So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
The Appeal to Avoid Partiality
So speak and so do
James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Here James again reminds them to be doers.
Shall be Judged
The majority of verses 12 and 13 deals with coming judgment. Let’s look at that first then at other parts of the verses. Most every statement of faith contains a statement about the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment. None of us completely agree on the details of future events, but the certainty of them none denies. In spite of this none of us would deny the importance of a final judgment.
Both Jesus and Paul assured us that Christian believers will never be judged for their sins; John 5:24 says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” And according to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
But our works will be judged and rewarded accordingly. Our words will be judged. What we say to people, and how we say it, will come up before God. Even our careless words will be judged. Matthew 12:36, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” The words we speak come from the heart; so when God judges the words, He is examining the heart.
James contrasted two attitudes
Showing mercy to others and refusing to show mercy. If we have been merciful toward others, God can be merciful toward us. However, we mustn’t twist this truth into a lie. It does not mean that we earn mercy by showing mercy because it is impossible to earn mercy. If it is earned, it is not mercy!
The Law of Liberty
We shall be judged “by the Law of liberty.” The “Law of liberty” is the law of Christ. The Lord Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” -John 14:15
What is His commandment? “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” -John 15:12
Liberty does not mean license. License (doing whatever I want to do) is the worst kind of bondage. Liberty means the freedom to be all that I can be in Jesus Christ. “License is confinement; liberty is fulfillment.”
The Word is called “the Law of liberty”
God’s Word can change our hearts and give us the desire to do God’s will. Thus, we obey from inward compulsion and not outward constraint.
Mercy rejoiceth against judgment, v. 13
The person whose life is characterized by mercy is ready for the day of judgment. They will escape the charges that justice might bring against them because of God’s mercy. By showing mercy to others we give proof of having received God’s mercy.
Pastor Chance Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN