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1DON'T ever attempt, my brothers, to combine snobbery with faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ!

2Suppose one man comes into your meeting welldressed and with a gold ring on his finger, and another man, obviously poor, arrives in shabby clothes.

3If you pay special attention to the welldressed man by saying, "Please sit hereit's an excellent seat", and say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or if you must sit, sit on the floor by my feet",

4doesn't that prove that you are making classdistinctions in your mind, and setting yourselves up to assess a man's quality from wrong motives?

5For do notice, my dear brothers, that God chose poor men, whose only wealth was their faith, and made them heirs to the kingdom promised to those who love him.

6And if you behave as I have suggested, it is, the poor man that you are insulting. Look around you. Isn't it the rich who are always trying to rule your lives, isn't it the rich who drag you into litigation?

7Isn't it usually the rich who blaspheme the glorious name by which you are known?

8If you obey the royal Law, expressed by the scriptures, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself", all is well.

9But once you allow any invidious distinctions to creep in, you are sinning, you stand condemned by that Law.

10Remember that a man who keeps the whole Law but for a single exception is nonetheless a lawbreaker.

11The one who said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" also said, "Thou shalt do no murder". If you were to keep clear of adultery but were to murder a man you would have become a breaker of the whole Law.

12Anyway, you should speak and act as men who will be judged by the law of freedom.

13The man who makes no allowances for others will find none made for him. Mercy may laugh in the face of judgment.

14Now what use is it, my brothers, for a man to say he "has faith" if his actions do not correspond with it? Could that sort of faith save anyone's soul?

15If a fellow man or woman has no clothes to wear and nothing to eat,

16and one of you says "Good luck to you I hope you'll keep warm and find enough to eat", and yet give them nothing to meet their physical needs, what on earth is the good of that?

17Yet that is exactly what a bare faith without a corresponding life is likequite dead.

18A man could challenge us by saying, "You have faith and I have merely good actions. Well, all you can do is to show me a faith without corresponding actions, but I can show you by my actions that I have faith as well."

19So you believe that there is one God? That's fine. So do all the devils in hell, and shudder in terror!

20For, my dear shortsighted man, can't you see far enough to realize that faith without the light actions is dead and useless?

21Think of Abraham, our ancestor. Wasn't it his action which really justified him in God's sight when his faith led him to offer his son Isaac on the altar?

22Can't you see that his faith and his actions were, so to speak, partnersthat his faith was implemented by his deed?

23That is what the scripture means when it says: And Abraham believed God, And it was reckoned onto him for righteousness; And he was called the friend of God.

24A man is justified before God by what he does as well as by what he believes.

25Rahab, who was a prostitute, has been quoted as an example of faith, yet surely it was her action that pleased God, when she welcomed Joshua's reconnoitering party and sent them safely back by a different route.

26Yes, faith without action is as dead as a body without a soul.


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