The Test of True Religion, Part 3
Passage: James 2:8–2:9
The key word of this passage is religion. A religious person is one whose external living is directed by their inner beliefs. Acting in harmony with what we believe is the essence of true religion as mentioned in 1:26-27.
The attention of this letter is now focused on what true and undefiled religion looks like. Up to this point, James has discussed four characteristics.
- Bridling your tongue (1:26)
- Visiting the orphans and widows (1:27a)
- Keep yourself unspotted from the world (1:27b)
- Do not show partiality (2:1-7)
1A. THE COMMUNICATION OF A COMMAND
1B. Do what is right: Love your neighbor as yourself
2B. Don’t do wrong: If you show partiality, you commit sin
2A. THE CONSECRATION NEEDED TO FULFILL THE COMMAND
1B. Fulfill righteousness: Fulfill the royal law
2B. Don’t fulfill unrighteousness: Do not transgress the law
3A. THE COMMENDATION GIVEN TO THE ONE WHO FULFILLS THIS COMMAND
The ultimate goal of the believer is to hear the words spoken in Matthew 25:23. “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”