Testing Your Faith

[a](A)James, a (B)bond-servant of God and (C)of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To (D)the twelve tribes who are [b](E)dispersed abroad: (F)Greetings.

(G)Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter (H)various [c]trials, knowing that (I)the testing of your (J)faith produces [d](K)endurance. And let [e](L)endurance have its perfect [f]result, so that you may be [g](M)perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you (N)lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [h]without reproach, and (O)it will be given to him. But he must (P)ask in faith (Q)without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, (R)driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a [i](S)double-minded man, (T)unstable in all his ways.

(U)But the [j]brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because (V)like [k]flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with [l](W)a scorching wind and (X)withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.

12 (Y)Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has [m]been approved, he will receive (Z)the crown of life which the Lord (AA)has promised to those who (AB)love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “(AC)I am being tempted [n]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [o]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then (AD)when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when (AE)sin [p]is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 (AF)Do not be [q]deceived, (AG)my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is (AH)from above, coming down from (AI)the Father of lights, (AJ)with whom there is no variation or [r]shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of (AK)His will He (AL)brought us forth by (AM)the word of truth, so that we would be [s]a kind of (AN)first fruits [t]among His creatures.

19 [u]This (AO)you know, (AP)my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, (AQ)slow to speak and (AR)slow to anger; 20 for (AS)the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, (AT)putting aside all filthiness and all [v]that remains of wickedness, in [w]humility receive (AU)the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 (AV)But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his [x]natural face (AW)in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, [y]he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, (AX)the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but [z]an effectual doer, this man will be (AY)blessed in [aa]what he does.

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not [ab](AZ)bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion (BA)in the sight of our God and Father is this: to (BB)visit (BC)orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained [ac]by (BD)the world.

The Sin of Partiality

(BE)My brethren, (BF)do not hold your faith in our (BG)glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of (BH)personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your [ad]assembly with a gold ring and dressed in [ae](BI)fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in (BJ)dirty clothes, and you [af]pay special attention to the one who is wearing the (BK)fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges (BL)with evil [ag]motives? Listen, (BM)my beloved brethren: did not (BN)God choose the poor [ah]of this world to be (BO)rich in faith and (BP)heirs of the kingdom which He (BQ)promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and [ai]personally (BR)drag you into [aj]court? (BS)Do they not blaspheme the fair name [ak]by which you have been called?

If, however, you (BT)are fulfilling the [al]royal law according to the Scripture, “(BU)You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you (BV)show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the [am]law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole [an]law and yet (BW)stumbles in one point, he has become (BX)guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “(BY)Do not commit adultery,” also said, “(BZ)Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the [ao]law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by (CA)the law of liberty. 13 For (CB)judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy [ap]triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Works

14 (CC)What use is it, (CD)my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [aq]that faith save him? 15 (CE)If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “(CF)Go in peace, [ar]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so (CG)faith, if it has no works, is [as]dead, being by itself.

18 (CH)But someone [at]may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your (CI)faith without the works, and I will (CJ)show you my faith (CK)by my works.” 19 You believe that [au](CL)God is one. (CM)You do well; (CN)the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, (CO)you foolish fellow, that (CP)faith without works is useless? 21 (CQ)Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that (CR)faith was working with his works, and [av]as a result of the (CS)works, faith was [aw]perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “(CT)And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called (CU)the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not (CV)Rahab the harlot also justified by works (CW)when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also (CX)faith without works is dead.

The Tongue Is a Fire

(CY)Let not many of you become teachers, (CZ)my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a [ax]stricter judgment. For we all (DA)stumble in many ways. (DB)If anyone does not stumble in [ay]what he says, he is a (DC)perfect man, able to (DD)bridle the whole body as well. Now (DE)if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it (DF)boasts of great things.

(DG)See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And (DH)the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which (DI)defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our [az]life, and is set on fire by [ba](DJ)hell. For every [bb]species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human [bc]race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of (DK)deadly poison. With it we bless (DL)our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, (DM)who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both [bd]fresh and bitter water? 12 (DN)Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce [be]fresh.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? (DO)Let him show by his (DP)good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter (DQ)jealousy and [bf]selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against (DR)the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down (DS)from above, but is (DT)earthly, [bg](DU)natural, (DV)demonic. 16 For where (DW)jealousy and [bh]selfish ambition exist, [bi]there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom (DX)from above is first (DY)pure, then (DZ)peaceable, (EA)gentle, [bj]reasonable, (EB)full of mercy and good fruits, (EC)unwavering, without (ED)hypocrisy. 18 And the [bk](EE)seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace [bl]by those who make peace.

Things to Avoid

[bm]What is the source of quarrels and (EF)conflicts among you? [bn]Is not the source your pleasures that wage (EG)war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you (EH)commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and (EI)do not receive, because you ask [bo]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [bp]on your pleasures. You (EJ)adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with (EK)the world is (EL)hostility toward God? (EM)Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture (EN)speaks to no purpose: “[bq]He [br]jealously desires (EO)the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But (EP)He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “(EQ)God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (ER)Submit therefore to God. (ES)Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (ET)Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (EU)Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and (EV)purify your hearts, you (EW)double-minded. (EX)Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 (EY)Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

11 (EZ)Do not speak against one another, (FA)brethren. He who speaks against a brother or (FB)judges his brother, speaks against (FC)the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not (FD)a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one (FE)Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is (FF)able to save and to destroy; but (FG)who are you who judge your neighbor?

