This epistle was written by James (a leader of the church in Jerusalem and not James the Apostle) to expose unethical practices and to teach correct Christian behaviour. James wrote to believers who had been scattered throughout the Mediterranean world because of persecution. In their hostile surroundings they were tempted to let intellectual agreement pass for true faith.
James encourage believers to put their faith into action. It is easy to say we have faith, but true faith will produce loving actions toward others. Talk is cheap and individuals soon realise the boasts are hollow and quite often far from the truth.
Christians can make great claims, and are often guilty of belying them with their actions. Professing to trust God and to be His people, believers can be easily tempted to cling tightly to society and its values. As a result they contradict the Bible with their lives.
The proof that our faith in God is real, results in a changed life! Genuine faith will inevitably produce good works. In summary, James could be considered a how-to-book on Christian living.