The law of love
So speak, and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13 NASB
From the text, James was not suggesting in any sense that we can saved by showing mercy to the poor and needy. He stands firm on what the Bible teaches that the only means of salvation is by faith, by the grace of God alone. We are saved only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. But once you claim that you are saved, you cannot live as if you have not experienced the mercy and grace of God. Those who have received mercy will not withhold showing mercy to others. As James closes this section about the problem of favoritism, he provides a principle that should guide how we live our life. He placed before his readers that the future judgment by God should be approached by believers with confidence and not fear because they have lived their lives obedient to God. He tells them that their speech and actions should be guided by the reality of the coming judgment. “So speak, and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom” (James 2:12). Paul also talks about this future judgment where believers will be involved not for the purpose of salvation but for the reward. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). The basis of the judgment will be on how believers applied the law of love. “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). The Lord Jesus Christ will commend those who had shown mercy to others. “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me” (Matthew 25:40). As followers of Christ, we should be motivated by the law of love for we know that mercy triumphs over judgment. God wants us to face judgment with confidence saying to our Lord Jesus Christ that we followed His example and obeyed his will for our lives. When we live by the law of love because of God’s working in our lives, we will forsake immaturity and pursue spiritual growth allowing God’s grace to flow through us showing love and mercy to others.