What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him?…
We are surely not despising fruits and flowers when we insist open the root from which they shall come. A. man may take separate acts of partial goodness, as you see children in the spring-time sticking daisies on the spikes of a thorn-twig picked from the hedges. But these will die. The basis of all righteousness is faith, and the manifestation of faith is practical righteousness. "Show Me thy faith by thy works" is Christ's teaching, quite as much as it is the teaching of His sturdy servant, James. And so we are going the shortest way to enrich lives with all the beauties of possible human perfection when we say, Begin at the beginning. The longest way round is the shortest way home; trust Him with all your heart first, and that will effloresce into whatsoever things are lovely and of good report.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?