1 MY brethren, hold not the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus shewing a respect for persons. 2 For if there come into your congregation a man with a gold ring, and in splendid apparel, and there come in also a poor man in a sordid garb; 3 and ye fix your eyes upon him who bears the splendid robe, and say to him, Sit thou here in an honourable place; and ye say to the poor man, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 are you not thus partial among yourselves, and form your decision from bad reasonings?
5 Hear me, my beloved brethren. Hath not God elected the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to those who love him; 6 but ye have put contempt on the poor man? Do not the rich men tyrannize over you? and they drag you to the tribunals. 7 Do they not blaspheme that honourable name by which ye are called?
8 If indeed ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, but offendeth in a single particular, he is chargeable with the breach of all. 11 For he that said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also, Thou shalt not commit murder. Now if thou dost not commit adultery, yet dost commit murder, thou art a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak, and so act, as those who shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment without mercy shall be on him who shewed no mercy, and mercy glorieth against judgment.
14 What is the advantage, my brethren, if a man profess to have faith, but hath not works; can faith save him?
15 Now if a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 and should one of you say to them, Go in peace, be warm, be replenished with food: yet if ye give them not the necessaries for their body; what doth it avail? 17 So also faith, if it hath not works, is dead itself.
18 Perhaps a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith by thy works, and I will shew thee by my works my faith. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not our father Abraham justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith consummated. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness;" and he was called "the friend of God." 24 Observe therefore that by works a man is justified, and not by faith merely. 25 But was not Rahab the harlot in like manner justified by works, when she entertained the messengers, and sent them away by a different road? 26 For as the body without breath is dead, so faith without works is dead also.