2 1 He sayeth, that to have respect of persons is not agreeable to Christ’s faith, 14 which to profess in words is not enough, unless 15 we show it also in deeds of mercy and charity, 21 after the example of Abraham.
1 My [a]brethren, have not the faith of our [b]glorious Lord Jesus Christ in respect of persons.
2 For if there come into your company a man with a gold ring, and in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment,
3 And ye have a respect to him that weareth the gay clothing; and say unto him, Sit thou here in a [c]goodly place, and say unto the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool,
4 Are ye not partial in [d]your selves, and are become Judges of evil thoughts?
5 [e]Hearken my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the [f]poor of this world, that they should be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. [g]Do not the rich oppress you by tyranny, and do they not draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme the worthy Name after which ye be [h]named?
8 [i]But if ye fulfill the [j]royal Law according to the Scripture, which saith, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.
9 But if ye regard the persons, ye commit sin, and are rebuked of the Law, as transgressors.
10 [k]For whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet faileth in one point, he is guilty of [l]all.
11 [m]For he that said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also, Thou shalt not kill. Now though thou doest none adultery, yet if thou killest, thou art a transgressor of the Law.
12 [n]So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judgeth by the Law of liberty.
13 For there shall be condemnation merciless to him that showeth not [o]mercy, and mercy rejoiceth against condemnation.
14 [p]What availeth it my brethren, though a man saith, he hath faith, when he hath no works? can that faith save him?
15 [q]For if a brother or a sister be naked and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace: warm yourselves, and fill your bellies, notwithstanding ye give them not those things, which are needful to the body, what helpeth it?
17 Even so the faith, if it have no works, is dead in itself.
18 But [r]some man might say, Thou hast the faith, and I have works: show me thy faith out of thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
19 [s]Thou believest that there is one God: thou doest well: the devils also believe it, and tremble.
20 [t]But wilt thou understand, O thou vain man, that the faith which is without works, is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father [u]justified through works, when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou not that the faith [v]wrought with his works? and through the works was the faith made [w]perfect.
23 And the Scripture was [x]fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.
24 [y]Ye see then how that of works a man is [z]justified, and not of [aa]faith only.
25 [ab]Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified through works, when she had received the messengers, and sent them out another way?
26 [ac]For as the body without the spirit is dead, even so the faith without works is dead.
James 2:1The fifth: Charity which proceedeth from a true faith, cannot stand with the accepting of persons: which he proveth plainly by setting forth their example, who with the reproach or disdain of the poor, honor the rich.
James 2:1For if we knew what Christ’s glory is, and esteemed it as we ought to do, there would not be such respect of persons as there is.
James 2:4Have ye not (which you ought not to do) by this means with yourselves judged one man to be preferred before another?
James 2:5He showeth that they are perverse and naughty Judges, which prefer the rich before the poor, by that that God on the contrary side preferreth the poor, whom he hath enriched with true riches, before the rich.
James 2:5The needy and wretched, and (if we measure it after the opinion of the world) the veriest abjects of all men.
James 2:6Secondly, he proveth them to be mad men: for that the rich men are rather to be holden execrable and cursed, considering that they persecute the Church, and blaspheme Christ: for he speaketh of wicked and profane rich men, such as the most part of them have been always, against whom he setteth the poor and abject.
James 2:7Word for word, which is called upon of you.
James 2:8The conclusion: Charity which God prescribeth cannot agree with the accepting of persons, seeing that we must walk in the King’s highway.
James 2:8The Law is said to be royal and like the King’s highway, for that it is plain and without turnings, and that the Law calleth everyone our neighbor, without respect, whom we may help by any kind of duty.
James 2:10A new argument to prove the same conclusion: They do not love their neighbors, which neglect some, and ambitiously honor others: for he doth not obey God, which cutteth off from the commandments of God that that is not so commodious for him, nay he is rather guilty generally for the breach of the whole Law, although he observe the residue.
James 2:10Not that all sins are equal, but because he that breaketh one tittle of the Law, offendeth the majesty of the Lawgiver.
James 2:11A proof: because the Lawmaker is always one and the selfsame, and the body of the Law cannot be divided.
James 2:12The conclusion of the whole treatise: we are upon this condition delivered from the curse of the Law by the mercy of God, that in like sort we should maintain and cherish charity and goodwill one towards another, and whoso doth not so, shall not taste of the grace of God.
James 2:13He that is hard and currish against his neighbor, or else helpeth him not, he shall find God an hard and rough Judge to himselfward.
James 2:14The fifth place which hangeth very well with the former treatise, touching a true and lively faith. And the proposition of this place is this: faith which bringeth not forth works, is not that faith whereby we are justified, but an image of faith: or else this, they are not justified by faith, which show not the effects of faith.
James 2:15The first reason taken of a similitude: If a man say to one that is hungry, Fill thy belly, and yet giveth him nothing, this shall not be true charity: so if a man say he believeth, and bringeth forth no works of his faith, this shall not be a true faith, but a certain dead thing set out with the name of faith, whereof no man hath to brag, unless he will openly incur reprehension, seeing that the cause is understood by the effects.
James 2:18Nay, thus may every man beat down the pride.
James 2:19Another reason taken of an absurdity: If such a faith were the true faith whereby we are justified, the devils should be justified: for they have that, but yet notwithstanding they tremble, and are not justified therefore, neither is that faith a true faith.
James 2:20The third reason from the example of Abraham, who no doubt had a true faith: but he in offering his son, showed himself to have that faith which was not void of works, and therefore he received a true testimony when it was said, that faith was imputed to him for righteousness.
James 2:21Was he not by his works known and found to be justified? for he speaketh not here of the causes of justification, but by what effects we may know that a man is justified.
James 2:22Was effectual and fruitful with good works.
James 2:22That the faith was declared to be a true faith, and that by works.
James 2:23Then was the Scripture fulfilled, when it appeared plainly, how truly it was written of Abraham.
James 2:24The conclusion: he is only justified that hath that faith which hath works following it.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
Bible Gateway Plus
Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. Try it for 30 days FREE. Cancel at any time.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll gain access to a vast digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads to minimize distractions from God's Word. Try it free for 30 days!