Day 7: James 2:8-13

We’ve been digging into the letter of James for a week now.  I hope that it has been fruitful in your walk with God!  I know that it has been meaningful for me.

Last Sunday, Pastor Peter spoke about how the Bible has spiritual authority in our lives because it is God’s word to us.  Through the Scriptures, the Spirit breathes life into us.  Tomorrow, we’ll reflect on what it means to do more than just read the Bible, but to let it settle deep into our spirit.  As James says in chapter 1, that Word is planted in us.

Here is today’s reading for our reflection.  You are welcome to share your reflections in the comments section.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.”  If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.  (TNIV)

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3 thoughts on “Day 7: James 2:8-13

  1. James is connecting showing favouritism with their most well-known and highest law. Then we are told to both speak and act correctly.
    What follows, I don’t get. How does a law give freedom?

  2. I’m not a theologian so those who are can challenge me! I always read this that when we receive Christ’s gift of salvation the law “dwells in us” through the Holy Spirit and we more naturally want to live lives that respond to God’s mercy and Love and reflect his character, which is what the law reveals. It’s not just a check list trying to get into heaven. It’s a natural desire within us to live in response to God’s love for us. The Holy Spirit equips us to do so. So when we mess up because sin still dwells in us, we are shown God’s mercy and forgiveness again and again. I think the text is pushing us as believers not to willfully chose to do what we now know in our hearts. Our behaviour and character reflect who/what we serve. We want to also reflect God’s love, mercy and grace to the world. Make sense? Am I out to lunch? 🙂

  3. I’m not a theologian either. Having said that, we have to be careful not to use our sinful nature as an excuse. Yes, God loves us and forgives when we repent but we must remember how much it pains God when we sin. We are save by grace through faith – a gift given through the blood of Christ. If we truly believe this, we will do our utmost to live out our lives as a response of gratitude to this gift. Thus, “good works” should automatically flow from us. We can’t do this perfectly due to sin, that’s why we need to daily repent and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us in our Christian Journey striving to become pure.

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