Who is my neighbor?
Do I love my neighbor as myself?
We all took at crack at LOOKING at the royal law on our own.
Let’s LOOK at the royal law together to see how we are to treat others.
Open GODcha to the Book of James.
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Or, you can use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.
You can print off this post and put in a Notebook!
Let’s Go to the Lord in Prayer
LORD, You are the Good Shepherd, coming that we might have life and have it abundantly, (Joh 10:8, 10-11). If indeed we are Your sheep, we will hear Your voice and will follow You, (Joh 10:27). Lord, fine tune our ears to hear Your voice. Give us understanding so we may respond to Your Word in humility and obedience. Thank You!
LOOK at What God Says
As you followed GODcha, how did you begin?
Did You READ God’s Word?
Let’s Read James 2:1-13, asking the 5W’s and H.
What were verses 2-7 about?
Now, let’s focus on verses 8-9.
What are we to do?
Why is partiality a sin?
What does James Contrast? Why?
Did you see:
Fulfill the royal law vs. committing sin.
Love your neighbor vs. show partiality.
Unlock the Meaning
GODcha suggests we unlock ‘law’ and ‘partiality’ that are Key.
I was curious about fulfill, royal law, love, and neighbor.
It would be good to understand sin.
Understand the Words God Uses
Check Out the Meaning
Royal, basilikós; Befitting a king, of kingly dignity (Ac 12:21, a robe; Jas 2:8, noble, excellent, preeminent, referring to law). Supreme, binding.
The Law, nómos; (C) Of laws relating to the hearts and conduct of men (… Jas 2:8); In the NT used only of the Mosaic code: Specifically (Mt 5:18;… Jas 2:9, 11).
Partiality, prosōpolēptéō; a respecter of persons. To accept or respect persons, to show partiality (James 2:9). To show favor.
Love, agapáō; differs from philéō that indicates feelings, warm affection, the kind of love expressed by a kiss. Agapao is not giving someone what they want, but instead, it is giving them what they need.
Understand: Agapao is not an emotional affection.
THINK: How has God loved us? What did we need? What did He do for us?
THINK: How is His love lived out in us? How do we love others?
Neighbor, plēsíon; anyone.
Sin, hamartía; to miss the mark. To fall short of God’s standard.
Convicted, elégchō; to prove one in the wrong and thus to shame him.
Transgressors, parabátēs; violator of the law; used with reference to the imputation of sin to those who having known the law transgress it and deviate from the truth.
TIP: Remember to take the definition back to the text.
v8 “If, however, you are fulfilling [accomplishing] the royal [supreme, binding] law [laws relating to the hearts and conduct of men, the Mosaic code] according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE [give what one needs] YOUR NEIGHBOR [anyone] AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.”
v9 “But if you show partiality [a respect of persons, favoritism] you are committing sin [missing God’s mark, offending God, guilty] and are convicted [to prove one in the wrong and thus to shame him] by the law as transgressors [violators of the law, sinners, deviate from the truth].”
Do you see what is being contrasted?
NOTE: the ‘ifs‘ are a first class condition – meaning this is a fact.
There are some who are fulfilling the law, and some who are not, they are showing partiality.
NOTE: the Grammar for both ‘fulfilling’ and ‘showing partiality’ is present indicative active, it’s not an occasional fulfilling or showing partiality.
This is a continual practice!
Do you remember God is not partial?
He treats all of us equal. And we are to do the same!
God Uses Truth To Explain Truth
Scripture is the Most Valuable Commentary on Scripture
And Don’t forget to unplug your ears. . .
Hear God Speak!
Peruse the Cross References for the Royal Law.
1. According to Leviticus, why is ‘love thy neighbor’ the royal law?
It was given by the King, God the Father in (Lev 19:18).
2. Why is this law important?What did Jesus say regarding the royal law?
Jesus affirmed and summed up ALL the law in 2 Commandments (Mat 22:37-40); (Mar 12:28-31)
a. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind – (the 1st half of the 10 Commandments, Exo 20:3-11).
