James 2

1My dear brothers and sisters, you are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. So don’t think that some people are more important than other people. 2Suppose a person comes into your group. This person is wearing very nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. 3You show special attention to the person wearing nice clothes. You say, “Sit here in this good seat.” But you say to the poor person, “Stand there!” or, “Sit on the floor by our feet!” 4What are you doing? You are making some people more important than others. With evil thoughts you are deciding which person is better. 5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! God chose the poor people in the world to be rich with faith. He chose them to receive the kingdom God promised to people who love him. 6But you show no respect to the poor man. And you know that the rich people are the people who always try to control your lives. And they are the people who take you to court. 7And the rich people are the people who say bad things against the good name of the One ˻(Jesus)˼ who owns you. 8One law rules over all other laws. This royal law is found in the Scriptures: “Love other people the same as you love yourself.” If you obey this law, then you are doing right. 9But if you are treating one person like he is more important than another person, then you are sinning. That royal law proves that you are guilty of breaking God’s law. 10And you might follow all of God’s law. But if you fail to obey only one command, then you are guilty of breaking all the commands in that law. 11God said, “Don’t do the sin of adultery.” The same God also said, “Don’t kill.” So if you don’t do the sin of adultery, but you kill a person, then you are guilty of breaking all of ˻God’s˼ law. 12You will be judged by the law that makes people free. You should remember this in everything you say and do. 13Yes, you must show mercy to other people. If you do not show mercy, then God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear when he is judged. 14My brothers and sisters, if a person says that he has faith, but does nothing, then that faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save him? No! 15A brother or sister ˻in Christ˼ might need clothes or might need food to eat. 16And you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat.” You say these things, but you don’t give that person those things he needs. If you don’t help that person, your words are worth nothing. 17It is the same with faith. If faith does nothing, then that faith is dead, because it is alone. 18A person might say, “You have faith, but I do things. Show me your faith! Your faith does nothing. I will show you my faith by the things I do.” 19You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe, too! And they shake with fear. 20You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? 21Abraham is our father. Abraham was made right with God by the things he did. He offered ˻(gave)˼ his son Isaac to God on the altar. 22So you see that Abraham’s faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by the things he did. 23This shows the full meaning of the Scripture that says: “Abraham believed God. And God accepted Abraham’s faith. That faith made Abraham right with God.” Abraham was called “God’s friend.” 24So you see that a person is made right with God by the things he does. He cannot be made right by faith only. 25Another example is Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute. But she was made right with God by something she did: She helped the spies ˻for God’s people˼. She welcomed them into her home and helped them escape by a different road. 26A person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead. It is the same with faith—faith that does nothing is dead!

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