“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[a] Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[b]And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only,” James 2:19-24, NKJV.
It is not enough to say that one believes in God, for even the demons believe. It is not enough to just “go to church,” for we must be the church. It is not enough to understand that His word is true, for we must allow His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We must surrender to God’s way of doing things, not trying to carefully skate along worshipping God on one day and putting ourselves first on the next. When He is the center of our lives, everything else falls under His direction. You’d constantly ask yourself, “Is this pleasing in God’s sight?”
Faith without works is dead; also consider works without faith is dead or done in vain. For example, if you pay your tithes providing for the house of God, but don’t believe that God will “pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10), then your works are in vain—dead. If the fruits aren’t evident in your life, check the motive behind what you’re doing. Is it for show? Is it to just say that you’ve done that? What you do in secret, God will reward you openly. And we must keep in mind that “blessings” aren’t only materialistic.
“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” The scripture goes on to say that he was called the friend of God. By works, faith was made perfect. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed,” James 1:22-25, KJV.
Reference: God’s Friend