Obedience Must Be Perfect

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

James 2:10

Human religious tradition has established a severity scale for sin. They have made the same way as with the civil laws. In societies there are crimes that are penalized with higher punishment than other. Thus, they can be considered as very dangerous criminals to serial murderers, child molesters, drug dealers or terrorists; while they are seen as less serious offenses giving false testimony or steal a lesser amount. But the criterion of the Bible is that any violation of the Law of God is equivalent to rape it completely.

I will present here something that the British minister Derek Thomas (1953- ) said: “There are only two ways of salvation: by Law or by grace. If salvation is to be obtained by Law, you need a perfect obedience. There can be no imperfections and defects, because the Law will never have mercy. It knows nothing about grace or forgiveness. It demands perfection, because anyone who transgresses even a small detail violates the whole Law of God. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).”

Derek Thomas continues: “Going to heaven through obedience requires perfection. Just doing the best you can it will be insufficient; good intentions are not enough. It is vitally important to understand exactly how the law demands from us, if it is that we think to be in a right relationship with God through the observance of the Law, in simple words: for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:16).”

I have known people who fear to read the Old Testament, but they love to read the New. It is likely that these people do not even know the reason why while in the Old they see God as punisher; in the New they view Him as a God of love. The reason is that the Old covenant was governed by Law, but grace is the driving force of the new covenant. If you’re going to be bound by the old covenant, your obedience to the Law must be perfect because otherwise you will be liable to judgment.

I think the best example I know to describe how God’s Law applies is the federal law on sexual abuse in the United States. Who is convicted of sexual abuse in the United States, virtually has a condemnation upon him chasing him for the rest of his life. No matter that the person has fully served his sentence in prison, anyway, coming out of it, his name is placed on a public register to which any citizen has access and data are placed on a website with your photo and the label “sexual predator.”

No matter if the person was accused of sexual offense because he only undue friction over another person, for the purposes of the law, it’s a sexual predator and he should carry that stigma for life. In the same way, who he said only a “small white lie” or once looked greedily the new car of his neighbor, will be found to have completely violated the Ten Commandments.

Knowing that no human being is perfect, it is impossible to meet the requirements of the implacable Law of God. If you want to enjoy forgiveness, mercy and love of God, do not trust your works, but repent of your sins and become Christ. God bless you.


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