Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world. So walk out on your corrupt liaison with smut and depraved living, and humbly welcome the word of truth that will blossom like the seed of salvation planted in your souls.
Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith. Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you. It would be like seeing a brother or sister without any clothes out in the cold and begging for food, and saying, “Shalom, friend, you should get inside where it’s warm and eat something,” but doing nothing about his needs—leaving him cold and alone on the street. What good would your words alone do? The same is true with faith. Without actions, faith is useless. By itself, it’s as good as dead. I know what you’re thinking: “OK, you have faith. And I have actions. Now let’s see your faith without works, and I’ll show you a faith that works.”
Don’t you realize that faith without works is useless, like a glove without a hand or a hat without a head?
Do you think that just believing there’s one God is going to get you anywhere? The demons believe that, too, and it terrifies them! The fact is, faith has to show itself through works performed in faith. If you don’t recognize that, then you’re an empty soul. Wasn’t our father Abraham made right with God by laying his son Isaac on the altar? The faith in his heart was made known in his behavior. In fact, his commitment was perfected by his obedience. That’s what Scripture means when it says, “Abraham entrusted himself to God, and God credited him with righteousness.” And living a faithful life earned Abraham the title of “God’s friend.” Just like our father in the faith, we are made right with God through good works, not simply by what we believe or think. Even Rahab the prostitute was made right with God by hiding the spies and aiding in their escape. 26 Removing action from faith is like removing breath from a body. All you have left is a corpse.
Put the word into action. If you think hearing is what matters most, you are going to find you have been deceived.
God the Father is the giver of all things and is looking for every opportunity to bless us. But many people have difficulty trusting and receiving good things, even when those things come from God. The problem is that we not only have trouble trusting God’s work in our lives, but we also don’t always respond to God’s voice. People often hear the Scriptures but don’t really listen. People store truths in their brains but never put them to use. For the Apostle James, the only good and true religion is religion lived out every day.