James 2:8-11 KJV Guilty of a “Lesser Commandment”

James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
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.


We tend to associate James 2:10 with the verses following it regarding two of the Ten Commandments; against adultery and murder.  It is key, I believe, to associate it also with the verses preceding it regarding what might by many be considered a lesser commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.


This “lesser commandment” though not found among the ten, is part of those laws of the Old Testament[1] and was especially singled out by Christ as second only to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine…[2]


Two things come to mind:

  • The importance of loving and respecting all persons
  • The serious mistake of attempting to earn righteousness through these laws

If a man is trying to earn his righteousness through keeping the law and just one time prefers one man above another he has committed a sin as heinous as adultery or murder.


God offers a better righteousness through faith in Christ. His righteousness liberates us to then practice good works for the sake of the work and not as a futile effort to please God in the flesh.

[1] Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

[2] Matthew 22:37


For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 2:8-11 Offend in one point

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Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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