The Epistle of St. James is a highly important work of the New Testament. The key concept of the necessity of works along with faith is expressed in this Letter. In addition, the Epistle of St. James is rich in content, such as the importance of living God’s word, being impartial, controlling the tongue, and the danger of worldliness and wealth.
Respect for the Poor
My brothers do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come among you a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery, also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.