Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
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Beware of Personal Favoritism
James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
James 2:2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine (bright) apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy (vile) clothes,
James 2:3 and you pay attention to (Lit. look upon) the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”
James 2:4 have you not shown partiality (differentiated) among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
James 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?
James 2:7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;
- ► How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself?
James 2:9 but if you show partiality (Lit. receive the face), you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
- To show partiality is having your heart join a cult. What is a cult? It is the process to gain the good opinion of others instead of worshiping God. It is also idolatry. The favor of others cannot replace the favor of God.
- If one goes to an assembly just to follow a leader, (following is showing partiality) he will as much rather drink poison kool-aid than risk being rejected and/or thrown out of the assembly.
James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
- Salvation cannot be obtained by keeping the law. Salvation is only attained by the blood of Christ.
James 2:11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
James 2:12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
- The definition of the law of liberty is to allow mercy triumphing over judgment.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
James 2:15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
- Faith without works was never faith at all. Faith without works is nothing more than empty religion.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
- Head knowledge doesn’t count. One must have heart knowledge. Visual actions reveal the invisible worlds of one’s belief, faith and character.
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is (useless) dead?
- Faith ALWAYS yields the fruit of love. If there is no love there is no faith.
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
- See: Genesis 22 – The Offering of Isaac on Passover.
See: BC Timeline
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect (complete)?
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was (credited) accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
- In the Christian New Testament, the Epistle of James and the Epistle to the Hebrews follow the tradition set by the translators of the Septuagint in using the Greek word “πόρνη” pórnē, which is usually translated to English as “harlot” or “prostitute” to describe Rahab.
- James 2:25, 1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament
Hebrews 11:31, 1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament.
Joshua 2, Greek Septuagint (LXX)