Keeping the Law

Scripture: James 2:10, ‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.’


Observations: James is speaking specifically about favouritism in this passage. In verse 9 he writes, ‘if you show favouritism you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.’ James is probably thinking of Deuteronomy 1:17 which tells judges to not show favouritism to the wealthy but to treat rich and poor alike. But James goes on to apply this concept generally. If anyone stumbles of ‘just one point’ of the law, they are ‘guilty of breaking all of it.’ According to Scripture to disobey God deserves death, which means that to be acceptable in God’s sight we must obey the whole law, always. Unfortunately, none of us perfectly obey God’s law, we all fall short at some point. In fact, the truth is we fall short a long way. The only person who has perfectly obeyed God’s will is God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We are all ‘law-breakers,’ but Jesus is the ‘law-keeper.’ And it’s only through faith in Jesus that his perfect obedience is accredited to us (what the Bible refers to as justification, or being declared right).


Application: Firstly, we can only consider ourselves obedient in God’s sight if we put our faith in Jesus and trust in his perfect obedience. Without Jesus we will face the consequences of our disobedience. Secondly, we are called to be obedient, and not just in some areas of our lives, but in every area. What things do you think, say or do that are contrary to God’s will? As Jesus said, ‘leave your life of sin. (Jn 8:11)’


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that in Jesus my sins have been washed away, that even though I have broken Your law, You see me as perfectly righteous in Christ. Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace. But Lord, I also ask that You fill me with Your Holy Spirit, that I might leave my life of sin and disobedience and live a life that brings You honour and glory. Lord, reveal to me even the sins that I am unaware of. Leave no stone unturned in my life. Help me to repent and turn towards You in faith and obedience. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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