Seekers of Biblical truths have long discussed the comparison of James Chapter 2, Galatians Chapter 3, 4, and 5; and Ephesians Chapter 2.


Why would Paul say in Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJS):
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of {Yahweh}:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And in Galatians 2:15,16 (KJS):
15 We [who are] Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of {Yahshua Messiah}, even we have believed in {Yahshua Messiah}, that we might be justified by the faith of {Messiah}, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


BUT THEN SAY in Galatians 5:19-21 (KJS):
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of {Yahweh}.

And in Romans 2:13 (KJS):
For not the hearers of the law [are] just before {Yahweh}, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

With James saying:
Jame 2:17 (KJS) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
In Ephesians 2:8-9 and in Galatians 2:15-16, Paul is talking about faith for atonement.  Atonement justifies a person. Justification takes away the sin that is still upon a person even though he has repented and is living a righteous life.  Sin stays with you until it is atoned for; when it is, you are justified, made pure.  Yahweh will no longer accept the works of the law, meaning doing animal sacrifices for atonement, or as some believed circumcision; this would be rejecting the work of his son and would be an insult to Yahweh.  We now can only be cleansed of sin by faith in Messiah as our atoning sacrifice; thus the statement in Galatians 2:16: "by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
In Galatians 5:19-21 and in Romans 2:13, Paul is stating that we must live our lives according to Yahweh’s commandments (Law (Torah); guidance, direction, and teaching).  In this way we maintain our righteousness.  So here he is referring to the "Law" (Torah) apart from the animal sacrifices for atonement.  Note that the word "justified" is used in Romans 2:13; where it is declared that if one expects to be justified by faith in Messiah for atonement, but is not living according to Yahweh’s commandments, he will not receive justification.  This is what James is referring  to in Chapter 2:17 when he says faith, if it has not works is dead, being alone.  Faith in Messiah for atonement must be accompanied by righteous living, as with the "doers of the Law" in Romans 2:13.

While atonement justifies a person, takes away sin; the Law (Torah) teaches us how to avoid sin.  Paul commented on whether we should now sin, because we now can be cleansed (justified) by faith in Messiah as our atonement (easier than having to obtain an animal and bring it to a priest to be sacrificed as an atonement for your sins);  Paul then said, "Yahweh forbid."  (see Romans 6:1,2)

Remember the definition of a Saint (a pure one):

Revelation 14:12 (KJS) Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of {Yahweh}, and the faith of {Yahshua}.

I hope that this short study helps many work through the confusion that occurs with these verses.