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James 2

See commentary, What If..., James 1-5   |   See Bible Dictionary

It is not agreeable to Christian profession to regard the rich, and to despise the poor brethren;

2:1 My brothers, don’t hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality.

2:2 For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in;

2:3 and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say,

“Sit here in a good place;”
and you tell the poor man,
“Stand there,”
or
“Sit by my footstool;”

2:4 haven’t you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn’t God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him?

2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?

2:7 Don’t they blaspheme the honorable name by which you are called?

2:8 However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture,

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”*
you do well.

2:9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.

2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

2:11 For he who said,

“Do not commit adultery,”*
also said,
“Do not commit murder.”*
Now if you do not commit adultery, but murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

2:12 So speak, and so do, as men who are to be judged by a law of freedom.

rather we are to be loving and merciful;

2:13 For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

and not to boast of faith where no deeds are;

2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?

2:15 And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food,

2:16 and one of you tells them,

“Go in peace, be warmed and filled;”
and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it?

which is but a dead faith;

2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.

2:18 Yes, a man will say,

“You have faith, and I have works.”
Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

the faith of the devils;

2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well.

    The demons also believe, and shudder.

2:20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?

not of Abraham;

2:21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

2:22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;

2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says,

“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;” *
and he was called the friend of God.

2:24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

nor Rahab.

2:25 In like manner wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way?

2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

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