That is why the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:2-3, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” You don't get saved by faith and then prove your faith by works!!! That is exactly the type of thinking which the Apostle is refuting in the Epistle of Galatians!!! The Galatian churches had bought into the Devil's mindset that you get saved by faith, but then keep the law to prove that your faith is real. That is the same counterfeit false gospel being preached by Bob Jones University and their corrupt graduates today!!! Paul scolded the Galatian churches for having this perverse mindset, because it is another gospel which cannot produce the new birth in Jesus Christ!
A very important rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to NEVER use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one. This is where many Bible students go astray while attempting to interpret the Word of God. A perfect example of this Bible study principle is this obscure passage in James 2:17-24. We know it is obscure because there is so MUCH theological debate over what it means. But we have rock solid passages of Scripture in the Gospel of John and Romans 4:1-6 which plainly declare that God's imputed righteousness is “WITHOUT WORKS” (Romans 4:5b). That doesn't only exclude works at the time of salvation, but works at any time in a saint's life.James 2:17-24, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Romans 4:3-7, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”