jesus by the way you rep his name?" And to me it just goes so well with what this chapter is saying. When people see us, they should see more of the God IN us.