James 2 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
2 My brothers and sisters, as you practise the faith of our Lord Jesus, the anointed King of glory, you must do so without favouritism. 2 What I mean is this: if someone comes into your assembly wearing gold rings, all dressed up, and a poor person comes in wearing shabby clothes, 3 you cast your eyes over the person wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Please! Have a seat up here!’ but then you turn to the poor person and say, ‘Stand there!’ or, ‘Get down there by my footstool!’ 4 When you do this, are you not discriminating among yourselves? Are you not turning into judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters. Isn’t it the case that God has chosen the poor (as the world sees it) to be rich in faith, and to inherit the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonoured the poor man. After all, who are the rich? The rich are the ones who lord it over you and drag you into court, aren’t they? 7 The rich are the ones who blaspheme the wonderful name which has been pronounced over you, aren’t they?
8 Supposing, however, you keep the royal law, as it is written, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’; if you do this, you will do well. 9 But if you show favouritism, you are committing sin, and you will be convicted by the law as a lawbreaker. 10 Anyone who keeps the whole law, you see, but fails in one point, has become guilty of all of it. 11 For the one who said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, also said, ‘Do not murder.’ So if you do not commit adultery, but do murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act in such a way as people who are going to be judged by the law of freedom. 13 Judgment is without mercy, you see, for those who have shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Works
14 What use is it, my dear family, if someone says they have faith when they don’t have works? Can faith save such a person? 15 Supposing a brother or sister is without clothing, and is short even of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; be warm, be full!’ – but doesn’t give them what their bodies need – what use is that? 17 In the same way, faith, all by itself and without works, is dead.
18 But supposing someone says, ‘Well: you have faith, and I have works.’ All right: show me your faith – but without doing any works; and then I will show you my faith, and I’ll do it by my works! 19 You believe that ‘God is one’? Well and good! The demons believe that, too, and they tremble! 20 Do you want to know, you stupid person, that faith without works is lifeless? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by his works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You can see from this that faith was cooperating along with the works, and the faith reached its fulfilment through the works. 23 That is how the scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, and he was called ‘God’s friend’. 24 So you see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she gave shelter to the spies and sent them off by another road? 26 Just as the body without the spirit is dead, you see, so faith without works is dead.
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