James 2
NET Bible

Prejudice and the Law of Love

1My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. 2For if someone comes into your assembly wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, 3do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”? 4If so, have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives? 5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor! Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts? 7Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one you belong to? 8But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. 10For the one who obeys the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law. 12Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. 13For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Works Together

14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. 18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear.

20But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James 1
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