If you believe something that is false, and you apply it to your life, it is going to affect you spiritually -maybe even for eternity. We need to remember what we were admonished to do – study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15).
v10: Whoever: He’s speaking to all of humanity
· The whole law: This refers to all the law as laid out in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible – those reading this letter didn’t have the New Testament canon as we do today.)
· Stumble at one point: The Bible reveals to us that if we, as natural born human beings, break just one commandment then we are, in fact, considered as someone who is guilty of breaking all the laws (James is going to give us an example shortly). Because there is no temple today (and for the past 2000years) many of the Torah commandments CANNOT physically be kept. Everyone, under this premise, would therefore be considered guilty of being a law breaker. This guiltiness, before G-d, would have continued on into the future if He had not made a plan – as it stands now we either accept Yeshua and are saved, or we reject Him and face judgement for being a transgressor. Sin cannot be ignored by a Holy G-d. Yeshua, knowing no sin (2 Cor 5:21), took the punishment that should have been ours – the prefect Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, Rom 8:3-4)
v11: He – that is G-d. G-d said these things.
· If you do not commit adultery that is a good thing…
· However, it means nothing if you have done well on the point above, but then have gone and murdered someone. The court doesn’t applaud (or judge) you for the good you have done, it punishes you and judges you for the wrongs you have committed. Your record becomes stained by the one wrongdoing. You are jailed for that one crime.
· You have become – in the Greek this word ‘become’ is written in the perfect tense. This means it was true in the past, it is true for right now and will be true into the future. There is no escaping this record of wrong – except through accepting the salvation (and the subsequent wiping clean of the slate – Isaiah 1:18-20) through Yeshua. He is the only hope we have.
v12: This is good news! Based upon the fact that we are a new creation, IN Christ, we have been set free from the bondage of sin. This means we’re no longer a slave to sin. It would be very foolish for one who was a slave and was set free to go back and live that same life. If he continued to live as a slave to sin it would mean that he wasn’t set free. Freedom should cause us to act noticeably different. The way we act before freedom is not the way we act after we are granted it. Our lives HAVE to change.
· So speak and so do: We’re supposed to speak in a certain way and behave in a certain way.
· The law of liberty – this is a new law 😉. In Christ we are judged by a new set of rules! When we come to Christ we turn away from sin, as sin violates the standards of G-d. Although our salvation is not based on our performance there is a regeneration that supernaturally (through the working of the Holy Spirit) takes place in our lives as we desire to live in a way that is pleasing to G-d. G-d is going to evaluate our lives – as believers we are judged for eternal reward. What we say and what we do contributes toward/against that reward.
v13: Judgment, without mercy, is not what we want. If we are of those who show no mercy to others then G-d will show no mercy to us. As recipients of G-d’s mercy we are expected to behave mercifully toward others.
· Triumphs – this word can also be translated rejoices or boasts over. Sometimes when we rejoice over something it’s a form of boasting – not motivated in pride, but motivated in how pleased we are that something took place. Paul used this word fairly frequently (2 Cor 12:9, 1 Cor 1:31 etc) Lots of times, people, when they are victorious (when they accomplish their objective), boast or rejoice over it. This word can have a nuance of victory/ triumphing over something.
· G-d is going to judge but (with those who have believed in Messiah Yeshua) He will bring mercy, or grace, (Yeshua) into judgment.
With the Old Covenant it was up to Israel to keep it and Israel, without the Holy Spirit, could not do it. One of the benefits of the new covenant is that it is kept by G-d. He obligates Himself to maintain it. This gives us assurance and eternal security. It is not because of who I am or what I’ve done, but about who He is and what He has done … The Sovereign G-d.