Read James this morning...I believe it was Martin Luther who called it "an epistle of straw" because he thought it taught salvation by works...It doesn't...
But I noticed afresh something in verse 22 of chapter 1 - "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (ESV) The NLT puts it, "And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself."
What was fresh to me is that the "hearer only" doesn't fool anyone else...but only him or her self. The "hearer only" can put on the act and fool some for a length of time...but truth will prevail and reveal.
No follower of Christ is perfect...save for those who have no pulse. Positionally, yup. Practically, nope. The bummer is the more we go and grow in Christ the more we (should) realize how far we fall short.
Yet if there is no desire to "do good" there is no salvation. Ephesians 2.10 is just as inspired as Ephesians 2.9,10.
Thus we can think we are fooling people (hopefully we're not dumb enough to think we can fool God), but we are only fooling ourselves when we "talk" without making the effort to "walk."