The Letter of
Testing Your Faith
1 1aJames, a bbond-servant of God and cof the Lord Jesus Christ,
To dthe twelve tribes who are 2edispersed abroad: fGreetings.
2 aConsider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter bvarious 1trials,
3 knowing that athe testing of your bfaith produces 1cendurance.
4 And let 1aendurance have its perfect 2result, so that you may be 3bperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 But if any of you alacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and 1without reproach, and bit will be given to him.
6 But he must aask in faith bwithout any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, cdriven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8 being a 1adouble-minded man, bunstable in all his ways.
9 aBut the 1brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;
10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because alike 1flowering grass he will pass away.
11 For the sun rises with 1aa scorching wind and bwithers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
12 aBlessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has 1been approved, he will receive bthe crown of life which the Lord chas promised to those who dlove Him.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “aI am being tempted 1by God”; for God cannot be tempted 2by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
15 Then awhen lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when bsin 1is accomplished, it brings forth death.
16 aDo not be 1deceived, bmy beloved brethren.
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is afrom above, coming down from bthe Father of lights, cwith whom there is no variation or 1shifting shadow.
18 In the exercise of aHis will He bbrought us forth by cthe word of truth, so that we would be 1a kind of dfirst fruits 2among His creatures.
19 1This ayou know, bmy beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, cslow to speak and dslow to anger;
20 for athe anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore, aputting aside all filthiness and all 1that remains of wickedness, in 2humility receive bthe word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
22 aBut prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his 1natural face ain a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, 1he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, athe law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but 1an effectual doer, this man will be bblessed in 2what he does.
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not 1abridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
27 Pure and undefiled religion ain the sight of our God and Father is this: to bvisit corphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained 1by dthe world.
The Sin of Partiality
1 aMy brethren, bdo not hold your faith in our cglorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of dpersonal favoritism.
2 For if a man comes into your 1assembly with a gold ring and dressed in 2afine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in bdirty clothes,
3 and you 1pay special attention to the one who is wearing the afine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges awith evil 1motives?
5 Listen, amy beloved brethren: did not bGod choose the poor 1of this world to be crich in faith and dheirs of the kingdom which He epromised to those who love Him?
6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and 1personally adrag you into 2court?
7 aDo they not blaspheme the fair name 1by which you have been called?
8 If, however, you aare fulfilling the 1royal law according to the Scripture, “bYou shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
9 But if you ashow partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the 1law as transgressors.
10 For whoever keeps the whole 1law and yet astumbles in one point, he has become bguilty of all.
11 For He who said, “aDo not commit adultery,” also said, “bDo not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the 1law.
12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by athe law of liberty.
13 For ajudgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy 1triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Works
14 aWhat use is it, bmy brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can 1that faith save him?
15 aIf a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “aGo in peace, 1be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
17 Even so afaith, if it has no works, is 1dead, being by itself.
18 aBut someone 1may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your bfaith without the works, and I will cshow you my faith dby my works.”
19 You believe that 1aGod is one. bYou do well; cthe demons also believe, and shudder.
20 But are you willing to recognize, ayou foolish fellow, that bfaith without works is useless?
21 aWas not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
22 You see that afaith was working with his works, and 1as a result of the bworks, faith was 2perfected;
23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “aAnd Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called bthe friend of God.
24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not aRahab the harlot also justified by works bwhen she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also afaith without works is dead.
The Tongue Is a Fire
1 aLet not many of you become teachers, bmy brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a 1stricter judgment.
2 For we all astumble in many ways. bIf anyone does not stumble in 1what he says, he is a cperfect man, able to dbridle the whole body as well.
3 Now aif we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.
4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it aboasts of great things.
bSee how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
6 And athe tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which bdefiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our 1life, and is set on fire by 2chell.
7 For every 1species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human 1race.
8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of adeadly poison.
9 With it we bless aour Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, bwho have been made in the likeness of God;
10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both 1fresh and bitter water?
12 aCan a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce 1fresh.
Wisdom from Above
13 Who among you is wise and understanding? aLet him show by his bgood behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter ajealousy and 1selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against bthe truth.
15 This wisdom is not that which comes down afrom above, but is bearthly, 1cnatural, ddemonic.
16 For where ajealousy and 1selfish ambition exist, 2there is disorder and every evil thing.
17 But the wisdom afrom above is first bpure, then cpeaceable, dgentle, 1reasonable, efull of mercy and good fruits, funwavering, without ghypocrisy.
18 And the 1aseed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace 2by those who make peace.
Things to Avoid
1 1What is the source of quarrels and aconflicts among you? 2Is not the source your pleasures that wage bwar in your members?
2 You lust and do not have; so you acommit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
3 You ask and ado not receive, because you ask 1with wrong motives, so that you may spend it 2on your pleasures.
4 You aadulteresses, do you not know that friendship with bthe world is chostility toward God? dTherefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture aspeaks to no purpose: “1He 2jealously desires bthe Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?
6 But aHe gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “bGod is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7 aSubmit therefore to God. bResist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 aDraw near to God and He will draw near to you. bCleanse your hands, you sinners; and cpurify your hearts, you ddouble-minded.
9 aBe miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 aHumble yourselves ...