Sacrifices Pleasing to God
13 Let ubrotherly love continue. 2 vDo not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby wsome have entertained angels unawares. 3 xRemember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 yLet marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge zthe sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life afree from love of money, and bbe content with what you have, for he has said, c“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,
d“The Lord is my helper;
eI will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
7 Remember fyour leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and gimitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is hthe same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be iled away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, jnot by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar kfrom which those who serve the tent1 have no right to eat. 11 For lthe bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned moutside the camp. 12 So Jesus also nsuffered ooutside the gate in order to sanctify the people pthrough his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear qthe reproach he endured. 14 For rhere we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 sThrough him then let us continually offer up ta sacrifice of praise to God, that is, uthe fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and vto share what you have, for such wsacrifices are pleasing to God.
17 Obey xyour leaders and submit to them, yfor they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to zgive an account. aLet them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
18 bPray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order cthat I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now dmay the God of peace ewho brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, fthe great shepherd of the sheep, by gthe blood of the eternal covenant, 21 hequip you with everything good that you may do his will, iworking in us2 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, jto whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 I appeal to you, brothers,3 bear with my word of exhortation, for kI have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that lour brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all myour leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 nGrace be with all of you.
1 aJames, a servant1 of God and bof the Lord Jesus Christ,
To cthe twelve tribes in dthe Dispersion:
Testing of Your Faith
2 eCount it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials fof various kinds, 3 for you know that gthe testing of your faith hproduces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be iperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 jIf any of you lacks wisdom, klet him ask God, lwho gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But mlet him ask in faith, nwith no doubting, for the one who doubts is like oa wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 phe is a double-minded man, qunstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and rthe rich in his humiliation, because slike a flower of the grass3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and twithers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 uBlessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive vthe crown of life, wwhich God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire xwhen it has conceived gives birth to sin, and ysin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 zEvery good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from athe Father of lights, bwith whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.4 18 cOf his own will he dbrought us forth by the word of truth, ethat we should be a kind of ffirstfruits of his creatures.
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 gKnow this, my beloved brothers: let every person hbe quick to hear, islow to speak, jslow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore kput away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with lmeekness the implanted word, mwhich is able to save your souls.
22 But be ndoers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, othe law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, phe will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious qand does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s rreligion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: sto visit torphans and widows in their affliction, and uto keep oneself vunstained from the world.
The Sin of Partiality
2 My brothers,1 wshow no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, xthe Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” ywhile you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become zjudges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, ahas not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be brich in faith and heirs of cthe kingdom, dwhich he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you ehave dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who fdrag you ginto court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable hname by which you were called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, i“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you jshow partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point khas become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, l“Do not commit adultery,” also said, l“Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under mthe law of liberty. 13 For njudgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith obut does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 pIf a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 qand one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good2 is that? 17 So 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 rapart from your works, and I will show you my faith sby my works. 19 tYou believe that God is one; you do well. Even uthe demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 vWas not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that wfaith was active along with his works, and faith was completed xby his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, y“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a zfriend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also aRahab the prostitute justified by works bwhen she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Taming the Tongue
3 cNot many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For dwe all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, ehe is a perfect man, fable also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put gbits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet hit boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And ithe tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, jstaining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,1 and set on fire by hell.2 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, kfull of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people lwho are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,3 these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Wisdom from Above
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? mBy his good conduct let him show his works nin the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter ojealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not pthe wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, qdemonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But rthe wisdom from above is first pure, then speaceable, gentle, open to reason, tfull of mercy and good fruits, uimpartial and vsincere. 18 And wa harvest of righteousness xis sown in peace by those who make peace.
Warning Against Worldliness
4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are yat war within you?2 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask zwrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 aYou adulterous people!3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? bTherefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit cthat he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But dhe gives more grace. Therefore it says, e“God opposes the proud but dgives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. fResist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 gDraw near to God, and he will draw near to you. hCleanse your hands, you sinners, and ipurify your hearts, jyou double-minded. 9 kBe wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 lHumble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
11 mDo not speak evil against one another, brothers.4 The one who speaks against a brother or njudges 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. 12 There is only oone lawgiver and pjudge, he who is able to save and qto destroy. But rwho are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
13 Come now, you who say, s“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For tyou are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, u“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. vAll such boasting is evil. 17 wSo whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.