One of the places the church has struggled with over the centuries is the tension of works and faith. Our human nature is to want to earn our place in God’s favor, earn our salvation, but we are not saved by our own merit, we are saved by faith. However, we are not “saved” to just sit back and do nothing, but we are then expected to act as new creations in Christ.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.