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James  ◦   Chapter 2

1My family of God: As people who have taken the Remedy of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as you seek to emulate him in all you do–don't discriminate.2Imagine that a famous person dressed in expensive attire and a poor stranger wearing dirty, torn clothes come to your meeting.3If you fawn all over the important person, paying them special attention and giving them the best seat, but ignore the poor person, leaving them to stand in the back or to sit on the floor,4haven't you failed to love all people equally? Haven't you selfishly sought to ingratiate yourself with the person you judged to be more desirable?

5Listen carefully, my brothers and sisters: God has chosen to take the people whom the world scorns–those who are poor in the eyes of the world but rich in spiritual health–and restore them to his original design, making them heirs of the kingdom of love which he promised to those who love him;6yet you look down on and belittle the poor. But is it not the wealthy and politically connected who manipulate, exploit and harass you? Aren't they the ones who sue you and bring allegations against you in the courts?7Isn't it the rich and famous who mock and make fun of the humble character of Christ which you have accepted?

8To genuinely live in harmony with God's majestic law–the design he constructed life to operate upon, and which is taught in Scripture: "Love your neighbor as yourself"–is doing what is right.9But if you display favoritisim to the rich and powerful while ignoring and degrading the poor and weak, you violate God's principles of love and are diagnosed as being out of harmony with his design for life.10For whoever loves in one area but lives selfishly in another is still out of harmony with God's design.11For he who gave us the prescription "Don't commit adultery," also prescribed "Do not murder." If you don't engage in adultery but do commit murder, you are still operating outside of God's design for life and his recovery plan.

12Live like people who understand how God built life to operate: act like those who are going to be diagnosed by the standard that health and freedom are founded upon,13because one's true condition will be diagnosed accurately, without any covering-over of the actual terminal state of the one who has not been restored to selfless love. But selfless love heals our terminal condition!

14My brothers and sisters, what good does it do for a person to claim they trust God and follow his treatment if they don't actually do what is right? Does confidence in God's ability to heal, and the effectiveness of the Remedy, do any good if the Remedy isn't taken and applied?15Suppose a brother or sister is hungry, homeless, or without clothing:16If one of you says, "I am praying for you and hope you keep warm and find something to eat," but doesn't do anything to help, your prayer does nothing to help either you or them, but instead misrepresents God and hardens your heart.17Similarly, claiming trust in God without choosing to apply his treatment plan to your life has no healing effect, and your condition remains terminal.

18But some will argue, "Gentiles simply trust God, while Jews work to be saved." Show me how a person gets well by trusting but not applying God's treatment to their lives, and I will show that real healing only happens when we do both — trust God and follow his treatment plan.19How does it help you to believe there is only one God? Satan and his cohort of demons also believe that and still live in terror.

20You ineffectual people! Must you be shown that trust in a remedy without applying it is useless?21Don't you understand that our forefather Abraham was put right with God when his trust was applied in offering Isaac on the altar?22Can't you see that it is his trust that caused him to act as he did? His trust became effectual by what he did.23This is the meaning of the Scripture that says, "Abraham trusted God and was restored to harmony with God," and he was therefore God's friend.24Do you understand that a person is restored to harmony with God by the application of God's methods through trust, and not simply by trust without application?

25This is exactly how Rahab the prostitute was put right with God: her trust in God led her to act–to risk her life by protecting the spies rather than protecting herself–and she sent them off a different way.26Just as the body without the breath of life is lifeless and does nothing, so trust without application is useless and does nothing.