Eph 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Faith and works. What a concept. Many people believe that in order to be right with God they need to be good, do good, and act good. Which in part is true. But our salvation, the foundation on which we build must be based on faith alone. For by grace we have been saved by faith alone.
We are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ through faith. If we tried hard to earn our way to heaven we would either fizzle out and quit, resulting in eternal death, or we would get to the top of our spiritual mountain and boast about how much we have accomplished on our own. And of course, should the latter occur, God would probably just flick us off the mountain with his finger and we would die. Either way, without salvation through faith alone we die.
There is a place for works in our Christian faith. Works are a manifestation of the validity of our faith, not a means to our salvation. James states in the book of James 2:21-24
Jas 2:21-24 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"--and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (esv)
If we try to work our way into salvation God will not honor our works. He wants us to turn to him in faith in Jesus as our atonement rather than our own efforts. Our works are the fruit that comes from having a renewed heart within us.
Faith and works... They are both a vital part of our Christian walk. Faith is the foundation and works is the building we build on that foundation.