James 2 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Don’t Favor Rich People over Poor People
2 My brothers and sisters, practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favoring one person over another. 2 For example, two men come to your worship service. One man is wearing gold rings and fine clothes; the other man, who is poor, is wearing shabby clothes. 3 Suppose you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say to him, “Please have a seat.” But you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor at my feet.” 4 Aren’t you discriminating against people and using a corrupt standard to make judgments?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Didn’t God choose poor people in the world to become rich in faith and to receive the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6 Yet, you show no respect to poor people. Don’t rich people oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Don’t they curse the good name of Jesus, the name that was used to bless you?
8 You are doing right if you obey this law from the highest authority: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 9 If you favor one person over another, you’re sinning, and this law convicts you of being disobedient. 10 If someone obeys all of God’s laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them. 11 After all, the one who said, “Never commit adultery,” is the same one who said, “Never murder.” If you do not commit adultery but you murder, you become a person who disobeys God’s laws.
12 Talk and act as people who are going to be judged by laws that bring freedom. 13 No mercy will be shown to those who show no mercy to others. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
We Show Our Faith by What We Do
14 My brothers and sisters, what good does it do if someone claims to have faith but doesn’t do any good things? Can this kind of faith save him? 15 Suppose a believer, whether a man or a woman, needs clothes or food 16 and one of you tells that person, “God be with you! Stay warm, and make sure you eat enough.” If you don’t provide for that person’s physical needs, what good does it do? 17 In the same way, faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.
18 Another person might say, “You have faith, but I do good things.” Show me your faith apart from the good things you do. I will show you my faith by the good things I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! The demons also believe that, and they tremble with fear.
20 You fool! Do you have to be shown that faith which does nothing is useless? 21 Didn’t our ancestor Abraham receive God’s approval as a result of what he did when he offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar? 22 You see that Abraham’s faith and what he did worked together. His faith was shown to be genuine by what he did. 23 The Scripture passage came true. It says, “Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” So Abraham was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person receives God’s approval because of what he does, not only because of what he believes. 25 The same is true of the prostitute Rahab who welcomed the spies and sent them away on another road. She received God’s approval because of what she did.
26 A body that doesn’t breathe[a] is dead. In the same way faith that does nothing is dead.
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