James 1:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
These Two scriptures were used on another board to show that James and Paul did not agree with one another. Here was my reply, hope it may be helpful to others that see a contradiction between James and Paul.
Do these scriptures conflict with one another? Or are they speaking of two aspects of faith.
First it should be pointed out that Paul in Romans 4 is speaking of faith in the birth of Isaac (this is seen in verses 18-22) and James is speaking of the sacrifice of Isaac.
Two different aspects of faith.
Abraham did nothing but believe in Isaacs birth, but once Isaac/Christ is birthed in us He produces works of faith. It is these works of faith James is speaking of and this can be seen in verse 22 "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" /complete
If Abraham never offered up Isaac (which is works) then his faith would never have come to completion.
We can see these same works of faith also mentioned by both Jesus and Paul.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.( Are they works of faith or works of the law)
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works,(these would be works of the law) least any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (works of faith)
2 Thessalonians 1:11
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark (works) to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Now think on this; if Noah had not built the boat (which was a work of faith, the same works of faith James is speaking on) then he and his house would have drowned with the rest of mankind.
Adds another layer to "faith without works is dead" don't it.