The Law Of Liberty
Nov. 8, 2009
INTRODUCTION: The beauty of James' practical moral approach to faith is that it cuts through all the religious words and rhetoric. We can fool each other so easily, simply by learning to quote a few Bible verses and slip in some evangelical clichés. We can learn to give a proper Christian testimony and deliver it with apparent conviction, but that does not mean our faith is real.
James is saying that real faith is not indicated only by avoiding the big no-no's like murder and adultery, but by how we treat people, especially the needy.
The challenge in this passage is first personal, and then corporate. We must by all means apply James' tests to ourselves, but must never apply them to others, for no one can know another's heart. Personally, how is my heart in the matter of favoritism?
The application for any church which is made up of educated, upwardly mobile people is, are we strong corporately in caring for our community as we think of the poor, the disabled, the disenfranchised, and the broken as believers who intentionally submit to God's word.
I. THE CONTEXT OF THIS PASSAGE. 10-11
A. ITS POSITION. 10
James sees the law as a seamless garment which, when ripped in one place, tears the whole garment.
Early Jewish writings, and later writings such as the Talmud, said, "If he do all, but omit one, he is guilty of all severally."
James is reminding us that this law is a part of the entire law which stands as a unified whole. Partiality, murder, and adultery are seen to be a part of the whole law. To fail to treat our neighbor as ourself is to be guilty of disregarding the law of God. James is not saying that all sins are the same in magnitude and result, but he is making the point that breaking one of the commandments puts the offender in the class of transgressors.
Main Position - although God's law has many facets, it is essentially one, being the expression of ...
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