Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”  James 2:12-13

Mercy triumphs over judgment. It’s a comforting sentiment, right, especially when you’re on the receiving end. Everyone is grateful to be shown mercy when facing judgment. In today’s verses James is admonishing his fellow believers, including us, to be merciful with one another, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.”

To understand this admonition more fully we should consider how mercy and judgment play out in God’s relationship to us. When James says that “mercy triumphs over judgment” he doesn’t mean that there is no just judgment or that wrongdoing should simply be dismissed, ignored, or excused as though it didn’t exist or had no consequences.

God is a just God and his justice found fulfillment in the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus—God in human flesh—came to earth and lived a perfect life, the only human being to ever meet all of God’s righteous requirements. Then he offered himself, taking upon himself the full judgment and justified wrath of God for our sins.

God’s justice was fully met in the death of Jesus on the cross. And it is through the sacrificial death of Jesus for us that God shows us mercy, not treating us as our sins deserve, but accepting Christ’s atonement on our behalf.

Romans 5:8 declares that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s where judgment and mercy meet and that’s how mercy triumphs over judgment.

As God loves us, so we are to love one another.

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church