Had to rehash this post:
Did it ever occur to you that there are two kinds of works being defined, one of which, is the works of the Mosaic laws to which some of your quotes refer to and the other being the works or good deeds that pertain to our faith working in love. Let me give you an example of this:
Ephesians 2 8-10
“It is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and sealed us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works , so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The next line after this is:
"Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth, and called “uncircum cised” by those who call themselves the “circumcision” . . . remember that at that time you were separate from Christ excluded from citizenship in Israel . . . etc.
The works to which Paul states “not by works” means the works of the Mosaic law, he is exhorting his readers that the Judaizers amongst them are wrong in stating that the Gentiles need to be circumcized in order to be part of the new covenant. The latter works refers only to the good deeds or works which is necessary to living out our faith,
In fact, faith with works (acts of love) is so important to Paul, James, and the others that to deny this is to deny the truth:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumsion has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing (i.e., working) itself through love.” Galatians 5:6
Paul goes on further to say:
". . . rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Is this not what James was advocating in scripture when he said we should look after the orphans and the widows (our faith working in love):
“You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless. . . You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith (faith is defined here has a belief in Christ as Saviour only) alone.”
Also, Romans 2: 6-7
“God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, immortality, he will give eternal life.”
“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law (summed up as “loving your neighbor as yourself” as Paul stated in Galatians) who will be declared righteous.”
Now, I would like for you to read 1 Corinthians 3: 1-3 with me:
" If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have no love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love (think of the Stoics), I gain nothing."
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Works of love are necessary to our faith (they justify us in the eyes of God), that is why in the Gospel of Matthew we have the story of “The Sheeps and Goats” and “The Tree and its Fruit” (Jesus’s own words spoken to the Apostles) to let us know that it takes more than a belief in Jesus as saviour to be saved.
"Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom (hmm, why’s that?) but only he who does the will of my Father (so our faith needs to be active, you say) who is in Heaven. Many will say say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then, I will tell them plainly. I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
We are justified by faith (an unmerited gift of God’s grace) and works, i.e., works of love (which is the power of grace that moves us to cooperate with it).