We are saved by grace, no good works required, but if we are truly saved we will do good works and we will hunger and thirst always to be more holy and righteous, but the cool thing is that God gives us all that we need to grow and become more mature.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit;
That is grace. He forgives us of all our sins because of what He did for us on the cross, and He gives us the will and the strength to obey Him, to follow Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to become like Him. But we must choose and act, Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 12, “I worked harder than anybody, but I did it by the grace of God”.
We are saved (that is we are going to live with Jesus forever with incomprehensible joy, instead of in torment in the Lake of Fire with the devil and his demons)because of what Jesus did for us on the cross which we could not do for ourselves. We could never be good enough to earn our way into God’s family, but Jesus was sinless and died to pay the penalty of our sins, and when we admit that, accept what He has done for us, and choose to follow and love Him we are totally forgiven and adopted into His family. But many have a false conversion experience and belief, and will hear Him say when they stand before Him, “depart from Me, I don’t know who you are”, and it will be to late to do anything about it.
The Apostle Paul says that we ought to test and examine ourselves to determine if we are really saved. 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?”
The best description of this test is in 1 John 2:3-6 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
Another very cool part of grace is that as we press on to maturity, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, we still mess up,but He continues to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness as we confess our sins to Him.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”