If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. James 2:8
There are two words that I especially love in this scripture: “fulfill” and “royal”.
Did you know there is a royal law? Well, let’s go a step back… Do you know what royalty is? Have you ever stepped up close to anything remotely related to royalty?
Most of us probably have not. I, too, have never.
But I have been near a few dignitaries and they literally reeked of power. I wonder how meeting royalty would feel like.
And here we are, being called to fulfill a royal law! We would all be forgiven to think we were dreaming! But we are not dreaming. It is real. And the unbelievable part is that it is not earthly royalty calling us; it is God Himself who is calling us.
God is calling us to a royal errand. But God does not give us errands the way we fallen humans give errands to people: “Boy, run over and bring me the newspaper!”
On the contrary, God calls us softly to His side. He then asks us to work with Him shoulder to shoulder.
And what, pray, is this work that God seeks us so much to share with Him? Could it be preaching? Performing miracles? Giving? Yes, it is all these, but there is more. There is one that ties all these together. Actually, when Jesus was saying goodbye to His disciples He left them only one commandment. In John 13:34 we read, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” He did not add any another law.
That is why James calls it the royal law. Preaching is not the royal law. Loving is.
For God is love.
Having looked at the “royal” part, let us now turn to the even more exciting part – the “fulfilling” of this law. What an indescribably incredible honor and grace to find ourselves daily fulfilling even a tiny portion of that errand through dying to self and identifying our lives with the sacrifice of Christ!
Have you ever pondered 1 Cor. 6:20: “For ye are bought with a price …”
We may have received our salvation freely, but it is because Someone paid for it. And He paid for it with His life.
What an unspeakable honor to find ourselves paying even a tiny fraction of the same price that Christ paid!
And who, pray, is our neighbor? According to James’s account, our neighbor is the poor man. Actually, James is warning us against partiality, for as humans we are prone to that.
Let us love as Christ loved – by showing no partiality.
[Below: The law of love: no partiality]