James 2:12 KJV
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Verses 1-13 could almost be taken as an attack against the rich. James reminds these believers, who had been playing favoritism toward those who appeared to be wealthy (based upon the clothing they wore). A couple of things have to be kept in mind:
This is not giving permission to come to worship the Lord without taking care to be at your best.
In those days a person displayed his status by the clothing that he wore. He showed off if you will, he made those who were his lessers know that he was the better by wearing clothing that only the most wealthy could wear. Any Christian, regardless of financial station ought to consider it an obligation to be clean and presentable when coming before the Lord.
The rich here seem to be more than merely those who have money and possessions but those who, because of their status also have political influence.
James reminds his readers in verse seven that it is these rich people, whom they were elevating, that blaspheme the name of Christ.
James ends this train of thought by bringing his reader to the courtroom of grace. We, who are believers, are judged differently than others. Commenting on this verse John Gill writes,
· "Heathens will be judged by the law of nature
· Jews by the law of Moses, and"
· Believers by the law of liberty
We have this rule to live by; "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" and only the law of liberty to judge us. Let us then be more interested in the souls of men and women for eternity than in the status of them in this temporary life.