Journeying through James – the Law of Liberty

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 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. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:8‑13 (NIV)

We are free to serve the Lord in ways that are consistent with how the Lord looks at people. James uses the expression “law of liberty” twice, in James 1:25 and 2:12. It’s a law that sets people free because it puts love first. The only example that we have of someone who did that perfectly is Jesus Christ.

Being patient and forgiving with someone gives the person the opportunity to see how God looks at them. That’s hard for people to grasp, but “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19, NLT). We often like to focus on the fact that God has forgiven us. That is truly wonderful and kind, but I think we have a harder time understanding that Christ’s blood paid for everyone else’s sins too! Showing mercy for Jesus’ sake changes lives—pass it on.