So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
James is taking us now into some territory which might be considered controversial. We have talked about this a couple of times, and we will continue as we go through James just to prevent any misunderstandings of what is being taught here.
Earlier, James just put in his writing what any Christian already knows; this is the simple fact that any sin, whether large or small, separates us from a perfect and Holy God as surely as any other sin. His point was simply that the sin of partiality is as serious in the eyes of a perfect and Holy God as the sin of murder, or adultery.
One thing to bear in mind throughout James’ epistle is that James is writing to believers. Any conflict between James’ discussion of works and salvation by grace through faith is merely imaginary and quite explainable.
So, when James speaks of judgment in this passage, he is not speaking of any judgment where a person’s eternal destiny will be decided. If his listeners were truly saved individuals, then that determination had already been made. Nonetheless, believers will answer for the things they have done in their lives, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10) This is at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and is for the dispensing of rewards to the believer, not the judgment of Heaven or Hell.
A full reading of the Book of James clearly shows the lesson which permeates the entire book. James’ point throughout is that faith which is real will produce a change in the person who exercises that faith to salvation. James is saying that we demonstrate the reality of our faith by the way we live.