10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it (James 2:10).

When you take a test at school, how is it usually graded? 60-70% is a D, 70-80% is a C, 80-90% is a B, and 90-100% is an A. Our American schools usually operate on this type of system or a variation thereof.

Are you tempted to believe that God has a grading system like this in reference to us? For example, if you just strive to have lived 85% of your life in obedience to God then that’s probably a solid B+ life and surely God is pleased with that, right? Is this how you think about God and his approval or disapproval of you?

Unfortunately, God doesn’t grade like this. That would be much easier to manage. But the problem is that we can’t manage our own grades. We are incapable. In addition, God’s grading system is way too hard for us.
God’s grading system is more simple. It’s called a “pass/fail” system. The only way to pass in God’s system is to get 100% for your whole life. If you don’t score 100% you fail. Simple as that. Does that sound easy to manage? Of course not.

That’s James’ point in today’s verse. You could get a 99% for your whole life but that would still be a major fail in his eyes. God can’t tolerate even just a little bit of sin. As we have already learned, the wages of sin, big or small, is death. It’s not the amount of sin, but rather, it’s whether there is any sin present at all or not.

This should lead us to the greatest news of the Gospel. The Gospel tell us that Jesus scored a perfect 100% for his whole life. If we simply stop trying to convince God that our test score is good enough and trust and follow Jesus, God will grant to us, by sheer grace alone, Jesus’ perfect score in life as our score. Isn’t that amazing!

Read 2 Cor. 5:21
• What do you think this verse has to do with the grading analogy in the devotional? (We get Christ’s A+ and the blessings that comes from it and Jesus gets our F- and the consequences of that.)
• Do you think you could keep God’s law if you tried really hard?

Our Father, thank you that you have provided a way for us to be saved even when we were hopelessly lost in sin. The only way was sheer mercy and that is what you have given to us. May we live like we understand this and show mercy to others when they hurt us. We have broken your law and you forgave us in Jesus. We are eternally grateful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.