"Justification certainly happens by faith, but not just faith alone. Works are needed in order to achieve this end. However, the texts which speak of "faith apart from works of the law" is only within the context of the Mosaic Law. That is, it isn't including other types of works, such as works of faith. Therefore, we are still justified by faith and works."
Such objections, though advocated by many, are contradicted by explicit statements in Scripture. And as I came across Titus 3:5 today, I was reminded how the biblical gospel truly thwarts the religions of men; that is, religion that brings works into the salvation equation:
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
The apostle Paul is writing these words as a justified believer (Romans 5:1). And in doing so, he claims that his salvation was not on the basis of righteous deeds, but according to mercy. Is there any room in this text for importing "Mosaic law" to the exclusion of "works of faith?"
δικαιοσύνη, “righteousness,” refers either to a Pharisaic obedience to the law (Guthrie, 204; Quinn, 216) or to “upright moral conduct in general” (Kelly, 251, citing 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22; 3:16). The former seems out of context (Knight, Faithful Sayings, 93). It will be balanced by v 7, which summarizes vv 4—6 by saying δικαιωθέντες τῇ ἐκείνου χάριτι, “having been justified by his grace,” a totally Pauline thought. Hanson’s ( 191) comment that “Paul would never use dikaiosune in this way” misses the point if Paul is quoting a source, and it is unreasonable to insist that a person cannot quote a source where a word is used differently from the way the person normally uses it. In addition, the thrust of the phrase is fully Pauline, emphasizing the futility of human effort in contrast to the true righteousness from God by faith (v 7; cf. Phil 3:9).
-William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles (WBC 46; Accordance/Thomas Nelson electronic ed. Waco: Word Books, 2000), 448.
Here, Mounce is careful to distinguish between "Mosaic works" and "upright moral conduct in general." However, in doing so, he emphasizes how Paul has the latter in view. That is, there is a principle at work here: salvation is not, in any way, based upon works of any kind. If it were, there would be no reason to bring mercy into the equation. The reason being, as soon as one adds works to salvation, merit becomes part of the basis. But Paul would have none of this. Instead, God will be glorified through His work of "washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit...being justified by His grace."
It truly amazes me how men want to strip God from His glory in having full control of the salvation process. This gift of being justified apart from our good works is such an incredible gift that it boggles my mind as to how men want to add their good works to it. I can only hope and pray that all who read this and hold to a false gospel of works salvation will repent and embrace the pure and unadulterated gospel of mercy and grace.