Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mercy triumphs!

The story of salvation begins entirely with God and his gracious action. But then the assumption is that, given this rebirth and empowerment, a person shall live wholeheartedly according to God’s will. Sanctification is inseparable from salvation. When people instead choose the idols of worldly power and wealth, or even nation or family over God, they reveal their doubleminded hesitation, and for that they receive judgment. In this economy, judgment is not the shock. Rather, God’s responsiveness to his people’s attempts at single-minded worship, mercy, and repentance is astounding. Perfection is not expected, but the letter depicts deep frustration over the audience’s willful lack of growth. Their covenant adultery has James upset and concerned, because the only outcome for such duplicity is judgment and destruction. But praise be to God, “mercy triumphs over judgment.”—"Salvation in James: Saved by Gift to Become Merciful," by Mariam Kamell Kovalishyn in Reading the Epistle of James: A Resource for Students, ed. Eric F. Mason and Darian R. Lockett, forthcoming

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