Of those I have read so far, one of my favorite books of the Bible is James. However, I struggle with the below passage:
“For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, ‘You must not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘You must not murder.’ So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.”
I definitely grasp that a person is guilty by breaking any of the commandments. What is more difficult for me to comprehend is that a person who has broken a single commandment is just as guilty as a person who has broken all ten. How can this be?
I am often perplexed by binary questions, the kind looking for simple “Yes” or “No” answers. I grapple with this passage, then, because “Do you obey God’s law?” is the ultimate binary question.
Either we obey the commandments or we do not. “Yes, but. . . .” is not a valid answer, nor is “I obey the ones that are easy” or “I obey the most important ones.” What we are really saying with those kinds of responses is, “I obey the ones I choose.” Which means we are arrogant enough to think we know better than our all-knowing God.
Do I obey God’s law?
I sin every day. Even when I am on my very best behavior and have the greatest day ever, I sin. I have broken over half of the commandments, many of them repeatedly. Even after being saved, I still break God’s law.
What is wrong with me?
The answer to that question is simple. I am human. There was only one perfect man, and our imperfect ancestors crucified him.
Jesus is also the answer for my sins, though. The perfect man without sin served as the ultimate sacrifice for all of us imperfect, sinful humans.
No matter how hard I try, even if He granted me a blank slate today, I will never be able to obey all of God’s commandments. I will fail and sin, as I have to this point in my life. Over and over. When it comes to obeying God’s law, I am a failure, and I always will be.
By accepting Jesus into my heart, I have been absolved of my failures.
Since I will always fail and yet be forgiven, does this mean I might as well break all of the commandments (Romans 6:15)?
Jesus suffered on the cross for me, for all of us.
Do I really want to be disrespectful to His sacrifice by using His love as an escape clause?
Now, there’s a binary question that I can answer without struggle: No.
Thank you for reading. May God bless you.