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Ezekiel 14; Ezekiel 15; James 2

1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. 2 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 3 "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and have put sinful stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I be consulted by them at all? 4 "Therefore, speak to them and tell them: This is what the Lord God says: When anyone from the house of Israel sets up idols in his heart, puts a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I, the Lord, will answer him appropriately. [I will answer him] according to his many idols, 5 so that I may take hold of the house of Israel by their hearts, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols. 6 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: Repent and turn away from your idols; turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 For when anyone from the house of Israel or from the foreigners who reside in Israel separates himself from Me, setting up idols in his heart and putting a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me, I, the Lord, will answer him Myself. 8 I will turn against that one and make him a sign and a proverb; I will cut him off from among My people. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 9 "But if the prophet is deceived and speaks a message, it was I, the Lord, who deceived that prophet. I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 They will bear their punishment-the punishment of the one who inquires will be the same as that of the prophet- 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from following Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Then they will be My people and I will be their God." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God . 12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 "Son of man, if a land sins against Me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out My hand against it to cut off its supply of bread, to send famine through it, and to wipe out [both] man and animal from it, 14 even [if] these three men-Noah, Daniel, and Job-were in it, they would deliver [only] themselves by their righteousness." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God . 15 "If I allow dangerous animals to pass through the land and depopulate it so that it becomes desolate, with no one passing through [it] for [fear of] the animals, 16 even [if] these three men were in it, as I live"-the declaration of the Lord God -"they could not deliver [their] sons or daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. 17 "Or if I bring a sword against that land and say: Let a sword pass through it, so that I wipe out [both] man and animal from it, 18 even [if] these three men were in it, as I live"-the declaration of the Lord God -"they could not deliver [their] sons or daughters, but they alone would be delivered. 19 "Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out My wrath on it with bloodshed to wipe out [both] man and animal from it, 20 even [if] Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live"-the declaration of the Lord God -"they could not deliver [their] son or daughter. They would deliver [only] themselves by their righteousness. 21 "For this is what the Lord God says: How much worse will it be when I send My four devastating judgments against Jerusalem-sword, famine, dangerous animals, and plague-in order to wipe out [both] man and animal from it! 22 Even so, there will be survivors left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out. Indeed, they will come out to you, and you will observe their conduct and actions. Then you will be consoled about the devastation I have brought on Jerusalem, about all I have brought on it. 23 They will bring you consolation when you see their conduct and actions, and you will know that it was not without cause that I have done what I did to it." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God .
1 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 2 "Son of man, how does the wood of the vine, that branch among the trees of the forest, compare to any other wood? 3 Can wood be taken from it to make something useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 4 In fact, it is put into the fire as fuel. The fire devours both of its ends, and the middle is charred. Can it be useful for anything? 5 Even when it was whole it could not be made into a useful object. How much less can it ever be made into anything useful when the fire has devoured it and it is charred! 6 "Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire as fuel, so I will give up the residents of Jerusalem. 7 I will turn against them. They may have escaped from the fire, but it will [still] consume them. And you will know that I am the Lord when I turn against them. 8 I will make the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God .
1 My brothers, hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ without showing favoritism. 2 For suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in. 3 If you look with favor on the man wearing the fine clothes so that you say, "Sit here in a good place," and yet you say to the poor man, "Stand over there," or, "Sit here on the floor by my footstool," 4 haven't you discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers: Didn't God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him? 6 Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don't the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Don't they blaspheme the noble name that you bear? 8 If you really carry out the royal law prescribed in Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself , you are doing well. 9 But if you show favoritism, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of [breaking it] all. 11 For He who said, Do not commit adultery , also said, Do not murder. So if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you are a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn't shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you don't give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn't have works, is dead by itself. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe-and they shudder. 20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? 21 Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness , and he was called God's friend. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, wasn't Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
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