What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
A question with an obvious answer.
Faith without deeds does no good. If a man says that he has faith, but does not have deeds, what is the point? There is no good there. Can it even save a person?
We have been taught so many places in the scriptures that our works cannot save us. We are evil, vile, immoral people. We most assuredly cannot save ourselves by being good, and doing the works of God.
The only answer to our dilemma was Jesus Christ Himself. He came and did the life for us. He was righteousness personified. Then He died so that we might live. So we cling to Him in faith. Trusting that His word is true, that His gospel is real.
Then some stop there. They do not want to be saved from their worldly lifestyle. They simply want their ticket to heaven, or maybe I should say, they want their pass out of hell. They claim this saving faith is theirs, but there is no evidence of it.
So, James says, "Can such faith save?"
Surely we know the answer already. No, it cannot save. For real, true saving faith... saves a man. He is saved from this life that he was leading, and he turns to God.
Faith without works is good for nothing.