Emeritus Professor Herman Hanko’s latest book called “Faith Made Perfect” is an excellent commentary on the book of James, full of gems and very clearly explaining some of the more difficult passages and also exploding the myth that James contradicts Paul on justification by faith alone.
Here is what he says on James 2:21-23.
“Friendship is between those who trust each other, believe each other, enjoy nothing so much as being with each other, and share together the most intimate thoughts one can have. God tells his people all about himself, all about his works, all about his purpose in saving them, and his people pour out their thoughts and desires to God. Things they would tell no one else, they tell to God. Their hopes, longings, sorrows, and fears–all are whispered in the ear of God. His people know that he hears and understands, that he is merciful and quick to forgive, that his purpose is to make them everlastingly happy, and that he loves them with an everlasting love. There is nothing more blessed in this life or in the life to come than to be called the friend of God.”
And the only way to enter that friendship is by repenting of your sin and believing in the Son of God (JK).