James 2: 20 – 24
What do we learn about saving faith from Abraham? Abraham’s obedience demonstrated that his faith was of a dynamic, active nature. It produced an obedience and a trust so great he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen. 22). This action pointed back to and demonstrated the validity of God’s earlier statement that Abraham’s faith was accepted in place of righteousness (15:6). Thus by its very nature Abraham’s faith produced righteous works, so that works were an expression of his faith. In that sense Abraham was justified by works: God’s claim that he was righteous and any claim Abraham might have made to having faith were indicated by Abraham’s acts.
Thus the kind of faith that justifies a person before God is a faith that expresses itself in works. Any “faith” which is not accompanied by works is not a saving kind of faith.
Richards, L. O. (1991). The Bible reader’s companion (electronic ed., p. 872). Wheaton: Victor Books.