Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone.
Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing,
and you say, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well" -- but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
So you see, it isn't enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all -- it is dead and useless.
Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." I say, "I can't see your faith if you don't have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds."
Do you still think it's enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!
Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?
Don't you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did -- by his actions.
And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: "Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous." He was even called "the friend of God."
References for James 2:23
So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Rahab the prostitute is another example of this. She was made right with God by her actions -- when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.
Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead without good deeds.