A couple of years ago Rich Mullens wrote a song entitled "Screen Door". This song talks about faith, and how without works it's as useless as a screen door on a submarine. The Bible says that we are saved by our acceptance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This personal relationship with Jesus Christ is based on our faith and belief of His death, burial, and resurrection. If the way to Heaven is by accepting Christ into our hearts and by our faith and belief in Him, then why so much emphasis on works? Let's examine a couple verses from the Bible.
In Matthew 7:15-20, we jump midway into Jesus' sermon on a mountainside. In this passage, Jesus warns us to look out for those who claim to be good (the wolf in sheep's clothing) but are bad on the inside. In verse 19, Jesus mentions that any tree that does not bear fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire, but those that do bear fruit will be recognizable as good. As Christians we are to bear the fruit of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). By bearing these fruits, we will be recognizable as Christians.
Not only will we be recognizable as Christians by those on this Earth, but our works will be remembered by our Heavenly Father in Heaven. In Hebrews 6:9-10, the author let's us know that "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." This passage alone shows us that God remembers the things that we have done and the fruit that we have produced. Notice that it says "continue to help them". Our works are not just a one time deal, we must continue to do them.
The passage in James 2:14-26 is on of my favorites. It contains evidence that faith without deeds is useless. It talks about how Abraham was considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar, but it then goes on to say that faith and actions work together. Faith is made complete by what we do. In verse 19, we see that even the demons believe in God!
As you can see, we should not have faith alone; our actions work together with our faith in order to produce the fruit of the spirit. This will then allow you to be recognizable as a Christian and will help you witness to others. Although a submarine with a screen door can float on water, it can never go where it was intended to be. Likewise, you can skim the surface of God's will for your life by just having faith in Him, but the Bible makes it clear that faith without works is useless. Make an effort to produce the fruits of the spirit by teaming your faith up with Christ-like works; only then will you experience all that God has in store for you.