James 1–3 NASB

James 1

1James, a bond-ser­vant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dis­persed abroad: Greet­ings.

2Con­sid­er it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter var­i­ous tri­als, know­ing that the test­ing of your faith pro­duces endurance. And let endurance have its per­fect result, so that you may be per­fect and com­plete, lack­ing in noth­ing.

5But if any of you lacks wis­dom, let him ask of God, who gives to all gen­er­ous­ly and with­out reproach, and it will be giv­en to him. But he must ask in faith with­out any doubt­ing, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, dri­ven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive any­thing from the Lord, being a dou­ble-mind­ed man, unsta­ble in all his ways.

But the broth­er of hum­ble cir­cum­stances is to glo­ry in his high posi­tion; 10 and the rich man is to glo­ry in his humil­i­a­tion, because like flow­er­ing grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun ris­es with a scorch­ing wind and with­ers 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 Blessed is a man who per­se­veres under tri­al; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord 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 by 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 when lust has con­ceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accom­plished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing giv­en and every per­fect gift is from above, com­ing down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no vari­a­tion or shift­ing shad­ow. 18 In the exer­cise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His crea­tures.

19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But every­one must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the right­eous­ness of God. 21 There­fore, putting aside all filth­i­ness and all that remains of wicked­ness, in humil­i­ty receive the word implant­ed, which is able to save your souls. 22 But 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 nat­ur­al face in a mir­ror; 24 for once he has looked at him­self and gone away, he has imme­di­ate­ly for­got­ten what kind of per­son he was. 25 But one who looks intent­ly at the per­fect law, the law of lib­er­ty, and abides by it, not hav­ing become a for­get­ful hear­er but an effec­tu­al doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

26 If any­one thinks him­self to be reli­gious, and yet does not bri­dle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s reli­gion is worth­less. 27 Pure and unde­filed reli­gion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to vis­it orphans and wid­ows in their dis­tress, and to keep one­self unstained by the world.

James 2

1My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glo­ri­ous Lord Jesus Christ with an atti­tude of per­son­al favoritism. 2For if a man comes into your assem­bly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3and you pay spe­cial atten­tion to the one who is wear­ing the fine 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,” 4have you not made dis­tinc­tions among your­selves, and become judges with evil motives? 5Lis­ten, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the king­dom which He promised to those who love Him? 6But you have dis­hon­ored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and per­son­al­ly drag you into court? 7Do they not blas­pheme the fair name by which you have been called?

8If, how­ev­er, you are ful­fill­ing the roy­al law accord­ing to the Scrip­ture, “You shall love your neigh­bor as your­self,” you are doing well. 9But if you show par­tial­i­ty, you are com­mit­ting sin and are con­vict­ed by the law as trans­gres­sors. 10For who­ev­er keeps the whole law and yet stum­bles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11For He who said, “Do not com­mit adul­tery,” also said, “Do not com­mit mur­der.” Now if you do not com­mit adul­tery, but do com­mit mur­der, you have become a trans­gres­sor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of lib­er­ty. 13For judg­ment will be mer­ci­less to one who has shown no mer­cy; mer­cy tri­umphs over judg­ment.

14What use is it, my brethren, if some­one says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15If a broth­er or sis­ter is with­out cloth­ing and in need of dai­ly food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is nec­es­sary for their body, what use is that? 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18But some­one may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith with­out the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shud­der. 20But are you will­ing to rec­og­nize, you fool­ish fel­low, that faith with­out works is use­less? 21Was not Abra­ham our father jus­ti­fied by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22You see that faith was work­ing with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was per­fect­ed; 23and the Scrip­ture was ful­filled which says, “And 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. 25In the same way, was not Rahab the har­lot also jus­ti­fied by works when she received the mes­sen­gers and sent them out by anoth­er way? 26For just as the body with­out the spir­it is dead, so also faith with­out works is dead.

James 3

1Let not many of you become teach­ers, my brethren, know­ing that as such we will incur a stricter judg­ment. 2For we all stum­ble in many ways. If any­one does not stum­ble in what he says, he is a per­fect man, able to bri­dle the whole body as well. 3Now if we put the bits into the hors­es’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4Look 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. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.

See how great a for­est is set aflame by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniq­ui­ty; the tongue is set among our mem­bers as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7For every species of beasts and birds, of rep­tiles and crea­tures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8But no one can tame the tongue; it is a rest­less evil and full of dead­ly poi­son. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the like­ness of God; 10from the same mouth come both bless­ing and curs­ing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11Does a foun­tain send out from the same open­ing both fresh and bit­ter water? 12Can a fig tree, my brethren, pro­duce olives, or a vine pro­duce figs? Nor can salt water pro­duce fresh.

13Who among you is wise and under­stand­ing? Let him show by his good behav­ior his deeds in the gen­tle­ness of wis­dom. 14But if you have bit­ter jeal­ousy and self­ish ambi­tion in your heart, do not be arro­gant and so lie against the truth. 15This wis­dom is not that which comes down from above, but is earth­ly, nat­ur­al, demon­ic. 16For where jeal­ousy and self­ish ambi­tion exist, there is dis­or­der and every evil thing. 17But the wis­dom from above is first pure, then peace­able, gen­tle, rea­son­able, full of mer­cy and good fruits, unwa­ver­ing, with­out hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is right­eous­ness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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