1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,
3 and you pay attention to 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,”
4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
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?
6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?
7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you do well;
9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
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.
12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
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?
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
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.
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And he was called the friend of God.
24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
So grateful for the clarity brought through another perspective on the faith that is our way of life. We’re not justified and made right by some random and variable concept of faith that doesn’t require any actions on our part. Where there is true belief in the Savior who loved us and laid down His life when we were still far from Him, there will be a direct effect of that belief on how we lay down our own lives. His sacrifice wasn’t so that we could still be right while we’re choosing another passion than Him. His great longing is for us to be one with Him in the love He has for everyone, small and great, without partiality or caring for one above another based on how we judge them. The more it washes over us that any blessing we enjoy is due to His impartial love, the more we will be desperate to validate its acceptance in our hearts by the sharing of it ourselves. The poor and the great will be treated with equal honor. There will be a sense of great responsibility to ensure that the freedom His love purchased is chosen over the sin that bound us. All choices made and actions taken will either directly validate or invalidate any faith professed, effectively proving it to be real or just supposed. A claim to liberty and identity with a most Holy God will fall short with meaninglessness when choices and passions are still bound in chains of sin and selfishness. Where there is no evidence in works, there is no proof of faith’s living. There is no life without movement.
How dangerous it is to presume a place of security from a worldly perspective that finds no true basis in the heart of God. He didn’t send His own Son as a sacrifice so our works could still carry the brand of wickedness. To truly believe in Him is to take on the nature and likeness of One who is totally set apart from the world and its fleshly dictates. If this is the passion of a Father who has already demonstrated extreme love for us, then it will surely be the most amazing experience of abundant life when it is not resisted, but fully lived out through an open heart, fully flooded with Him. How could there be the choice of any other actions from a heart that truly believes and receives His love and favor? What we do and who we do it for will be the real proof of Who knows us by our life-long pursuit of Him in a walk of faith.