Somebody wrote me asking me the question, “Do you understand that James is preaching justification (being saved) by your works? Which directly contradicts Paul’s gospel.”
Yes, I do. After a long analysis of Paul’s epistles (letters), I can only support what James has written.
Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.
BUT Paul also says in Ephesians 5:5 NIV  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Here sin takes away your salvation, despite your faith.
Paul says in Galatians 2:15-16 NIV  “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles  know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
BUT Paul also says in Galatians 6:7-10 NIV  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Here if you please your flesh, you will not reap eternal life.
Paul says in Romans 3:28 NIV  For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
BUT Paul also says in Romans 2:6-7 NIV  God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
Is Paul speaking out of both sides of his mouth?
Paul says in Philippians 3:8-9 NIV  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
BUT in 1 Peter 1:15-17 NIV he says:  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
Which path to heaven will you choose? Does your faith get you a free ticket into heaven, or does God judge your good and sinful works and deed while here on earth?