So is the author saying that what James taught the Christians in Chapter 2 is simply a misinformed teaching? That it is a false teaching?
I’m also not convinced with the explanation regarding the abolishment of the Mosaic law involved the abolishment of the moral law (the 10 commandments). Remember when the Rich Young Man went to Jesus and asked how he can gain eternal life? It is then that Christ recounted the 10 commandments. Christ is asking us Christians that we should obey the 10 commandments. Christ did not abolish the 10 commandments, but he gave us the grace to help us observe them.
The issue is not that James is false teaching. All the apostles were not aware that the dispensation of the law was over when Jesus died. By the way he died to fulfilled the law. You would note that James was written sometime in AD 40 and the council of Jerusalem around AD 50. You would only until Acts 8 did Peter decide (after the rebuke and vision from the Lord) to enter a Gentile’s house. Why? Because the Law of Moses had forbidden him. Just like many of Jesus teaching before he died were spoken to make it impossible for the Jews to enter into the kingdom. That does not mean it is false. Let me give you an example. Jesus says “forgive in order to be forgiven”. Paul says “forgive because you HAVE been forgiven”. One is conditional, one is not. Is Paul right or Jesus right? The answer is both. Before Jesus died to forgive us unconditionally, forgiveness under Moses is conditional.
With regards the rich man, read the story again, now this time under Jewish setting:
You will find Jesus is not speaking about the law but himself….
Christ is not asking you to obey the 10 commandments. Read Romans 3, what Jesus wants is to receive a gift of righteousness which is APART from the Law (See Romans 3:20) It has nothing to do with the Law.
Did Jesus abolish the Law? Yes See Ephesians 2:15. See also: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/do-not-think-i-have-come-to-abolish-the-law-explained-2/
Jesus doesn’t give you the grace to obey laws. What he does is to change your nature by writing the Law of the Spirit in your hearts. Understand that under the New Covenant there is a different obedience. It is not an obedience of works or laws but an obedience of faith. The new commandment is no longer the 10 commandments but 1 John 3:23. Believe! I hope that helps. If not read this: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/if-love-me-obey-my-commandments-does-jesus-ask-us-to-obey-the10-commandments/ and https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/obedience-after-the-cross/. I sincerely hope this helps.