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Chapter 2

1My brothers, do you try to combine faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with acts of partiality? 2For if a finely dressed man with a gold ring comes into a meeting, and a poor man in shabby clothes comes in also, 3and you pay attention to the man in the fine clothes and say to him, “Sit here; this is a good place!” and say to the poor man, “Stand up, or sit on the floor at my feet,” 4have you not wavered and shown that your judgments are guided by base motives? 5Listen, my dear brothers. Has not God chosen the world’s poor to be rich in faith, and to possess the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6But you humiliate the poor. Are not the rich your oppressors? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7Is it not they who slander the noble name you bear? 8If you really obey the supreme law where the Scripture says, “You must love your neighbor as you do yourself,” you are doing right, 9but if you show partiality, you are committing a sin, and stand convicted before the Law as lawbreakers. 10For anyone who obeys the whole of the Law but makes one single slip is guilty of breaking it all. 11For he who said, “You must not commit adultery,” said also, “You must not commit murder.” Now if you abstain from adultery, but commit murder, you are still a violator of the Law. 12You must talk and act like men who expect to be judged by the law that treats men as free. 13For the merciless will be mercilessly judged; but mercy will triumph over judgment.

14My brothers, what is the good of a man’s saying he has faith, if he has no good deeds to show? Can faith save him? 15If some brother or sister has no clothes and has not food enough for a day, 16and one of you says to them, “Goodbye, keep warm and have plenty to eat,” without giving them the necessaries of life, what good does it do? 17So faith by itself, if it has no good deeds to show, is dead. 18But someone may say, “You have faith, and I good deeds.” Show me your faith without any good deeds, and I will show you my faith by my good deeds. 19Do you believe in one God? Very well! So do the demons, and they shudder. 20But do you want proof, my senseless friend, that faith without good deeds amounts to nothing? 21Was not our forefather Abraham made upright for his good deeds, for offering his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that in his case faith and good deeds worked together; faith found its highest expression in good deeds, 23and so the Scripture came true that says, “Abraham had faith in God, and it was credited to him as uprightness, and he was called God’s friend.” 24You see a man is made upright by his good deeds and not simply by having faith. 25Was not even Rahab the prostitute made upright for her good deeds, in entertaining the scouts and sending them off by a different road? 26Just as the body without the spirit is dead, faith is dead without good deeds.

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