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James 2 (Today's New International Version)

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Favoritism Forbidden

1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious1 Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.2 2 Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor person in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the one who is poor, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges3 with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters:4 Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world5 to be rich in faith6 and to inherit the kingdom7 he promised those who love him?8 6 But you have dishonored the poor.9 Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?10 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"a11 you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism,12 you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.13 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles14 at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.15 11 For he who said, "You shall not commit adultery,"b16 also said, "You shall not murder."c17 If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged18 by the law that gives freedom,19 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.20 Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if people claim to have faith but have no deeds?21 Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.22 16 If 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?23 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.24 18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds,25 and I will show you my faith26 by what I do.27 19 You believe that there is one God.28 Good! Even the demons believe that29--and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is uselessd ?30 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?31 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together,32 and his faith was made complete by what he did.33 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"e34 and he was called God's friend.35 24 You see that people are justified by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In 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?36 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.37
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