The Whole Law – James 2:10, An Illustration

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. (James 2:8-10)

Imagine if you will a wide, deep canyon–a vast expanse between two great cliffs.  Between them stretches a great length of rope.  If you were to study the rope, you would see that every statute, every precept, every command–every jot and tittle in the whole of the Law of God–is written upon every square inch of it.  In fact, closer inspection would reveal God’s law was not just written on every thread and every fiber, but in fact God’s law comprised every fiber stretching the expanse.

Far, far below, fire and lava churn and smoke belches up from the depths of that infernal gulf.  Even at this great a distance from the bottom, you can still feel the heat emanating upward from below.  Now imagine being blindfolded and having your hands fastened behind your back.  You are being led to the edge of the cliff of the side on which you stand.  You must cross over, you have no choice.  You were given an option–to be carried over, but you would not trust in someone else to get you across, deciding instead to trust in your own abilities.

You are beginning to sweat.  One foot stretches out, feebly fumbling around and feeling for the rope, testing it.  A voice right beside you says that each step you take will actually be guided by every thought, action, and decision that you made in life.  When they were motivated by love for God and for His holy Law, and pure devotion to that Law, your footing will be certain and the rope will hold strong.  But if at any point, your heart was motivated by sin and by selfishness, by a desire for selfish gain, at that very point where God’s law was broken (whether by word, by thought, or by deed) the rope will snap, and you will plummet.  The whole Law must be kept from beginning to end.  If it is broken at any point, it matters little how much or how little of it was kept.  Your destination is still the same.  Whether you take two steps or two thousand matters not.  If you fail to keep the Law perfectly, your end is the fiery pit.

BUT…

There is hope.  There *is* one who has perfectly kept the Law.  There is one who promises to save you from the destruction that awaits.  There is one–and ONLY one–who can carry you across this vast expanse between Heaven and earth, crossing the great divide between God and man.  There *is* one who can save you.  His name is Jesus, the Son of the Living God.  Will you trust Him?

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

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