“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” James 2:14
The religion of Jesus Christ is made up of two parts–faith and works.
Faith is the root of works.
Works are the fruit of faith.
A belief, however true and pure, if it is accepted only by the intellect, and is not carried out into practice–translating the faith held by the mind, into active duties–is a barren faith, which will not be accepted by God, and which will not secure salvation.
On the other hand, works, however good, which do not spring out of faith in the Lord Jesus, but which are done merely from human and worldly motives–are of no avail before God, because “whatever is not of faith, is sin.”
Thrice has James told us, “Faith without works is dead!”
And just as distinctly has Paul declared, “By the works of the law, shall no flesh be justified in His sight.”
Both apostles are right!
Works without faith–have no living root.
Faith without works–has no authenticating fruit.
They are the two parts of the one tree, namely, the root and the fruit. They are the two halves of the one whole–together they make up the true Christian.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by works, is dead!” James 2:17