“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
William Huntington comments,
James here intimates that it is not enough for a man to see, but to feel; not only to look into this law, but to get into it, and to continue therein, as all will who get into this law aright; for if they do “err from it, they shall come to understanding again.”
The blessing is on those, and only those, who are in this law, for the curse is on all who are out of it.
But then what is this law? The law of release, the law of faith; but why is it called the law of liberty? Because the obedience of Christ to the precepts of the moral law justifies us and frees us from the yoke, “Do and live.” The death of Christ frees us from the curse of the law; the blood of Christ frees us from the guilt of sin; the love of Christ frees us from wrath, torment, and the fear of it; and the Spirit of Christ frees us from the sordid disposition and base principles of slaves; and the reigning grace of Christ frees us from the reign of sin, and from the apostacy of hypocrites.
This man is not “a forgetful hearer,” he never forgets the hill Mizar; nor can he get from his part and lot in this law; and such an one “is a doer of the word and work too.” But what work? Not the works of the flesh, for these are sin; nor the works of Herod, who did many things, but nothing right; nor dead works, for the blood of Christ purges the conscience from them; nor the works of the law, for such are cursed in their deeds, instead of being blessed; much less the works of darkness, which are errors and heresy: and there are also deceitful workers, who walk in craftiness, and handle the word of God deceitfully, in order to make the heart of the righteous sad, and to strengthen the hands of evil doers; but which of all these sorts of workers “are blessed in their deeds?” I answer, None of them; for they that are of the works of the law are under the curse, and so are they who are of the works of darkness; and “cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully,” Jer. xlviii. 10.