“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”
James 2:26, ESV
What if someone came up to you and told you that they hadn’t eaten for days? What would you do? Would you help them get something to eat? Would you say, “I hope you find something soon. Have a good day?” What if they came to you with their clothes all stained and ripped apart as if they had just gotten off a deserted island? Would you try to help them out or would you say to them, “It’s going to be cold tonight; stay warm, now?” Hopefully we would do everything we could to help feed or clothe the people who sought help from us.
Our love for Jesus come out in our love for people. We say that we believe in Jesus, and if so, then that means we must treat people with love. Our faith in Jesus causes us to act. If we do not act because of what we believe, then do we really believe it? James says that we don’t. Belief always leads to action.
So he tells someone to prove to me that they have faith without pointing to their actions. There is no way to do that. Faith is like wind. We can’t see wind. We can only feel the wind as it moves. When it is moving, it is acting. We see the dust and debris, the rustling of trees, but the wind itself is never seen. So it is with faith. It is invisible. The only way we know that there is faith is if the faith is in action. If you were to step outside, and didn’t feel the wind blow on your face or through your hair, and did not see the wind blow through trees, you would say that there is no wind no matter what your friend may say. You’d be right. If someone says they have faith in Jesus, but they don’t live like it, you would have the same thought that you had with the wind: there is no faith.
James make it a point to say that the devils believe in God. They claim a faith. But do they act on that faith? Yes, they do. The devils believe that God is one and they shudder. Even the devils cannot help but act on what they believe.
So our faith is at work. It works within our works proving that it exists. If faith has no action, its as dead a body without a spirit.