Paul and James Agreed
Some Bible preachers insist that Paul and James disagreed on the importance and place of works. This is simply not true and here is the proof. It was for this reason that Martin Luther was partial to the faith apart from works doctrine and called the epistle of James “A book of straw.” But, actually these two great apostles spoke the same thing. James said, But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:20. Paul said, This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. Titus 3:8. Paul insisted on them being careful to maintain good works. Why? Because faith without works is dead just as James said. When Paul spoke against the law as being no profit in the securing of salvation he was referring to the ceremonial law which involved the Sabbaths (other than the Sabbath of the moral law), the new moons, animal sacrifices and circumcision. Once Christ came and was slain as God’s lamb all of those types and rituals foretelling the coming of the Messiah and His great salvation secured through His precious blood became nothing but senseless works of the ceremonial law. When Paul said in Galatians 2:16, For by the law shall no flesh be justified he was speaking of that justification before the cross when we first came to the cross. NO! There are no works we can do to be justified at the cross! That justification at the cross is ONLY by the blood of God’s Lamb. BUT, once we have become God’s children at the cross and have been justified – THEN good works become the evidence of our salvation. But shewed first unto them of Damascus … and then to the Gentiles, that they should
 repent and
 turn to God, and
 do works meet for repentance. Acts 26:20.
So, while Paul did not believe it was by works of the ceremonial law a person could come to God and be saved, he did believe that AFTER you had been saved that good works were very much a part of our salvation experience. (Matthew 5:16; John 10:32; Acts 9:36; Romans 13:3; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:10; 5:10,25; 6:18; 2 Timothy 3:17; Titus 2:7,14; 3:8; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 2:12.)