Favoritism Forbidden

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious(A) Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.(B) Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges(C) with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters:(D) Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world(E) to be rich in faith(F) and to inherit the kingdom(G) he promised those who love him?(H) But you have dishonored the poor.(I) Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?(J) Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a](K) you are doing right. But if you show favoritism,(L) you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.(M) 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles(N) at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.(O) 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b](P) also said, “You shall not murder.”[c](Q) If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged(R) by the law that gives freedom,(S) 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.(T) Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?(U) Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.(V) 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?(W) 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.(X)

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds,(Y) and I will show you my faith(Z) by my deeds.(AA) 19 You believe that there is one God.(AB) Good! Even the demons believe that(AC)—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]?(AD) 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?(AE) 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together,(AF) and his faith was made complete by what he did.(AG) 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e](AH) and he was called God’s friend.(AI) 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?(AJ) 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. James 2:8 Lev. 19:18
  2. James 2:11 Exodus 20:14; Deut. 5:18
  3. James 2:11 Exodus 20:13; Deut. 5:17
  4. James 2:20 Some early manuscripts dead
  5. James 2:23 Gen. 15:6

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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