Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors (James 2:7-9, NKJV).
There is only one book in the New Testament that is attributed to James. While the author does not stipulate which James he is, it is generally accepted that the letter comes from James, the brother of Jesus. Though perhaps at first skeptical about Jesus’ Messiahship (John 7:5), James eventually rose to an influential leadership position in the New Testament church (Acts 15:13, Gal. 1:19). Again, if Jesus had intended to abrogate the divine law, His own brother certainly would have known.
Read James 2:1-26. What is the basic message of the chapter? Why would James summarize the law as he did in James 2:7-9, only then immediately to say what he said about keeping all the commandments? How do these verses show the link between love and obeying God’s law?
Misunderstanding Paul’s teaching on the law, some argue that James and Paul are opposed to each other regarding the role of the law. The major point of contention is over the place of works in salvation. Paul declares that we are saved by grace through faith apart from works (Eph. 2:8-9), while James emphasizes that faith without works is dead (James 2:26, NKJV). These statements are not contradictory; James is merely expressing in a forceful manner what Paul had said numerous times about grace not nullifying the law. Like Paul in Romans 13:9, James fully understands that the essence of God’s law is love (James 2:8). No one can truly claim to keep God’s commandments if he or she does not demonstrate practical acts of love.