13 Brotherly love must continue. 2 Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it. 1 3 Remember those in prison as though you were in prison with them, 2 and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment. 3 4 Marriage must be honored among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers. 5 Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” 4 6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and 5 I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” 6 7 Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s message to you; reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! 9 Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings. 7 For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals, 8 which have never benefited those who participated in them. 10 We have an altar that those who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat from. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings 9 into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore, to sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. 13 We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced. 10 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging his name. 16 And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, 11 for God is pleased with such sacrifices.
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. 12 Let them do this 13 with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you. 18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect. 19 I especially ask you to pray 14 that I may be restored to you very soon.
Benediction and Conclusion
20 Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us 15 what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. 16 Amen.
22 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 17 bear with my message of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that 18 our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon, he will be with me when I see you. 19 24 Greetings to all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with you all. 20
1 From James, 1 a slave 2 of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes dispersed abroad. 3 Greetings!
Joy in Trials
2 My brothers and sisters, 4 consider it nothing but joy 5 when you fall into all sorts of trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. 5 But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 since he is a double-minded individual, 6 unstable in all his ways.
9 Now the believer 7 of humble means 8 should take pride 9 in his high position. 10 10 But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow. 11 11 For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. 12 So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away. 12 Happy is the one 13 who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God 14 promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, 15 and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. 15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. 16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. 16 17 All generous giving and every perfect gift 17 is from above, coming down 18 from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. 19 18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth 20 through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Living Out the Message
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! 21 Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20 For human 22 anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 23 21 So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly 24 welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. 23 For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone 25 who gazes at his own face 26 in a mirror. 24 For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets 27 what sort of person he was. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, 28 and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out – he 29 will be blessed in what he does. 30 26 If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before 31 God the Father 32 is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Prejudice and the Law of Love
2 My brothers and sisters, 1 do not show prejudice 2 if you possess faith 3 in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. 4 2 For if someone 5 comes into your assembly 6 wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, 3 do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, 7 “You sit here in a good place,” 8 and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”? 9 4 If so, have you not made distinctions 10 among yourselves and become judges with evil motives? 11 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! 12 Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor! 13 Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one you belong to? 14 8 But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, 15 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” 16 you are doing well. 9 But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. 17 10 For the one who obeys the whole law but fails 18 in one point has become guilty of all of it. 19 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” 20 also said, “Do not murder.” 21 Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law. 12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. 22 13 For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over 23 judgment.
Faith and Works Together
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, 24 if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith 25 save him? 26 15 If a brother or sister 27 is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, 28 what good is it? 17 So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” 29 Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by 30 my works. 19 You believe that God is one; well and good. 31 Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear. 32
20 But would you like evidence, 33 you empty fellow, 34 that faith without works is useless? 35 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” 36 and he was called God’s friend. 37 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.