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Sunday, September 30, 2018
II Chronicles 29-32
James, bondman of God and of [the] Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which [are] in the dispersion, greeting.
Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into various temptations,
knowing that the proving of your faith works endurance.
But let endurance have [its] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any one of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all freely and reproaches not, and it shall be given to him:
but let him ask in faith, nothing doubting. For he that doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed about;
for let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord;
[he is] a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
But let the brother of low degree glory in his elevation,
and the rich in his humiliation, because as [the] grass's flower he will pass away.
For the sun has risen with its burning heat, and has withered the grass, and its flower has fallen, and the comeliness of its look has perished: thus the rich also shall wither in his goings.
Blessed [is the] man who endures temptation; for, having been proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which He has promised to them that love him.
Let no man, being tempted, say, I am tempted of God. For God cannot be tempted by evil things, and himself tempts no one.
But every one is tempted, drawn away, and enticed by his own lust;
then lust, having conceived, gives birth to sin; but sin fully completed brings forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights, with whom is no variation nor shadow of turning.
According to his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we should be a certain first-fruits of *his* creatures.
So that, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
for man's wrath does not work God's righteousness.
Wherefore, laying aside all filthiness and abounding of wickedness, accept with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be ye doers of [the] word and not hearers only, beguiling yourselves.
For if any man be a hearer of [the] word and not a doer, *he* is like to a man considering his natural face in a mirror:
for he has considered himself and is gone away, and straightway he has forgotten what he was like.
But *he* that fixes his view on [the] perfect law, that of liberty, and abides in [it], being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of [the] work, *he* shall be blessed in his doing.
If any one think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his heart, this man's religion is vain.
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
My brethren, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [Lord] of glory, with respect of persons:
for if there come unto your synagogue a man with a gold ring in splendid apparel, and a poor man also come in in vile apparel,
and ye look upon him who wears the splendid apparel, and say, Do thou sit here well, and say to the poor, Do thou stand there, or sit here under my footstool:
have ye not made a difference among yourselves, and become judges having evil thoughts?
Hear, my beloved brethren: Has not God chosen the poor as to the world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to them that love him?
But *ye* have despised the poor [man]. Do not the rich oppress you, and [do not] *they* drag you before [the] tribunals?
And [do not] *they* blaspheme the excellent name which has been called upon you?
If indeed ye keep [the] royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.
But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.
For whoever shall keep the whole law and shall offend in one [point], he has come under the guilt of [breaking] all.
For he who said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also, Thou shalt not kill. Now if thou dost not commit adultery, but killest, thou art become transgressor of [the] law.
So speak ye, and so act, as those that are to be judged by [the] law of liberty;
for judgment [will be] without mercy to him that has shewn no mercy. Mercy glories over judgment.
What [is] the profit, my brethren, if any one say he have faith, but have not works? can faith save him?
Now if a brother or a sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
and one from amongst you say to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled; but give not to them the needful things for the body, what [is] the profit?
So also faith, if it have not works, is dead by itself.
But some one will say, *Thou* hast faith and *I* have works. Shew me thy faith without works, and *I* from my works will shew thee my faith.
*Thou* believest that God is one. Thou doest well. The demons even believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and that by works faith was perfected.
And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, and he was called Friend of God.
Ye see that a man is justified on the principle of works, and not on the principle of faith only.
But was not in like manner also Rahab the harlot justified on the principle of works, when she had received the messengers and put [them] forth by another way?
For as the body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Be not many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment.
For we all often offend. If any one offend not in word, *he* [is] a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body too.
Behold, we put the bits in the mouths of the horses, that they may obey us, and we turn round their whole bodies.
Behold also the ships, which are so great, and driven by violent winds, are turned about by a very small rudder, wherever the pleasure of the helmsman will.
Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles!
and the tongue [is] fire, the world of unrighteousness; the tongue is set in our members, the defiler of the whole body, and which sets fire to the course of nature, and is set on fire of hell.
For every species both of beasts and of birds, both of creeping things and of sea animals, is tamed and has been tamed by the human species;
but the tongue can no one among men tame; [it is] an unsettled evil, full of death-bringing poison.
Therewith bless we the Lord and Father, and therewith curse we men made after [the] likeness of God.
Out of the same mouth goes forth blessing and cursing. It is not right, my brethren, that these things should be thus.
Does the fountain, out of the same opening, pour forth sweet and bitter?
Can, my brethren, a fig produce olives, or a vine figs? Neither [can] salt [water] make sweet water.
Who [is] wise and understanding among you; let him shew out of a good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom;
but if ye have bitter emulation and strife in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
This is not the wisdom which comes down from above, but earthly, natural, devilish.
For where emulation and strife [are], there [is] disorder and every evil thing.
But the wisdom from above first is pure, then peaceful, gentle, yielding, full of mercy and good fruits, unquestioning, unfeigned.
But [the] fruit of righteousness in peace is sown for them that make peace.
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