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Answer to Question 2

James talks about transgressing the law. Why is it important to obey the laws sent down by God?

In verse 10 James begins his thesis on the law: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

We know that there are 10 commandments. These were handed to Moses by the one and the same God who looks out for us. Thus we see His commandments as his will explicitly set out. There is no mistaking their content; and James reminds us that "the one who said 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, "Do not kill." The commandments then are His will. When we violate any one of them we are violating God's will. Thus, we must strive to be good in all things. We can take comfort in the fact that we have not murdered, not dishonored our mother and father, not stolen our neighbors goods. But if we have lied, or cheated, we have put a blemish on our soul. We have violated God's law.

In verse 12 we read about "The Law of Liberty". It is an interesting notion. It embodies the idea that we are not compelled to obey the law by outside forces. There is not a statute on the books that says we must not covet our neighbors wife. There is not a statute on the books that says we must not lie (except under oath). Rather we are impelled to do it by the divine spark within our soul that urges us to goodness and to forsake evil.

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