My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it? Can that faith save you?
Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat.
What good is there in your saying to them, "God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!" - if you don't give them the necessities of life?
So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.
But someone will say, "One person has faith, another has actions." My answer is, "Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions."
Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe - and tremble with fear.
You fool! Do you want to be shown that faith without actions is useless?
References for James 2:20
How was our ancestor Abraham put right with God? It was through his actions, when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. 1
References for James 2:21
2.21 Gn 22.1-14+2 Si 44.19-21; 1 Macc 2.52.
Can't you see? His faith and his actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions.
And the scripture came true that said, "Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous." And so Abraham was called God's friend. 2
References for James 2:23
2.23 a Gn 15.6; b 2 Ch 20.7; Is 41.8.
You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone.
It was the same with the prostitute Rahab. She was put right with God through her actions, by welcoming the Israelite spies and helping them to escape by a different road. 3
References for James 2:25
2.25 Js 2.1-21.
So then, as the body without the spirit is dead, also faith without actions is dead.