This message is a companion to two previous messages: If Ye Fulfill the Royal Law (Part 1) - James 2:8
If Ye Fulfill the Royal Law (Part 2) - James 2:8
James 2:8 reads, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.”
In James 2:8 we find the commendation of the Lord our God Himself in His Holy Word unto all who fulfill His royal law. Herein the law of the Lord our God is described as His royal law because He is the divine Lord and King of our lives. Indeed, this reveals that we believers in this time of the New Testament do have the responsibility to serve under our Lord’s authority and to submit ourselves in obedience under the authority of law for our lives. Furthermore, we have the responsibility to fulfill our Lord’s royal law, that is – to obey it completely and consistently. Finally, we are brought to understand that we must fulfill our Lord’s royal law over our lives in accord with the Old Testament Scripture from Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” If we do this, then the Lord our God through His Holy Word by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit commends us with the declaration, “Ye do well.” If we do this, then in our Lord’s sight we are walking in the way of righteousness.
So then, what does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves? In Leviticus 19:17-18 this instruction was first given, wherein God’s word declares, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” Then throughout the New Testament, this instruction of our God’s law was quoted by our Lord Jesus Christ on two occasion in Matthew 19:19 & 22:39 (with Mark 12:31 being a parallel passage to Matthew 22:39), by the apostle Paul on two further occasions in Romans 13:9 & Galatians 5:14, and by James in James 2:8. Even so, through a study of these and of some supporting passages, we may develop a greater understanding concerning what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Already in the first part of the study, we considered two truths concerning this matter, as follows:
1. To love our neighbor as ourselves is the foundational principle of God’s law in relation to others.
2. To love our neighbor as ourselves is a debt that we constantly owe unto those around us.
3. To love our neighbor as ourselves means that we work no ill against those around us.
4. To love our neighbor as ourselves means that we not use our Christian liberty for an occasion to our selfish flesh.
5. To love our neighbor as ourselves means that we pursue a behavior of service unto those around us.
6. To love our neighbor as ourselves means that we not verbally “bite and devour” those around us.
Now, in this third part of the study, let us consider four additional truths.