Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God has prepared good works in advance for us to do. One pastor went as far as to say that those works can be so specific that if I don't do what God prepared for me to do, then they aren't going to get done, as nobody else can or will do them.
That is a weighty responsibility.
Our contention is that works don't save anyone, but rather that they are the evidence to the world that saving faith has been exercised and they are used to witness to the power of God to change a life, and bring others into the kingdom as we minister to them.
They simply do not count towards procuring our salvation because works do not make one holy or sinless, nor do they pay off the sin we commit. The only way sin can be appropriately dealt with is by forgiveness, not counting it against us.
I think I have a different way of looking at it.
The works ARE the salvation. They don’t cause or earn salvation.
Try this, not immediately relevant:
Suppose you knew a mother who did not weep when her child suffered. I’d tend to think there was a serious problem there. AND I’d think that for her to enter the right way would mean, among other things, tears.