James 1:19-27 James urges the believers to be patient, for anger doesn’t achieve God’s purposes. He tells them not just to listen to God’s word but to do what it says. This is because the kind of religion that God considers genuine is when believers look after orphans and widows, and keep themselves from becoming corrupted by the world.
James 2:1-13 James condemns any favouritism towards the rich when the believers meet together. All Christians should be treated the same, whether materially rich or not. What really matters is whether they are rich in faith. Anyone who does not “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (James 2:8) is breaking the Jewish law (see Leviticus 19:18 & Matthew 22:34-40).
There’s no point telling people to ‘have faith’ if what they need is food and clothing.
Typhoon Haiyan - Philippines, Nov 2013 (Christian Aid)
Faith without actions is useless
James 2:14-20 James points out that it’s no good claiming to have faith if your actions don’t show it. There’s no point telling poor people to ‘have faith’ if what they really need is food and clothing. So faith without actions is useless.
James 2:20-25 Even Abraham was put right with God by his actions – when he offered to sacrifice his son Isaac (see Genesis 22:1-14). Rahab was also accepted by God because of her actions when she concealed the Israelite spies (see Joshua 2:1-21).
James 2:26 So then, just as a body is dead once a person’s spirit leaves it, so too “faith that does nothing is dead!” (James 2:26).