Be good to all kinds of people
1 Listen, my friends. Jesus Christ is our really great leader, so if you really believe in him you will be good to everybody and treat them all the same way.
2 Suppose one man comes to your church service wearing really pretty clothes and gold rings on his fingers, and another poor man comes wearing old rubbish clothes.
3-4 Maybe you look at the man with pretty clothes and think to yourself, “He has got a lot of money.” So you are good to him and say to him, “Here is a really good seat for you.” But you are rough on the poor man and say to him, “You stand over there,” or, “You can sit on the ground.” If you are like that you make yourself like a bad judge. You are wrong if you do that. Don’t think that way about people. You have to be good to everybody whether they have money or not.
5 Listen to me, my friends. God picks out poor people and he gets them to properly trust him. He promises to take them inot his family. He promises this to everybody that loves him. He will give them their own place in his good country, in heaven. In the end those poor people will be really rich.
6 So you are wrong if you rubbish poor people. Just think now. Who is rough on you? What people take you to court? Do poor people do that, or rich people? Rich people do it.
7 And they talk against Jesus Christ. You belong to Jesus Christ, but they rubbish him.
8 This is a really important law in God’s book. It says, “Love other people just like you love yourself.” If you do that, you are doing good.
9 But if you are good to some people but rough on other people, you are doing bad. You are not following that law.
10 Now think about God’s laws. If you don’t follow all of God’s laws you are guilty. Suppose one man does everything in those laws except that he breaks one law, that man is guilty. Suppose another man breaks all those laws, he is guilty too. They are both guilty.
11 It is like this. One of God’s laws is, “Don’t sleep with anyone that is not your wife or your husband, and do what married people do together.” And another law is, “Don’t kill anybody dead.” Suppose you didn’t sleep with the wrong person, but you did kill somebody dead, you are guilty anyway, because you didn’t follow all of God’s laws.
12 God will judge us and he will use the law that tells us to love other people. So before you say anything and before you do anything you have to think about that law from God. That is the law that makes us free so that we can do whatever is right.
13 Later on God will judge you and he will not be sorry for you if you were not sorry for other people. But if you are sorry for them and good to them, God will be sorry for you and good to you. God can be good to people that he judges.
Believe the right way and do the right things
14 My friends, it is no good for you to say that you believe in Jesus Christ if you don’t do the things he wants you to do. If you reckon you believe, but you don’t do the things he wants, you can’t think that God will save you.
15 If there is another Christian that is hungry and needs food, or cold and needs some clothes,
16 you can’t just talk and give them nothing. You can’t just say, “Don’t worry. I hope you get something to eat and I hope you get some clothes to wear.” If you don’t do anything to help them, you do no good at all.
17 So if you reckon that you believe in Jesus Christ, but you don’t do the good things that he wants you to do, I reckon your talk isn’t true. It is useless. It will get you nowhere.
18 Maybe you reckon, “Some people can believe in Jesus and other people can do the good things that Jesus says to do.” I answer like this, “You can’t show me that you believe in Jesus if you don’t do the things he says. But whenever I do the good things he tells me to do I show you that I do believe in him.”
19 You reckon you believe that there is only one God, and you are thinking just the same way as the devils think. They believe that there is only one God, and if they think about him they get really frightened of him. They get so frightened that they shake.
20-23 It is not good to say that you believe in Jesus if you don’t do the things he says. If you are so stupid that you don’t agree with me, just think about the story of Abraham, our first grand-father. God told Abraham to give him his son Isaac. To do that Abraham had to kill Isaac and burn his body on a table made of stones. Abraham believed that somehow God will make it end up all right, so he started to do that hard thing that God said. He started to kill Isaac. But just then God told him to stop. God’s book says,
“Abraham believed God, and so God said that he was a really good man.”
In another place it says that Abraham not only believed God but he also did that hard thing God told him to do, so Abraham was a friend of God.
24 So from that story we learn that God will say that we are alright only if we believe him so much that we do whatever he says.
25 And think about that story about Rahab. She was a bad woman that used to sleep around with any man that paid her money. But one day Israel’s enemies were chasing 2 Israeli men and those 2 asked Rahab to help them. She hid in her house until their enemies went past, and then she told them which way to run to get away. She helped those 2 men, so God was happy with her. Later on, while a lot of Israeli soldiers attacked that town, God saved her and those soldiers didn’t kill her.
26 It is like this. If a man’s body doesn’t breathe it is no good. He is dead. In the same way, if you say you believe in Jesus but you don’t do the things God wants you to do, you are no good as a Christian. It is like you are dead.