First of all, read James 2:14-26. If you don't have a Bible near you, click here to read it online.
|Abraham and Isaac|
Let's compare this with Paul. Now on the surface, it appears that James and Paul disagree with one another. Paul says, "Yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ" (Galatians 2:15).
But pay close attention: Paul abhors works of the law, not works in general. Paul is simply arguing that justification before God does not come from ritual purity (circumcision, appointed sacrifices, etc.).
James takes this one step further. Faith in Jesus Christ is only fruitful and alive when it produces good works of charity and trust in God. For James, faith is not something you possess - it is something you do.
Question for reflection: Where have you seen works of charity enlivened by faith in Jesus?