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  • East Martin CRC

Many Facets of a Whole

James 2:8-11

Verse 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

We finished our time yesterday with the comment that we are not perfect. Is perfection even possible?

It is easy for us to justify our actions when it concerns some sins because we don’t see them as bad as the “big ones.” We seem to have made a system in our minds where we don’t have to hold ourselves to the law if we don’t think it is that important or if there is a way we think we can make a compromise with the command.

One of the hardest things to remember is that the 10 Commandments are not 10 laws that we get to pick and choose from. They are one law with 10 facets. Like a key with ten teeth that unlock the blessings of God when turned properly, this list will help us live as God commands us to live.

Jesus summarized the law by dividing it into two facets – love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength & love our neighbor as ourselves. He clarified them by saying that the law isn’t just about doing the “this and that” listed in the law. Jesus pointed out that not killing someone didn’t count for anything if you were thinking murderous thoughts about them. Nor does it count as keeping the command about committing adultery if you are lusting after someone in your heart and mind.

James builds on what Jesus had taught by saying that no one can keep the law. Because it is a single law with various components, if we break a single point of it we break the whole thing. If we keep 9 of the commands but have gods in our life other than God then we are guilty of breaking the law. It is like how breaking one small pane of a window causes the whole window to be considered broken.

When we see ourselves self-righteously, we think we are doing well to keep most of the commands. But when we look at ourselves in light of the law as one thing to be obeyed we will see the truth of ourselves. It is in seeing the truth of ourselves that we see the true holiness of God. And when we see His holiness we can live in the freedom of the law.

Making It Personal

What law have you thought wasn’t as important as the other 9? Which one have you thought was the most important? What changes need to happen in your life to align yourself to the whole of the law?

Making It Personal Kids

Can you recite the 10 commandments? Do you think they are all important? Which one is hardest to obey?

Closing Prayer

Father, we confess how many times we have failed to see the importance of all the law. Help us live as You would have us live. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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