there is one God
2:19 there is one God. James is writing primarily to Jews, whose main religious distinctive was monotheism, as opposed to the pantheistic polytheism that characterized all the pagan religions of the day. Even now, there are only three monotheistic religions (orthodox Judaism, orthodox Islam and orthodox Christianity); all others are, to one degree or another, structured around evolutionary pantheism, and nowhere in Scripture is such pagan belief commended, or even condoned. In this verse, monotheism is commended by James, but even that is not sufficient to save. Only true Christianity acknowledges that the Creator must also be the Redeemer.