“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, ‘Do not kill.’ Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” -James 2:10-11
This passage really stretches the net far and wide for the guilty under the law of God. It assures everyone that irrespective of which part of the law we break, we are as it states, “guilty of ALL.” That’s deep because throughout my years of being a Christian, I can recall countless people having what I call “comparative complex holiness.” I’m sure if you’ve been saved long enough to take on an opportunity to evangelize, you’ve encountered someone in this category who might have said, “I’m a good person. I haven’t killed anyone.” Or… “Well, I may have done drugs, but I never became a drug dealer. I pay my taxes, tithes, charities, etc. I go to church…” The list goes on and on. The truth of the Word of God is clear: “You broke one, you broke them all…”
This destroys all of mankind’s excuses of “comparative holiness.”
Now let me also clarify that the law, not legalism, has it’s Biblical purpose or role in the PROCESS or PATH TO salvation; for it is “perfect for converting the soul.” (Psalm 19:7) By no means can the law save you, (Galatians 2:21), however, it is the “stepping stone” to conviction which then leads to repentance. We cannot understand true Biblical salvation without first understanding what exactly we are being saved from. Paul said that without the law, he would have not known sin. For example you can’t be guilty of “speeding” without there first being a “speed limit.” To stress, the law emphasized to point out or guilt showing the need of a Savior is not legalism, it’s Biblical.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” -Psalm 19:7
“…I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died…Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” -Romans 7:7-9,12
“But the scripture hath concluded ALL under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” -Galatians 3:22-24
Christ came to save us from our sin, but if we are not first convinced we need “saving” and don’t understand or even recognize our guilt, good luck convincing someone they need to surrender their life. This being very difficult and the threats of being called “legalistic” is why many people are reverting to a new evangelistic approach brought under the pretense of “God will make my life better” as though He is somehow an enhancer to it, and not our Lord and King. It’s no wonder that statistically over 90% of all new “converts” eventually backslide. That’s because Jesus is not now, nor ever simply an “enhancer” to our life; He becomes our life!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20
Once we not only recognize the law’s purpose as a mirror exposing our sin and our need for a savior, then we become more effective for the Kingdom of God in saving souls under the pretense of saved from damnation as opposed to just making life better. The harsh reality is, it doesn’t always get better, it actually gets worse in many respects because we now have an enemy called satan who is “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8)
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” -Luke 9:23-24
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
The truth is God never promises the life as a Christian would be “easy,” however, He does promise it will be worth it!
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” -Romans 6:22
In conclusion, no matter how good we think we are, if we broke one law, we’ve broken them ALL. Having that understanding, it puts all mankind on an equal playing field of desperation for Christ. You may think of yourself better than others in some regard, but regardless, you and I need salvation just as much as anyone in this world, and salvation is only found in Jesus Christ!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” -1 John 1:9-10
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6