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Read Introduction to James

 

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well…”

 

Partiality opposes God’s character (2:1), conflicts with God’s choosing poor people (2:5) and now, in this verse, contrary to the Word of God. 

If you really fulfill the royal law

“Royal” means belonging to a king, kingly, royal, regal.  This law is the law of a king.  The “law” here is the operating principles of Scripture itself.  Scripture is sovereign over our souls so its principles are binding on our lives.  There is no court of appeal beyond the Word of God. 

Jesus made us “kings” when we became Christians (Re 1:6).  We fulfill the royal law because we are in a royal family (the family of God).  We are in a royal priesthood.

1 Pe 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

according to the Scripture,

This is a direct quote from Le 19:18.  God’s Word does not contradict God’s principles.  The writers of Scripture always appeal to Scripture for living the Christian life. 

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”

Love summarizes all the Law and the Prophets (Mt. 22:36–40; Ro. 13:8–10).  We measure our love for others by how much we love ourselves.  If we love others less than we love ourselves then we do not measure up to the royal law. 

Jn 13:34, 36 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

Our “neighbor” is anyone who comes across our path (Mt 22:37-39; De 6:5).  A lawyer asked Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” (Lu 10:29), Jesus said in effect that everyone is our neighbor.  He wants us to love everyone, rich or poor. 

Ro 1:14 “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.”

you do well

The word “well” carries the idea of excellence, noble.  If we want to live a noble life, we will love our neighbors as ourselves.  We will live a life within the will of God.  We do not look at the Word of God as a mirror and then walk away from it and do nothing.  We do something because we engage in applying truth to experience. 

PRINCIPLE: 

The rule of life for the Christian is found in the royal law that supersedes all other principles.   

APPLICATION: 

The rule for Christian walk is found in the royal law, the Word of God.  This royal law comes from the King of kings and Lord of Lords.  An example of this is the principle of loving our neighbors as ourselves.  Loving others as we love ourselves does not mean that we use narcissistic love for self as the basis for loving others. 

We violate the royal law when we show partiality to some.  When we give deference to the wealthy or powerful or famous, we violate God’s operating principles. When we relate to people regardless of their fame, power or wealth, we fulfill the royal law. 

Love is the ultimate tool for evaluating our Christian lives.  The way we treat those closest to us at home and work is the way God looks at us. 

Ga 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Co 3:14 “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Biblical love is not saccharine, sentimental love.  It is not a love that slobbers over people but a love that sacrifices for others.  It is a practical love that servers other people.  It is a one-way (does not depend on being loved back), self-sacrificing love that freely relates to others. 

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