James, CHAPTER 2
Sin of Partiality.
My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?
Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?
But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court?
Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?
However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it.
For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not kill.” Even if you do not commit adultery but kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.
So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom.
For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Works.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?
So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone may say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.
Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.
Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.”
See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?
For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.