One of the challenges theologically that many struggle with is, if we are saved by grace, not by any works of righteousness, what part does good works play in our life? Simply put, “we are not saved by good works, we are saved for good works”. What that means is if we are genuinely born again our life will change because God has changed our heart and the Holy Spirit lives in us.
A lot of people think they are saved, but they aren’t really, and it will be a very sad experience for them when they hear Jesus say these words recorded in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. . . . And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” This statement by Jesus of People who think they are christians, but will find out to late that they are not, is surrounded by 3 parables that Jesus tells. The first is the parable of the narrow and wide way in Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” This passage easily suggests that before we choose to follow Christ though we are saved by grace there is an understanding that it won’t be without effort and sacrifice. The next parable that Jesus tells as part of this trilogy is in verses 15-20, part of which is, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” Good fruit is obviously good works, and without them we will be thrown into the fire. The last of the 3 parables is the house built on a rock. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” To act on the words of Jesus is to obey them.