1My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.3If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?6But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?7Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.11For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Deeds
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?15Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.16If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.20You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?21Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds 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.