September 16, 2014
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 16 September 2014
The royal law (according to Scripture) is stated in James 2:8: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF" (cf. Lev 19:18). The adjective "royal" was likely used as a descriptor because the true King, the Lord Jesus, articulated the law (Matt 22:36-40). The law is royal because its origination is from God, and is characteristic of His kingdom and reign.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Lord defined one's neighbor as anyone in need (Luke 10:25-37). What would it be to live like royalty? The answer is provided in the book of James; it is demonstrating love to those in need, which is the manner in which God responds to those who have faith/trust in Him. Of course, the divine command is impossible without the divine provision of God (John 13:34-35).
James 2:9 mentions how one could violate the royal law. If one demonstrated partiality, they are said to be "committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors" (cf. Lev 19:15). One of the most challenging verses of Scripture is verse 10, which stated, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."
God will not receive individuals into his heaven because they are better than others. The law of God is not like a set of bowling pins, which are knocked to the ground one at a time; rather, it is like a pane of glass in which a break in just one place means that the entire pane is broken.
Verse 11 demonstrates the unity of the divine law because its origin is in God. One cannot chose which commands of God are more important than others. The entirety of the Bible is from God, and thus every word bears his authority. Sins cannot be graded as if some were A+ and others only D- actions. Consequently, to violate any command of Scripture is to disobey God himself.
How should one act in accordance with the royal law? Understand that in Christ there is "the law of liberty" (Jas 2:12). Those who trust in God are to live as those judged by that law, which means, as those whose sins have been forgiven by God’s grace and mercy, and who are now free to love and obey.
There is freedom in Christ (cf. Rom 6—8); therefore, God expects his people to exercise that liberty; it is, therefore, illegitimate for any believer to claim that he/she is unable to live in accordance with the Lord’s will. God's divine commands are always satisfied with God's divine provisions.
A primary reason for the triumph of Christianity is the superior moral practice of those who believe (cf. 1 Pet 2:15). Both citizens and political leaders – who are regenerated (i.e. “born again”) – are better neighbors and constitute a more godly society. Therefore, if you have faith in Christ live like royalty with a superior moral character, as the demonstration of your trust in God. If you do not believe, may God grant you to regard your sin and his holiness as is true to reality.
Your missionary to our Capitol community,