THINK: If I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, I’m not going to have a graven image.
I’m not going to make an idol.
I’m not going to take His name in vain.
I’m not going to disregard worshiping Him.
b. And to love our neighbors as ourselves– (the last half of the 10 Commandments, Exo 20:12-17).
THINK: If we are faithful to this law, and treat others the way we treat ourselves, then —
we don’t need a law that says do not murder;
we don’t need a law that says don’t commit adultery;
don’t bear false witness,
don’t lie against another, etc.
Do you see why Jesus said, “On these 2 commandments hang all the law and the prophets”?
We see: If we keep these 2 laws we are fulfilling the law.
3. Who is my neighbor?
My neighbor is anyone God puts in my path with a need. (Luk 10:30-37)
4. How does John say we are known to be the Lord’s disciples?
By loving one another. (Joh 13:34-35)
5. What is a believer’s relationship to the law? Why are we able to obey the royal law?
a. Jesus came to fulfill the law. (Mat 5:17-20)
b. And if we have been justified (declared righteous) by faith:
We are given the Spirit. (Rom 5:1-5)
At salvation, we die to sin, have been freed from sin; we are given the power not to let sin reign in our lives; sin is now a choice. (Rom 6:1-2, 12-13)
At salvation, we have died to the Law being joined to Christ (Who fulfills all the law).
We love and serve because we want to, not because we have to. We serve by the Spirit, not by the law.
The law could not take care of our sinful flesh; Jesus did that living a sinless life in the flesh. (Rom 7:1-6)
Thus, being joined to Christ, having His Spirit, we establish the law. (Rom 3:17-20)
And the requirement of the law is fulfilled in us. (Rom 8:1-4)
Christ by His Spirit enables us to love our neighbor as ourself. (Rom 10:8; 13:8, 10)
What Did We LEARN
Let’s Sum It Up!
God does not want us to be partial.
God wants us to fulfill the royal law – that is to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves’.
Our neighbor is anyone put in our path with a need.
We are to take care of others the same way we take care of ourselves.
We have died to sin and the law, being joined to Christ who came to fulfill the law, who enables us through His Spirit to fulfill the requirement of this law.
If we show partiality, we are committing sin, and instead of fulfilling the law, we are breaking the law.
To show partiality violates God’s Law!
Listen and Respond to God!
What are my needs? How do I take care of myself? Am I taking care of others the same way?
Do I struggle loving others? Why?
Or, do I find it easy to fulfill the royal law?
Who is my neighbor this day? Who has God put in my path?
How am I fulfilling the royal law – loving them as myself?
What am I doing to meet their needs?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
That’s It For Today!
Meditate on all God is showing you about the royal law.
“I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders,” (Psa 77:6)
Chat with God about loving others.
Record Your Discovery
Don’t forget to put the Definitions and Cross References not only in your Notes but also in your hardbound Bibles next to Jam 2:8-9.
You will be so glad you did.
Turn What We LEARNED into Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, we bow before You and are so grateful for Your Word that is Truth that tells us You are not partial, and You do not want us to be partial in any way. You have no favorites, and do not want us to show favor to anyone for any external reasons. Oh Father, bring to our hearts and minds, to each one of us, the times we have shown partiality, judging others, and may we confess and repent before You. Oh, please forgive us! If we didn’t know, we do now know Your royal law is to love You with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. These 2 commandments sum up everything to Your divine perfection! Out of our love for You, may we love others as You desire. Help those of us who have been justified by faith, remember that we have been joined to Christ, who fulfilled the law, so then we fulfill the royal law according to the Spirit. Oh, help us to understand that love does no wrong to others, and that we are to take care of others the way we take care of ourselves, thus fulfilling Your law! Oh Father, help us to love as You love, no matter who it is! May we obey You, and our Lord Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen!
Next: we will LOOK @ James 2:10-13.
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