James 2

James 2:1-26

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.

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6 months ago

Just as we have been given placement in an honored position among the family of God despite our former disqualifications, so how we’ve been received should be extended to all we encounter – without partiality or preference. Our faith is based upon this unbelievable demonstration of love and mercy, and to legitimately experience it is to be transformed into a giver of it – the true evidence of faith’s life. The claim of belief in our precious Father of mercy and grace is without validation, empty, and lifeless apart from reflections of His nature and likeness. As much as we’ve been freed from works as prerequisites to acceptance in His presence, works will prove whether we’ve actually arrived there. To have an opportunity doesn’t mean it has been taken. It’s when that opportunity is bearing fruit in a life that it can be claimed to have been taken. Without the smell of mercy and grace that is taken on in a God-embrace, there is no real proof a hug ever happened. To be in Him is to share Him, and there is no belief apart from belief’s movements. When there is no longer any activity in a body it is declared dead. So when faith no longer has any actions it no longer exists, is dead.
It’s interesting that faith’s evidence is also not actions towards one’s self, but for others. So much of the time faith is focused on claiming promises for self-betterment, but James seems to indicate that faith really gets its life from benefiting others.

Last edited 6 months ago by ps
6 months ago

Faith finds its full expression through action. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Just as a spouse expresses a verbal praise of adoration to one another, until there is action following, the heart of love is in question.
Because Abraham believed God, his faith was exchanged for Gods righteousness. What is righteousness? Right standing with God. Is it possible to please God without action? The Word tells me otherwise. Abraham praised God for what was yet to come. The unseen promise. The action of his faith produced the manifestation of the promised.
Considering faith without action is dead, what kind of action is required of me? Obedience is better than sacrifice. What am I giving up if I waver? Any and all of His promises. The promises follow after my obedience to His Word. Disobedience will rob me, and others I am to touch, of the blessings.
This chapter is telling of the heart. Giving to others based on having a heart to please God but also to provide a need. Verse 24 clearly covers it- “now it’s clear that a person is seen as righteous in Gods eyes, not merely by faith alone, but by his actions. Lip service is dead without action behind it.

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