I was reading through James today and I understand his point was to convey to the Jews that only having faith - but not showing your gratitude for the grace they've received - is not good. He does get pretty close though to saying that without works your are not saved. Especially when he mentions that by leading others back to Christ covers sins:
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. -James 5:19-20
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. -James 2:17
If faith without works is dead, how can we have salvation by grace through faith ALONE?
I came from a Baptist background to a Reformed theology because I didn't agree with their emphasis on works and not Grace, but the book of James (which was used as a defence for this ideology) is really confusing on this.
Can you comment on how some of these statements are compatible with the Grace by Faith Alone doctrine? I don't read Greek so I'm wondering if something was lost in translation or maybe I don't know enough of the context about this book.
Thanks for any help!