RESPECT FOR OTHERS
1 MY brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also
1My brethren, haue not the faith of our Lord Iesus Christ the Lord of glorie, with respect of persons.
2For if there come vnto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poore man, in vile raiment:
3And yee haue respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say vnto him, Sit thou here in a good place: and say to the poore, Stand thou there, or sit here vnder my footstoole:
4Are yee not then partiall in your selues, and are become iudges of euill thoughts?
5Hearken, my beloued brethren, Hath not God chosen the poore of this world, rich in faith, and heires of the kingdome, which hee hath promised to them that loue him?
6But yee haue despised the poore. Doe not rich men oppresse you, and draw you before the Iudgement seats?
7Doe not they blaspheme that worthy Name, by the which ye are called?
8If ye fulfil the royall Law, according to the Scripture, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe, ye doe well.
9But if ye haue respect to persons, ye commit sinne, and are conuinced of the Law, as transgressours.
10For whosoeuer shall keepe the whole Law, & yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11For he that said, Doe not commit adultery; sayd also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressour of the Law.
12So speake ye, and so doe, as they that shall bee iudged by the Law of libertie.
13For he shall haue iudgement without mercie, that hath shewed no mercy, & mercie reioyceth against iudgement.
14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say hee hath faith, and haue not workes? can faith saue him?
15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of dayly foode,
16And one of you say vnto them, Depart in peace, be you warmed & filled: notwithstanding ye giue them not those things which are needfull to the body: what doth it profit?
17Euen so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone.
18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I haue workes: shew mee thy faith without thy workes, and I will shew thee my faith by my workes.
19Thou beleeuest that there is one God, thou doest well: the deuils also beleeue, and tremble.
20But wilt thou knowe, O vaine man, that faith without workes is dead?
21Was not Abraham our father iustified by works, when hee had offered Isaac his sonne vpon the altar?
22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23And the Scripture was fullfiled which saith, Abraham beleeued God, and it was imputed vnto him for righteousnes: and he was called the friend of God.
24Ye see then, how that by workes a man is iustified, and not by faith only.
25Likewise also, was not Rahab the harlot iustified by works, when she had receiued the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without workes is dead also.
I == Lev 19:15 ; Deut 1:17 ; 16:19
V == Ex 20:6 1st Sam 2:30 ; Matt 5:3 ; Luke 6:20 ; 12:21 , 32 ; John 7:48
VI == Acts 13:50 ; 17:6 ; 18:12
VIII ==Lev 19:18 ; Matt 22:39
X == Deut 27:26 ; Matt 5:19 ; Gal 3:10
XI == Ex 20:13-14
XIV == Matt 7:28
XV == Job 31:19-20 ; Luke 3:11
XVI == 1st John 3:18
XIX == Matt 8:29 ; Mark 1:24 ; 5:7 ; Luke 4:34
XXI == Gen 22:9 , 12
XXII Heb 11:17
XXIII == Gen 15:6 ; Rom 4:3
XXV == Josh 2:1 ; Heb 11:31
1 My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. 2 For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Sit here, please," while you say to the poor one, "Stand there," or "Sit at my feet,"4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you? 8 However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it. 11 For he who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not kill." Even if you do not commit adultery but kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom. 13 For the judgment is merciless to one who has not 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 that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? 17 So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. 19 You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. 20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called "the friend of God." 24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
v 1. There should be no partiality in the presence of the Christ of glory. (Reminds of a pastor who peeked through a key hole to see if there were prominent people entering who he would go out and greet with a big political smile.)
v 2-4. Assembly is translated synagogue 55 out of 57 times, but we can consider it an assembly of believers. Such discrimination comes from your own evil thoughts.
v 5. Those in material poverty may be the spiritually rich.
v 6,7. Not all, but generally, it is the rich who have humiliated and dominated over the poor and shown less respect for the Lord.
v 8,9. Lev. 19:18 tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and Deut. 1:17 says it is a direct violation of the law to favor the rich.
v 10,11. Partiality is sin, and even that one thing, being a breach of the law, is sufficient to condemn one. Sin is sin in God’s sight, but this does not mean sins are equal in their affect upon others.
v 12,13. Under the law of liberty believers sin from time to time and will not be condemned, but this does not give them license to sin. Because God has been merciful to him, he should show mercy to others.
v 14. This is specifically written to believers, “brethren”. It is a rhetorical question concerning the false claim of faith. Genuine faith is evidenced by works.
v 15,16. This is a hypothetical but realistic illustration that good wishes are of little value is one is capable of providing a need, but does not.
v 17. This is a statement, not that works are necessary for salvation, but to give evidence of that salvation.
v 18. He emphasizes that works are the evidence of faith.
v 19. Demons believe there is one God and fear more than many men, but are still doomed. I believed many things about God before I placed my trust in Him.
v 20. A tree is struck by lightning without thunder, and a man is saved by faith without works. But it is also true that the tree cannot be struck by lightning without thunder following, so a person cannot be saved by faith without works following.
v 21-24. In Romans 4, Paul quotes Gen. 15:6 to prove Abraham was justified by faith. It is not a contradiction that James quotes the same verse to prove that Abraham, though justified by faith, it was evidenced by what he did. His faith showed itself by his willingness to offer Isaac, Gen. 22. We might replace the word “justified” thus. Abraham was declared righteous by faith (Paul) but proved righteous by works (James).
v 25,26. Rahab proved her trust in God by caring for the spies, His messengers. Faith and works are not in contrast or opposition, but are as essential as body and spirit, or breath being together. Faith with no evidence of works may be considered dead, not the real thing. We Worship, Walk and Work because of His Worth.
“Sterling” doesn’t make a ring solid (92 1/2 % pure) silver, it simply indicates it already is. Works don’t make a person a Christian, but simply show his faith is real. Unsaved living lives of good works are just as worthless to God as a silver object stamped “Sterling”, but not meeting the purity test. Good works of Abraham and Rahab were the “sterling” marks showing their faith was genuine.