In Christianity there have always been two extremes, and each side has a faithful group of followers, and that is why we must ask God in prayer to lead us on the right path, the true path, that we find it in the light of the Scriptures.
At the time of the reform, faith and works were the main topic, since for the Catholic church at that time the works were above faith, that is, they believed in indulgences and a lot of works that brought you closer to God according to them. But the truth is that we learn through the Bible that there is no work that brings us closer to God, the only work that really brings us closer to God is the work of Christ concluded on the cross of Calvary.
Let’s see what the apostle James said about this:
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.
Is James contradicting the apostle Paul here when he said:
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Is James saying that we are saved by works and Paul says no? The truth is that there are no contradictions here, Paul and James are talking about the same. Paul says that we are not saved by works, and this is the right thing, on the other hand, James is saying that if we are really saved then we have to be accompanied by good works.
Beloved brothers, James says: “Thus also faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself”. And this is true, we are saying again that good works are simply the evidence that we have really believed, that we are saved.
It would be something completely contradictory to say that we are saved and not to fulfill such basic things as helping a brother, helping the needy.
So, if we have really believed in Christ, that will produce good works for others.