Someone asked me once to describe “faith.” I thought about it for a moment and then compared faith to a light bulb. A light bulb sitting on a shelf is dead. In order to do what it was designed to do (give light) it needed another component; electricity. Without electricity, the lightbulb is worthless. St. James uses the analogy of a body without a spirit is dead. I prefer a light bulb to a corpse, but his example shows how justly passionate James was about getting this point across to Christians. Below are samples from the Book of James on faith alone versus faith plus action.
Faith alone is like hearing without doing.
James 1:22, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” Like faith, to listen to the word and to even believe the word, but not act on it is nothing more than self-deception. Without doing, without works to support our faith and hearing, we lie to ourselves.
Faith alone is no better than the belief of demons.
James 2:19, “You believe that God is one, Good for you! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
Faith alone is dead.
James 2:26, “faith without deeds is dead.”
Faith must be manifested.
James 2:18, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”
Faith plus action. James provides us with several examples of faith in action.
Faith with prayer can heal the sick. James 5:15
Faith with prayer can stop and start the rain. James 5:17
Faith with prayer gives wisdom. James 1:5
Faith tested develops perseverance. James 1:3
Faith with action provides the physical needs of the brethren. James 2:15-16
Faith with sacrifice perfects faith as righteousness. James 2:22
Sacred Scripture tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is a must, (James 1:6), no doubt about that, but it is not enough in itself, for it requires action to come alive (James 2:26).
Faith is belief in action. Call it Faith+