Chapter 2 of the Book of James
As you read this chapter of James keep the following questions in mind. You may even wish to write the questions down on a separate piece of paper before you begin. Allow yourself several lines between each question. When you have finished reading the chapter devote several minutes to your answers. Click on a question to get our interpretation.
1. What does James have to say about the rich and the poor and how we treat them?
2. James talks about transgressing the law. Why is it important to obey the laws sent down by God?
3. James says "faith, if it has not works, is dead". What does he mean by this?
James Chapter 2
2:1My brothers, don't hold the faith
of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality. 2:2For if a man
with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your assembly, and a poor
man in filthy clothing also comes in; 2:3and you pay
special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, "Sit
here in a good place;" and you tell the poor man, "Stand
there," or "Sit by my footstool;" 2:4haven't you
shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
2:5Listen, my beloved brothers.
Didn't God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith,
and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him? 2:6But you have dishonored the poor
man. Don't the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the
courts? 2:7Don't they blaspheme the honorable
name by which you are called? 2:8However, if you fulfill the royal
law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as
yourself," you do well. 2:9But if you show partiality, you
commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. 2:10For whoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet stumble in one point, he has become guilty of all. 2:11For he who said, "Do not
commit adultery," said also, "Do not commit murder." Now if
you do not commit adultery, but murder, you have become a transgressor of
the law. 2:12So speak, and so do, as men who
are to be judged by a law of freedom. 2:13For
judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs
2:14What good is it, my brothers, if
a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? 2:15And if a brother or sister is
naked and in lack of daily food, 2:16and one of
you tells them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled;" and yet you
didn't give them the things the body needs, what good is it? 2:17Even so faith, if it has no
works, is dead in itself. 2:18Yes, a man will say, "You
have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith from your works,
and I by my works will show you my faith.
2:19You believe that God is one. You
do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 2:20But do you
want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? 2:21Wasn't Abraham our father
justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 2:22You see that faith worked with
his works, and by works faith was perfected; 2:23and the
Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was
accounted to him as righteousness;" and he was called the friend of
God. 2:24You see then that by works, a man
is justified, and not only by faith. 2:25In like
manner wasn't Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she
received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 2:26For as the body apart from the
spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.