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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-12-2011

Mercy Rejoices Against Judgment

Text: James 2:8 ¶  If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:  

The Old Testament law was given to the Jewish people.  It contained the Civil Law that regulated their daily living and detailed how they were to relate to each other and their neighbors. It contained the Ceremonial Law that regulated their worship. Lastly it contained the Moral Laws which reveal the very heart of God as detailed in the Ten Commandments. (From the "Life Application Study Bible")  

Jesus fulfilled the legal aspects of the law, on our behalf, by His death on the cross. His moral law in still binding, but rather than being written on tablets of stone, it is written on the fleshly tablets of our hearts.  

Jeremiah 31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  

The royal law is a phrase that is unique to James. We fulfill it when we love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love our neighbor, we won’t bear false witness against him or covet his goods, etc. We treat him according to the golden rule, as we ourselves desire to be treated. Jesus said that there were no greater commandments than that we love God with all of our hearts and treat our neighbor as ourselves.  

Matthew 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  

Matthew 7:12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Text: James 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.  

James had previously compared the treatment given to a man with a big ring and fine clothes to that of a poor unkempt beggar (Ja. 2:2). The Jewish Christians to whom James was writing were still zealous to keep the law of Moses. James reminds them that they are guilty of breaking the total law, when by showing respect of persons,  they break any part of it.  

Text: James 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11  For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

God is One and His law is one unity.  When we break any part of His word, we break it all. The law tells us that we are all guilty and in need of a Savior (Ro. 3:23).  

Text: James 2:12  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.  

Thank God that Jesus delivered us from the curse of the law and wrote His precepts upon our hearts. His Spirit reminds us daily of all that He requires. Thank God for His grace. Thank God that Jesus bore the penalty for our sins on the cross. Thank God for His life giving Spirit.  

Yes, judgment is still in our future. We will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for the deeds of our flesh (2 Co. 5:10). That will not necessarily be a pleasant experience. There, the thoughts and intents of our hearts will be revealed and we’ll be accountable for every idle word. That which we have spoken in secret will be shouted from the housetops (Lu. 12:3). However, unlike the old law, grace will prevail and the blood of Jesus will cover our sin. Salvation is assured, but when our works are tried by fire, some will be rewarded, while others will be saved by the proverbial skin of their teeth (1 Co. 3:15).  
Considering the alternative, it will be much better to be judged by the perfect law of life in Christ Jesus, than to be judged by the law of sin and death.  

Text: James 2:13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.  
This scripture should be in the forefront of our spiritual memory banks. Every time we show mercy, even something as simple as giving a cup of water to a thirsty one, it will be noted on our account (Mk. 9:41). And every time we withhold mercy, it will be duly noted also.  

Every time that we have criticized  another, God takes notice. Every time that we fail to forgive another, we’ll be unable to be forgiven ourselves (Mt. 6;14-15). Every time that we consign another to hell because of a difference in doctrine, we’ll be judged by the same standard.  Thus, our doctrine had better be letter perfect or we’ll be doomed.    

Mercy rejoices against judgment! It’s so easy to criticize and judge another. It’s so much better to save our judgment for ourselves and let God take care of the other guy, wouldn’t you say (Mt. 7:1-2)?

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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