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James asks a very important question in verse fourteen. The question itself illustrates that it is possible to have a faith which will not save you. The answer one gives is vitally important. James asks whether or not a person’s faith, which is not accompanied by action, can save him. In other words, if someone says he is saved, but he does not have actions that demonstrate it, is he really saved? As you read through this section, it becomes obvious that James’ answer is no, this kind of faith does not save. Can a person who claims to be saved, really be saved if he does not reach out and meet others’ needs when he becomes aware of them? Does just believing in your head and knowing factually that Jesus is God and that He died and rose again enough to get you to heaven? According to James, no it isn’t (18-19). Is he saying then that we are saved by our works? No! He uses Abraham and Rahab to illustrate that works do not save you, but that if you really have saving faith, you will demonstrate it by the way you live. Faith is manifested by the way you act. What do your actions tell you about your faith?
Observation: What do I see?
Interpretation: What does it mean?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do?