Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
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There must have been some people who would have argued that Abraham was a special case, since nobody would now be asked to make such a sacrifice, and that therefore his example does not really count. To answer this objection, James looks through the Scriptures and refers to the case of Rahab, a wicked woman and a foreigner to boot, who nevertheless was justified by her faith because she performed works of mercy and showed hospitality to members of God's people, even though her own life was thereby put in danger.
Listen to the testimony of Scripture. In the midst of prostitution there was a pearl, in the mire there was burnished gold, in the mud there was a flower blooming with godliness. A godly soul was concealed in a land of impiety.