13 (FH)Come now, you who say, “(FI)Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 [bs]Yet you do not know [bt]what your life will be like tomorrow. (FJ)You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 [bu]Instead, you ought to say, “(FK)If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your [bv]arrogance; (FL)all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, (FM)to one who knows the [bw]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Misuse of Riches

(FN)Come now, (FO)you rich, (FP)weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. (FQ)Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is (FR)in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, (FS)the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and (FT)the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of (FU)the Lord of [bx]Sabaoth. You have (FV)lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have [by]fattened your hearts in (FW)a day of slaughter. You have condemned and [bz](FX)put to death (FY)the righteous man; he does not resist you.

Exhortation

Therefore be patient, (FZ)brethren, (GA)until the coming of the Lord. (GB)The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until [ca]it gets (GC)the early and late rains. (GD)You too be patient; (GE)strengthen your hearts, for (GF)the coming of the Lord is (GG)near. (GH)Do not [cb]complain, (GI)brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, (GJ)the Judge is standing [cc](GK)right at the [cd]door. 10 As an example, (GL)brethren, of suffering and patience, take (GM)the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We count those (GN)blessed who endured. You have heard of (GO)the [ce]endurance of Job and have seen (GP)the [cf]outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that (GQ)the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

12 But above all, (GR)my brethren, (GS)do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but [cg]your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

13 Is anyone among you (GT)suffering? (GU)Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to (GV)sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for (GW)the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, [ch](GX)anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the (GY)prayer [ci]offered in faith will [cj](GZ)restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will (HA)raise him up, and if he has committed sins, [ck]they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, (HB)confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be (HC)healed. (HD)The effective [cl]prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was (HE)a man with a nature like ours, and (HF)he prayed [cm]earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for (HG)three years and six months. 18 Then he (HH)prayed again, and (HI)the [cn]sky [co]poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

19 My brethren, (HJ)if any among you strays from (HK)the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that [cp]he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will (HL)save his soul from death and will (HM)cover a multitude of sins.

Footnotes

  1. James 1:1 Or Jacob
  2. James 1:1 Lit in the Dispersion
  3. James 1:2 Or temptations
  4. James 1:3 Or steadfastness
  5. James 1:4 V 3, note 1
  6. James 1:4 Lit work
  7. James 1:4 Or mature
  8. James 1:5 Lit does not reproach
  9. James 1:8 Or doubting, hesitating
  10. James 1:9 I.e. church member
  11. James 1:10 Lit the flower of the grass
  12. James 1:11 Lit the
  13. James 1:12 Or passed the test
  14. James 1:13 Lit from
  15. James 1:13 Lit of evil things
  16. James 1:15 Lit is brought to completion
  17. James 1:16 Or misled
  18. James 1:17 Lit shadow of turning
  19. James 1:18 Or a certain first fruits
  20. James 1:18 Lit of
  21. James 1:19 Or Know this
  22. James 1:21 Lit abundance of malice
  23. James 1:21 Or gentleness
  24. James 1:23 Lit the face of his birth; or nature
  25. James 1:24 Lit and he
  26. James 1:25 Lit a doer of a work
  27. James 1:25 Lit his doing
  28. James 1:26 Or control
  29. James 1:27 Lit from
  30. James 2:2 Or synagogue
  31. James 2:2 Or bright
  32. James 2:3 Lit look at
  33. James 2:4 Lit reasonings
  34. James 2:5 Lit to the
  35. James 2:6 Lit they themselves
  36. James 2:6 Lit courts
  37. James 2:7 Lit which has been called upon you
  38. James 2:8 Or law of our King
  39. James 2:9 Or Law
  40. James 2:10 Or Law
  41. James 2:11 Or Law
  42. James 2:13 Lit boasts against
  43. James 2:14 Lit the
  44. James 2:16 Or warm yourselves and fill yourselves
  45. James 2:17 Or dead by its own standards
  46. James 2:18 Lit will
  47. James 2:19 One early ms reads there is one God
  48. James 2:22 Or by the deeds
  49. James 2:22 Or completed
  50. James 3:1 Or greater condemnation
  51. James 3:2 Lit word
  52. James 3:6 Or existence, origin
  53. James 3:6 Gr Gehenna
  54. James 3:7 Lit nature
  55. James 3:7 Lit nature
  56. James 3:11 Lit sweet
  57. James 3:12 V 11, note 1
  58. James 3:14 Or strife
  59. James 3:15 Or unspiritual
  60. James 3:16 V 14, note 1
  61. James 3:16 I.e. in that place
  62. James 3:17 Or willing to yield
  63. James 3:18 Lit fruit of righteousness
  64. James 3:18 Or for
  65. James 4:1 Lit From where wars and from where fightings
  66. James 4:1 Lit Are they not from here, from your
  67. James 4:3 Lit wickedly
  68. James 4:3 Lit in
  69. James 4:5 Or The spirit which He has made to dwell in us lusts with envy
  70. James 4:5 Lit desires to jealousy
  71. James 4:14 Lit Who do not
  72. James 4:14 Or what will happen tomorrow. What kind of life is yours?
  73. James 4:15 Lit Instead of your saying
  74. James 4:16 Or pretensions
  75. James 4:17 Or good
  76. James 5:4 I.e. Hosts
  77. James 5:5 Lit nourished
  78. James 5:6 Or murdered
  79. James 5:7 Or he
  80. James 5:9 Lit groan
  81. James 5:9 Lit before
  82. James 5:9 Lit doors
  83. James 5:11 Or steadfastness
  84. James 5:11 Lit end of the Lord
  85. James 5:12 Lit yours is to be yes, yes, and no, no
  86. James 5:14 Lit having anointed
  87. James 5:15 Lit of
  88. James 5:15 Or save
  89. James 5:15 Lit it
  90. James 5:16 Lit supplication
  91. James 5:17 Lit with prayer
  92. James 5:18 Lit heaven
  93. James 5:18 Lit gave
  94. James 5:20 Lit he who has turned

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