Read James 2:5–13
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12–13
License (doing whatever we want to do) is the worst kind of bondage. Liberty means the freedom to be all that we can be in Jesus Christ. License is confinement; liberty is fulfillment. The Word is called “the law that gives freedom” because God sees our hearts and knows what we would do if we were free to do so. If we obey God only because of His rules, we are not really maturing as Christians.
God’s Word can change our hearts and give us the desire to do God’s will, so that we obey from inward compulsion. Our beliefs should control our behavior. If we really believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that God is gracious, His Word is true, and one day He will judge us, then our conduct will reveal our convictions. Before we attack those who do not have orthodox doctrine, we must be sure that we practice the doctrines we defend. One of the tests of the reality of our faith is how we treat other people. Can we pass the test?
Something to Ponder
If a stranger observed your behavior for a week, do you think that person could accurately determine your beliefs? Explain.