Fulfilling the Law
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors (James 2:8-9).
Have you ever felt left out? Have you ever felt singled out as weird? Have you ever felt like someone that you cared about was giving you the cold shoulder for some silly reason? Have you ever felt like the last to find out something important? Have you felt mistreated in these ways?
All of these questions point to our human tendency to want to create cliques. A clique is a group of people that excludes other people. A clique would show partiality to certain people and leave other people out simply because they might not seem “in” or “with it”.
Would you like to be treated this way?
James addresses this when he appeals to God’s law that says that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. No one likes feeling excluded. We all can understand that. So why do we persist in treating people this way?
God is saying through James that if we do that we stand guilty as one who has broken God’s law. That is what the word “transgressor” means. It means going beyond a right boundary. If someone is on your property and they shouldn’t be, we call that person a “trespasser”. In a similar way, God calls us transgressors when we cross the right boundary line of his law. One of the main ways that that happens is when we show partiality to certain people and leave other people out from God’s community. This should never happen in God’s church. We can’t show partiality because God doesn’t.
Read Romans 13:8
• How do we fulfill the law of God?
• How have you personally broken God’s law recently?
• What do we do when we fail to fulfill the law of God as we should? (Repent and believe the the Gospel.)
Our Father, we confess that we are law breakers. We have shown partiality to certain groups of people and we know that this is not how you want your people to live. Fill us with your love by the power of your Spirit so that we can love as you love. We thank you that you died for our failures and empower us to live as we should when we repent and believe. In Jesus’ name, Amen.