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Beware of Personal Favoritism
2 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Questions & Answers
- What does James say about partiality (showing favoritism)? James 2:1
- If you show favoritism to a rich man, what have you done? James 2:2-3
- If you do this, how have you become? James 2:4
- Who has God chosen to be rich in faith? James 2:5
- What will the poor be heirs of? James 2:5
- Who has been dishonored? James 2:6
- Who oppresses you and drags you to court? James 2:6
- Who do they blaspheme? James 2:7
- What is the royal law according to the Scripture? James 2:8
- But if you show partiality, what do you commit? James 2:9
- By what are you convicted? James 2:9
- Who is guilty of all? James 2:10
- How do you become a transgressor of the law? James 2:11
- How are we to speak and do? James 2:12
- To whom is judgment without mercy? James 2:13
- Does it profit a man if he says he has faith, but does not have works? James 2:14
- If someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14
- If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? James 2:15-16
- What is faith, if it is by itself, and it does not have works? James 2:17
- What will someone say? James 2:18
- How does James say that he will show you his faith? James 2:18
- If you believe in God, do you do well? James 2:19
- When the demons believe in God, do they do well? James 2:19
- What is faith, that has no works? James 2:20
- When was Abraham our father, justified by works? James 2:21
- What do you see by this? James 2:22
- How was his faith made perfect? James 2:22
- What does the Scripture say about Abraham? James 2:23
- What do you see then? James 2:24
- How was Rahab the harlot justified? James 2:25
- As the body without the spirit is dead, so what is faith without works? James 2:26