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James - Chapter 2

James Chapters

1 My brothers, do not let class distinction enter into your faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord.

2 Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, well-dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes,

3 and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, 'Come this way to the best seats'; then you tell the poor man, 'Stand over there' or 'You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest.'

4 In making this distinction among yourselves have you not used a corrupt standard?

5 Listen, my dear brothers: it was those who were poor according to the world that God chose, to be rich in faith and to be the heirs to the kingdom which he promised to those who love him.

6 You, on the other hand, have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who lord it over you?

7 Are not they the ones who drag you into court, who insult the honourable name which has been pronounced over you?

8 Well, the right thing to do is to keep the supreme Law of scripture: you will love your neighbour as yourself;

9 but as soon as you make class distinctions, you are committing sin and under condemnation for breaking the Law.

10 You see, anyone who keeps the whole of the Law but trips up on a single point, is still guilty of breaking it all.

11 He who said, 'You must not commit adultery' said also, 'You must not kill.' Now if you commit murder, you need not commit adultery as well to become a breaker of the Law.

12 Talk and behave like people who are going to be judged by the law of freedom.

13 Whoever acts without mercy will be judged without mercy but mercy can afford to laugh at judgement.

14 How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation?

15 If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on,

16 and one of you says to them, 'I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,' without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?

17 In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.

18 But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds? Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then! It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.

19 You believe in the one God -- that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear.

20 Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

22 So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did.

23 In this way the scripture was fulfilled: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright; and he received the name 'friend of God'.

24 You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified.

25 There is another example of the same kind: Rahab the prostitute, was she not justified by her deeds because she welcomed the messengers and showed them a different way to leave?

26 As a body without a spirit is dead, so is faith without deeds.


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