Faith by itself isn’t enough ...
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? -James 2:17-20 NLT
Interesting how James speaks of faith not being enough when, in essence, it really is when it is the real thing. The issue that he speaks to here is counterfeit faith. Fake faith has always been with us. Many religious people know all the right things to say - they assent to God with their head but their hearts are simply not engaged. Sometimes knowing something with your head is simply not enough. Genuine faith is a matter of the heart and not of our own understanding.
The absurdity of demon-like believing reminds me that people often engage in religious activities for reasons other than faith. For sure many of these may have assented to a "Higher Power" and might speak of the "Man Upstairs". And often people with a bankrupt faith do good deeds. It speaks to me of how faith and works cannot stand alone. In truth, we are unable to know if another person has faith by simply looking at what they do. Only God can see our hearts.
Cause our hearts to embrace genuine faith today dear Lord. Transform us into people who are moved by compassion.