“If his [Abraham’s] good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith'” (Romans 4:2-3, NLT).
We’re so used to working or paying for what we want, it’s sometimes hard to believe grace is really free. Religion hasn’t helped, adding conditions and putting fear in people that if they don’t do enough, they will be in trouble with God. Why not perform extra works and good deeds, just for insurance. It can’t hurt, right?
That is not God’s way. He knew we would become self-righteousness about our good works. His way is better: the way of faith. But again, if it were up to us, we could boast about it. Unfortunately, those who believe they have great faith sometimes look down on those they perceive as having little faith. Only God knows our faith. He is the author of it and he is the one who makes it grow so it’s all up to him. Our good works will not get us to heaven or ensure a better position, rather they are a natural response to the grace that flows freely from the loving heart of the Father.