The Bible speaks of two modes of justification. The first is how we may be justified before God, which is solely by faith. God sees and knows EVERYTHING about us including our faith. He knows whether we trust Him or not, He knows whether we are His children or not, because He can see whether we trust that the blood of Christ has truly cleansed us from all iniquity, or whether we do not. It is this which justifies us before God and it is this justification before God which is spoken of In Romans 3:28 “…a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”, which simply means we are at peace with God, having our sins blotted out by faith in Christ.
The second mode of justification is that in which God is justified before men. Once saved, a Christian generally doesn’t leave this world, God has them stick around for a while, so by the things they do they can justify God to other men. Faith in Christ is to be accompanied by a change in men which is used of God to make Himself and His power known to other men. It is to cause men to inquire, “You were that, but now you are this, whence cometh this power to change?” To which the answer is, “To God be the glory, I have been washed by the blood of His Son.” This change is to produce the works referred to in James 2:28 “…I will shew thee my faith by my works”., for which one man shows another man of what substance his faith is, thereby justifying or making God real to his fellow man. God needs not see these things for a man to be justified before Him, however for the Christian to make God real to mankind, other men must see evidence of the work of God done in the hearts of those who profess Him.
There are masquerading fools in each case, some hanging fruit on a dead tree to give the appearance of life, and others who care not about life at all. The only one fooled in each case is the fool himself.
Christian, you are justified solely by faith apart from any work on your behalf, and you justify God before men by what you do with that faith.
Rom 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
James 2:18….I will shew thee my faith by my works.