2 My brothers and sisters, 1 do not show prejudice 2 if you possess faith 3 in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. 4 2 For if someone 5 comes into your assembly 6 wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, 3 do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, 7 “You sit here in a good place,” 8 and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”? 9 4 If so, have you not made distinctions 10 among yourselves and become judges with evil motives? 11 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! 12 Did not God choose the 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 have dishonored the poor! 13 Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one you belong to? 14 8 But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, 15 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” 16 you are doing well. 9 But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. 17 10 For the one who obeys the whole law but fails 18 in one point has become guilty of all of it. 19 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” 20 also said, “Do not murder.” 21 Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law. 12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. 22 13 For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over 23 judgment.
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, 24 if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith 25 save him? 26 15 If a brother or sister 27 is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, 28 what good is it? 17 So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” 29 Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by 30 my works. 19 You believe that God is one; well and good. 31 Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear. 32
20 But would you like evidence, 33 you empty fellow, 34 that faith without works is useless? 35 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” 36 and he was called God’s friend. 37 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, 1 because you know that we will be judged more strictly. 2 2 For we all stumble 3 in many ways. If someone does not stumble 4 in what he says, 5 he is a perfect individual, 6 able to control the entire body as well. 3 And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies. 7 4 Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. 5 So too the tongue is a small part of the body, 8 yet it has great pretensions. 9 Think 10 how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents 11 the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It 12 pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell. 13
7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature 14 is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. 15 8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless 16 evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord 17 and Father, and with it we curse people 18 made in God’s image. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. 19 11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, 20 or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. 21 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. 15 Such 22 wisdom does not come 23 from above but is earthly, natural, 24 demonic. 16 For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, 25 full of mercy and good fruit, 26 impartial, and not hypocritical. 27 18 And the fruit that consists of righteousness 28 is planted 29 in peace among 30 those who make peace.
4 Where do the conflicts and where 1 do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, 2 from your passions that battle inside you? 3 2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; 3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.
4 Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? 4 So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy. 5 Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says, 5 “The spirit that God 6 caused 7 to live within us has an envious yearning”? 8 6 But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” 9 7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded. 10 9 Grieve, mourn, 11 and weep. Turn your laughter 12 into mourning and your joy into despair. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
11 Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. 13 He who speaks against a fellow believer 14 or judges a fellow believer speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge. 15 12 But there is only one who is lawgiver and judge – the one who is able to save and destroy. On the other hand, who are you to judge your neighbor? 16
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town 17 and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You 18 do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? 19 For you are a puff of smoke 20 that appears for a short time and then vanishes. 15 You ought to say instead, 21 “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, 22 you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows what is good to do 23 and does not do it is guilty of sin. 24