1My brothers and sisters, you are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. So treat everyone the same.2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes. And suppose a poor man in worn‑out clothes also comes in.3Would you show special attention to the one who is wearing fine clothes? Would you say, “Here's a good seat for you”? Would you say to the poor person, “You stand there”? Or “Sit on the floor by my feet”?4If you would, aren't you treating some people better than others? Aren't you like judges who have evil thoughts?5My dear brothers and sisters, listen to me. Hasn't God chosen those who are poor in the world's eyes to be rich in faith? Hasn't he chosen them to receive the kingdom? Hasn't he promised it to those who love him?6But you have put poor people down. Aren't rich people taking advantage of you? Aren't they dragging you into court?7Aren't they speaking evil things against the worthy name of Jesus? Remember, you belong to him.8The royal law is found in Scripture. It says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” If you really keep that law, you are doing what is right. (Le 19:18)9But you sin if you don't treat everyone the same. The law judges you because you have broken it.10Suppose you keep the whole law but trip over just one part of it. Then you are guilty of breaking all of it.11God said, “Do not commit adultery.” He also said, “Do not commit murder.” Suppose you don't commit adultery but do commit murder. Then you have broken the Law. (Ex 20:13; Ex 20:14; De 5:17; De 5:18)12Speak and act like people who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.13Those who have not shown mercy will not receive mercy when they are judged. To show mercy is better than to judge.
Show Your Faith by What You Do
14My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people claim they have faith but don't act like it? Can that kind of faith save them?15Suppose a brother or sister has no clothes or food.16Suppose one of you says to them, “Go. I hope everything turns out fine for you. Keep warm. Eat well.” And you do nothing about what they really need. Then what good have you done?17It is the same with faith. If it doesn't cause us to do something, it's dead.18But someone will say, “You have faith. I do good works.” Show me your faith that doesn't do good works. And I will show you my faith by what I do.19You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that. And they tremble!20You foolish man! Do you want proof that faith without good works is useless?21Our father Abraham offered his son Isaac on the altar. Wasn't he considered to be right with God because of what he did?22So you see that what he believed and what he did were working together. What he did made his faith complete.23That is what Scripture means where it says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God.” And that's not all. God called Abraham his friend. (Ge 15:6)24So you see that a person is made right with God by what he does. It doesn't happen only because of what he believes.25Didn't God make even Rahab the prostitute right with him? That's because of what she did. She gave the spies a place to stay. Then she sent them off in a different direction.26The body without the spirit is dead. In the same way, faith without good works is dead.
English Standard Version
The Sin of Partiality
1My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. (Le 19:15; De 1:17; De 16:19; Pr 24:23; Ac 7:2; Ro 2:11; 1Co 2:8; Eph 6:9; Jas 2:9)2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” (Pr 18:23)4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (Joh 7:24)5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (Job 34:19; Mt 5:3; Lu 6:20; Lu 12:21; Lu 12:32; 1Co 1:27; 2Co 8:9; Jas 1:12; Re 2:9)6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? (Ac 8:3; Ac 16:19; Ac 17:6; Ac 18:12; 1Co 11:22; Jas 5:6)7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? (Isa 63:19; Isa 65:1; Am 9:12; Ac 15:17)8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (Le 19:18)9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. (Jas 2:1)10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. (Mt 5:19; Ga 3:10)11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. (Ex 20:13; Ex 20:14)12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. (Jas 1:25)13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (Job 22:6; Ps 18:25; Pr 21:13; Eze 25:11; Mt 6:15; Mt 18:32; Lu 6:38)
Faith Without Works Is Dead
14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (Jas 1:22)15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, (Job 31:19; Lu 3:11)16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (1Jo 3:17)17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (Mt 7:16; Ro 3:28; Ro 4:6; Ga 5:6; Heb 11:33)19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (De 6:4; Mt 8:29; Mr 1:24; Mr 5:7; Lu 4:33; Ac 16:17; Ac 19:15; Ro 2:17)20Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? (Ge 22:9; Ge 22:12; Ge 22:16)22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; (1Th 1:3; Heb 11:17)23and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (Ge 15:6; 2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Ro 4:3; Ga 3:6)24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.25And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? (Jos 2:1; Jos 6:23; Heb 11:31)26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.