In his article, “What Does the Bible Say About Being Saved?”, Mark Roberts claims:
“But nowhere in scripture do we read that faith alone can save. Indeed, the passage in James says exactly the opposite: ‘You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.’ (James 2:24). This is the only place in scripture where the phrase “faith only” occurs and it is preceded by the word ‘not!’”
For this reason, his entire argument is invalid. First, the book of St. James of Jerusalem has always been disputed; even the earliest councils wished to remove it from cannon (See “Introduction” to James in Oxford Annotated Bible).
Second, Robert’s claim is obviously false:
Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”
Romans 4:5 “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
Galatians 2:16 “Know that a man is not justified by observing 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 observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Here, St. Paul–whom nobody disputes–argues strongly that it is faith that saves and not works. Indeed, no one who refuses baptism has faith, but it is not right to say that we are saved in any way with relation to our obedience. Judge for yourselves: even when you do obedient “good deeds,” are they perfect? Can they compare with what Christ has done for us?
While I agree with Roberts that Christians must certainly put on Christ and show His obedient love to our neighbors, we must not require works of others but only of ourselves.