Tuesday, December 6, 2011

James 2:8, If you really fulfill the royal law. . .

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; NKJV
“Royal law”. . . I'll admit I don't often think of it as such. I don't disregard it or consider God's word as unimportant or intentionally less than it is; but how often do I actually think of it as a “Royal Law”?

We've been given liberty! Of course, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” [Romans 6:1] But even so Jesus has given us liberty and made the law less important than it was, He both released it's hold over us and released us from any responsibility to it.

That's why James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the church in Jerusalem at the time, refers to it as “the royal law”.

Wait a minute. . .

“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” [Galatians 5:13]

It turns out that what follows is (which caught me by surprise actually). . . “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” [Galatians 5:14-15]

We have been given liberty through Christ, but that liberty is not an excuse to greater sin. Rather, by our liberty we have the freedom to serve one another with love, not for the chains of the law.

Beyond that, in tossing out the chains of the law do we, should we, is it right if we toss out the law itself? Should we in our love for God toss out utterly that royal and precious law He gave?

If you read the beginning of Galatians 5 you see that Paul comes to what he has to say about our liberty after first saying that circumcision, something the Jews and Paul himself once considered such an integral portion of the law, had no importance to salvation and that to think one must uphold the law or parts of the law to be saved was ridicules because if one part of the law had to be kept to insure salvation then the entire law had to be kept, and to claim that even a portion of the law HAD to be kept, as illogical as that would be, was a slap in the face to the sacrifice Jesus made to save us from the bondage of sin we were held to by the law.

In Mathew 5:17 Jesus Himself says that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but rather to fulfill them, and later in Mathew 22:37-44 Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment is, says that the first and greatest commandment is ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ He then goes on to say that the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

He finishes these statements by saying this: that, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

In being freed from the law do we think that God would have us throw away His commands to love Him and others? Or by liberty are we freed from separation from Him that we may love freely by choice?

I will be spending some time in the sermon on the mount reminding myself of and relearning Jesus' teachings and instruction that I might better obey Him in love and devotion and be a better witness for His kingdom. I may make reading the sermon on the mount a regular aspect of my reading schedule.

Blog's to share: Jaymi's, Kayla's

I pray
to God
that He brings
my heart
to want
what He wants
for the reasons
He wants it.

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