Millions of people are striving to make themselves acceptable to God by good works. Such people can never be sure of salvation, for the simple reason that they can never be sure whether they have done enough good works or whether they have done them in the right way. Some suppose that heaven can be won if our good works outweigh our evil works, but this does not make sense either, for good works are what all of us ought to do and even one evil deed would prevent a just and holy God from justifying us or admitting us into His presence.
Let’s not put the cart before the horse. God does expect good works from His children but not as payment for salvation, for eternal life and glory could not possibly be bought at any price. “Christ Jesus came into the world,” says the Apostle Paul, “to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Then, having saved them by grace, He expects them to do good works out of gratitude.
It is interesting to compare Tit. 3:5 with Tit. 3:8:
Tit. 3:5: “NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US.”
Tit. 3:8: “…these things I will that thou affirm constantly, THAT THEY WHICH HAVE BELIEVED IN GOD MIGHT BE CAREFUL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS. …”
Faith is the root; good works the fruit. Thus we read in Eph. 2:8-10:
“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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” source