Passage: James 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (RSV)

James 1

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting.
2Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials,
3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.
6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7,
7For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man,
8unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.
9Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
10and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.
11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.
13Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one;
14but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.
16Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
19Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,
20for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
21Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror;
24for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.
26If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain.
27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 2

1My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
2For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
3and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet,"
4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?
6But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court?
7Is it not they who blaspheme that honorable name which was invoked over you?
8If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well.
9But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," said also, "Do not kill." If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.
13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment.
14What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
15If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food,
16and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
18But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder.
20Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?
21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,
23and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.
24You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
25And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

James 3

1Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.
2For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.
3If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies.
4Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!
6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell.
7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind,
8but no human being can tame the tongue -- a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.
10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.
11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish?
12Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
13Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.
15This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.
16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.
18And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 4

1What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?
2You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask.
3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
4Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us"?
6But he gives more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.
9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection.
10Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
11Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. He that speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?
13Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain";
14whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
15Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that."
16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 5

1Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.
3Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you.
7Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain.
8You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we call those happy who were steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation.
13Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise.
14Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
15and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.
17Eli'jah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.
19My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back,
20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

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