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Commentaries On The Catholic Epistles by Jean Calvin


1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons on account of reputation.

2 For if there enter into your assembly a man wearing gold rings, having on a splendid dress, and there enter in also a poor man in sordid clothing;

3 And ye have respect to him who wears a splendid dress, and say to him, |Sit thou here honorably,| and ye say to the poor, |Stand thou there,| or, |Sit here under my foot- stool;|

4 Are ye not condemned in yourselves, and become judges of evil thoughts?

5 Hear, my beloved brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them who love Him?

6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not the rich domineer over you, and draw you before judgment-seats?

7 Do they not blaspheme the good name which is called on you?

8 If indeed ye fulfill the royal law, according to Scripture,

9 |Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,| ye do well: but if ye respect persons, ye commit sin, and are reproved by the law as transgressors.

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one thing, becomes guilty of all:

11 For he who hath said, |Thou shalt not commit adultery,| hath said also, |Thou shalt not kill.| Now if thou committest no adultery, yet if thou killest, thou becomest a transgressor of the law.

12 So speak ye and so do, as those who shall be judged by the law of liberty.

13 For judgment will be without mercy to him who hath not shewed mercy; and mercy glorieth against judgment.

14 What does it avail, my brethren, if any one say that he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?

15 Now, if a brother or a sister be naked and in want of daily bread, and one of you say to them, |Go away in peace, be warmed and be filled;|

16 Though ye give them not those things which are necessary for the body, what does it avail?

17 Even so faith, if it hath no works, being by itself, is dead.

18 Nay, rather, one may say, |Thou hast faith and I have works; shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will by my works shew thee my faith.|

19 Then believest that there is one God; thou doest right: the devils also believe and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Abraham our father, was he not justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

22 Seest thou that faith co-operated with his works, and faith was by works made perfect?

23 And fulfilled was the Scripture which saith, |Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness:| and he was called the Friend of God

24 Ye then see, that by works is man justified, and not by faith only

25 In like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, when she received the messengers, and sent them forth another way?

26 For as the body without the soul is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

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