Righteousness by Faith
You will never get to heaven on works alone.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
But at the same time faith without works is dead also.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
- James 2:26 (KJV)
So they work together. They are entangled.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
- James 2:18 (KJV)
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
- James 2:24 (KJV)
We will never be righteouss by our works alone. We just can't do it (without help).
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.
- Romans 3:10 (KJV)
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
- Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)
Righteousness by faith (that Jesus died for our sins) compensates for our lack of righteousness by works.
We need to believe that Jesus' death paid the price for our sins, so that we can be declared righteouss.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
- Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
And then we are covered, or justified by faith, etc.
That's how it was for Abraham, and that's how it is for us also.
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
- James 2:23 (KJV)
Grace by faith expressed in works.