Easy believism. Cheap grace. It’s called by different names, but it’s been around for awhile, probably since the beginning of time. Some people claim to believe, but they don’t live like it.
James apparently had people in his community of faith who made a big deal of their faith, but their lives didn’t show it. Some of them were showing favoritism to the rich, while others weren’t helping the needy even though they had the means to do it.
To them James wrote very frankly: “Faith apart from works is dead.”
James’ message is important for every Christian to hear, but perhaps more so for those of us who live in the Bible Belt. It’s so easy to refer to ourselves as Christians–to attend church some, give a little, pray sometimes–but actually being a Christian is something different.