There is nothing that we can do to earn salvation because a) it s a gift and b) we are saved by the blood that was poured out on Calvary’s hill. (Ephesians 2:8-9) However, James 2:14-26 reminds us that faith without works is dead! In other words we have to put our feet on the same frequency with the words that we speak! Now don’t get it twisted; James is not saying that our works make us righteous before God but that real saving faith is demonstrated by good works. Works are not the cause of salvation; works are the evidence of salvation. Faith in Christ always results in good works. The person who claims to be a Christian but lives in willful disobedience to Christ has a false or dead faith and is not saved. Paul basically says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. James contrasts two different types of faith—true faith that saves and false faith that is dead.
Faith without works is dead because it reveals a heart that has not been transformed by God. When we have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, our lives will demonstrate that new life. Our works will be characterized by obedience to God. Unseen faith will become seen by the production of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22). Christians belong to Christ, the Good Shepherd. As His sheep we hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:26–30).
Lastly, faith without works is dead because it comes from a heart that has not been regenerated by God. Empty professions of faith have no power to change lives. Those who pay lip service to faith but who do not possess the Spirit will hear Christ Himself say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers” (Matthew 7:23). I can assure you that these are not the words I want to hear when I stand before God. So I am going to do my best to let my light shine before men, so that they may see my good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).