I’m saying “(again)” because I’m pretty sure I made this point before, but now I have some extra flourishes.
Paul famously wrote that one receives salvation through faith, not works. However, even he links the two, like in Ephesians 2: 8-10 when he writes:
8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
It is in that context that evangelical Protestants reconcile the apparent contradiction with the book of James. For example James 1: 22-27 says:
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
(Later on, James is more explicit about faith and works, but in my Bible study we only got through chapter 1 so far.)
In his audio commentary on James, Dr. Vernon McGee deals with the apparent conflict by saying (these are my notes so not exact quotes):
==> Faith is the root and cause of salvation.
==> Works are the fruit and effect of salvation.
==> God can see your heart, and whether you have faith, so that’s how you’re saved.
==> But your neighbor can only see your works.
Finally, let me bring up my favorite resolution of the apparent conflict. John 6:28-29:
28Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
I really love that answer. It’s very Misesian, for those of you into Austrian economics. It’s linking mind and body, thought and action.