But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (ESV)
There are certain things in life that go together. Peanut butter and jelly. Double stuff Oreo cookies and milk. Faith and works. James raises the point that someone might argue that faith and works can be separated. "One will say, "You have faith and I have works." Is it ok for works to be separated from faith? James is making the argument that faith and works are not to be separated.
James is saying to the one who has faith only, with no works, that he wants them to see his faith by his works. In other words, if you are going to claim to have faith, but have no works, you have no evidence of faith. If I am to believe that a person has genuine faith I can only see that by their works. Faith brings action.
There are so many people to claim to have some kind of faith, yet when it comes down to it, their actions show something completely different. In our current society we have people who on one hand claim to have faith in God, yet at the same time they promote things like abortion and sexual immorality. This is faith with an absence of works that would lead to righteous behavior.
Now, the point can be made that anyone can do good works, even someone without genuine faith. The fact is, this happens all the time. A faithless person can do good works. However, a person with genuine faith cannot avoid doing good works. Genuine faith produces works. Faith and works. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Is your faith genuine? Are you attempting to do good works, but you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ? You can change that right now. Ask Jesus to forgive you of sin, and place your faith in his work done for you on the cross. Then get busy!