Works are NOT evidence of salvation.
I know of some cultist that can outshine most Christians.
Then you have never heard of faith works continuing in the works of the Lord after we first believed by faith in Christ Jesus.
To say faith without works is dead is the same as saying faith without love is dead for the works we do unto the Lord are our labor of love for others as in Matthew 25:34-40. It's the same labor of love Christ did for us. Faith is action and if it has no fruit it is a false faith. James is not speaking about one who has faith, but one who claims to have faith. It's like giving lip service, but the heart is empty and void of God. Just because one claims to have faith doesn't mean they do, especially if there is no fruit to judge in them as that is how we judge one another, Matthew 7:15-23. We are saved by faith (Christ Jesus) through that of Gods grace (favor) as we can not earn it, but confess it.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.