Saturday, May 31, 2014

James 4:1-12 - Responsive Reading

James 4:1-12
(English Standard Version)

Pastor: What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?

People: Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

Pastor: You desire and do not have,

People: so you murder.

Pastor: You covet and cannot obtain,

People: so you fight and quarrel.

Pastor: You do not have,

People: because you do not ask.

Pastor: You ask and do not receive,

People: because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Pastor: You adulterous people!

People: Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Pastor: Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

People: Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says,

Pastor: “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

People: But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Pastor: Submit yourselves therefore to God.

People: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Pastor: Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

People: Cleanse your hands, you sinners,

Pastor: and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

People: Be wretched and mourn and weep.

Pastor: Let your laughter be turned to mourning

People: and your joy to gloom.

Pastor: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

People: Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.

Pastor: The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother,

People: speaks evil against the law and judges the law.

Pastor: But if you judge the law,

People: you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Pastor: There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy.

People: But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

James 2:1-26 - A Responsive Reading

Faith and Works

James 2:1-26 (ESV)

A Responsive Reading

Pastor: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

People: For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Pastor: Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man.

People: Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

Pastor: If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

People: But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

Pastor: For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

People: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Pastor: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

People: If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

Pastor: So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

People: But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”

Pastor: Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

People: You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

Pastor: Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

People: You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.