Just like a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree will only produce poor fruit (Matthew 7:16-17)…our walk with the Lord is all about fruit production. You may have a hundred Bible verses memorized, but if you never put them into usable application…what good are they? Here James is saying, I will show you my faith by taking what I learned and witnessed about the Lord Jesus Christ and put it into practical action. In other words, a work-less faith is a worthless faith when at the end of the day there is no fruit (good works) to show for it.
Healthy trees produce lots of fruit, so when they don’t, the orchardist looks deeper. The trees may look perfect from the outside, but hide disease within. Their roots may be withered and gnarled from lack of water or fertilizer. We too can look good on the outside, but be stunted within. We can act very spiritual in Church, say all the right things at Bible Study, and still be very withered inside. The Lord wants us healthy and productive – inside and out, for just like strong, hardy trees that produce lots of fruit… so should we.