Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. James 2:26 (NLT)
There is a lot of tension around this verse. Some think it means you have to do good works to be saved. But really, if you look at it in context (look at the verses around it) James is saying that you can’t just say you believe in God and be faithful. Satan does the same and he hates God. It’s your relationship with God that generates your good works. In other words, you are so in love with God that the love can’t stay inside. It fills you up so much that it spills out in the form of love and good works toward all that you encounter. If you are doing good works to check a box, when you are finished the proper box will still be unchecked.
A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ. – George Whitefield