This is what God gave me today in his word:
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:12-14)
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. – Whereas those not under the law of liberty, are under the law. I promise that’s a far less pleasant experience. But aside from that, what exactly does it mean to be, “judged under the law of liberty.”? We already know (from yesterday) that the “law of liberty” is the Gospel, so how is it possible to be judged in the Gospel? What happened to the whole ‘Jesus took all God’s wraith on himself so that we wouldn’t have to” thing?
What does James mean when he says those under the law of liberty are still being judged? … It doesn’t seem to make much sense.
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.
The second verse (the part about judgement without mercy) is important, as it clarifies James prior statement. Judgement is (only) without mercy to one who has shown no mercy, meaning that if you’ve never been merciful, your judgment will consequently be without mercy.
There’s a point I would like to point out here. Hasn’t pretty much everyone, no matter how vile they may be now, been at least mildly merciful at some point in their life? James didn’t specify who or what we had to be merciful to either, so who knows, maybe petting a dog would be counted as, ‘mercy to the dog’. Well, let’s just assume everyone at some point has been merciful to someone or something. Shouldn’t their judgement be merciful; meaning that they would go to Heaven rather than Hell? Alright, lets say everyone has been merciful, have they always been merciful to everyone they meet? Does it even matter? Yes it does matter. Basically, everyone has to be perfect in order to have mercy at judgment. Perfection involves always being merciful, which no one can manage.
Everyone must be perfect: that’s the law. The law of liberty states however, that Jesus was/will be/is perfect for you; on your behalf. Through his mercy, not ours, are we saved (of course, we should still be merciful! It’s just our salvation doesn’t depend on it). – The point of saying all that, is that we’re saved by Jesus’ mercy. With that said, it’s important to remember how it is that we’re saved and that we are in fact under the law of liberty, not the law.
To summarize what James is saying here, “You are saved for Heaven’s sakes, so go and act like it! Don’t you know faith without works is dead? So go out there and get your Spiritual Résumé already.”
You are Loved!