What does it profit, my brethren, though a man says he has faith, and has not works? can faith save him?
Read Chapter 2
Andreas of Caesarea
If someone does not show by his deeds that he believes in God, his profession of faith is worthless. For it is not the one who just says that he is the Lord's who is a believer, but the one who loves the Lord so much that he is prepared to risk even death because of his faith in him.
Shall faith be able to save him? He now comes to one of the chief points of this epistle, to show against the disciple of Simon , the magician, that faith alone will not save any one. We may take notice in the first place, that St. James in this very verse, supposes that a man may have faith, a true faith without good works. This also follows from ver. 19., where he says: Thou believest that there is one God: thou dost well. And the same is evident by the words in John xii. 42., where it is said, that many of the chief men also believed in him, (Christ) but did not confess it, that they might not be cast out of the synagogue. Now that faith alone is not sufficient to save a man, St. James declares by this example: If any one say to the poor and naked, go in peace, be you warmed and filled, and give them nothing, what shall it profit? Even so faith, if it have not works is dead i.e. such a faith, though it be not lost and destroyed, yet it remains in a soul that is spiritually dead, whe...
Take note of what spiritual understanding really is. It is not enough to believe in a purely intellectual sense. There has to be some practical application for this belief. What James is saying here does not contradict the apostle Paul, who understood that both belief and action were a part of what he called "faith."