07 January 2009

The Whole Law

Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. --James 2:10

I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. --Gal 5:3

Whoever gives nomism a finger must give it the whole hand. When applied in this way, especially with regard to the ritual prescriptions of the Law, there is in fact something alarming about this Jewish principle. Indeed, Paul intends to alarm his readers with it and to deter them from any pact with the Law. --Martin Dibelius, Commentary on James, 146

In my gospel-forgetfulness I tend to think that at least partial lawkeeping is better than no lawkeeping. At least I'll do something to be good. At least, say, the manageable parts of the law, the ritual parts. But between these two options of partial lawkeeping or no lawkeeping, God would rather have me be blatantly immoral. At then then I would know I'm resisting grace.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Boy, I needed to hear that again. When I'm confessing sin (something I have to do with painful frequency), I so easily think, "Well, I could have sinned in an even worse way, or I'm not as bad as that guy over there." What a mistake! Don't want to relate to God on that basis.