What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him?…
Our natural disposition with regard to spiritual exercises is a compound of indolence, coldness, and faint-heartedness; therefore we need continually to be stirred up, chafed, and animated by the Word of God and by prayer. As water, though naturally cold, admits of a high degree of heat, but if removed from the fire will gradually become cold again, so our religious affections, to whatever fervour, liveliness, and vigour they may have been raised, will, if not kept awake and recruited by fresh matter, insensibly abate into lukewarmness and even coldness. Though there still be latent spiritual life, its glow is only kept up by active stirring. Hence St. James says, that "through works is faith made perfect," that is, through the perpetual activity and stir of practical devotion.
(J. A. Bengel.)
Parallel VersesKJV: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?