The Confusion that Damns the Soul to Hell; Works v Faith to establish covenant relationship with God the Father…
Belief (faith-trust) and “obedience” (good works – self righteousness) are two-separate entities concerning one’s righteousness (a right standing) with God the Father relevant to the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in the New Covenant.
Prior to establishing covenant relationship with the Father by faith, alone, in Jesus, alone, your works of “obedience,” on your very best day, are equated to a filthy garment e.g. a bloody menstrual cloth in God’s nose (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8-9).
It’s not until such time you have established covenant relationship with the Father by faith/belief – alone – in Jesus – alone – (John 3) and subsequently having received the indwelling Holy Spirit as your Guarantor of that covenant relationship (Ephesians 1:13-14) that your “works of obedience” to the Holy Spirit through sanctification actually honor the Father and these good works then validate the authenticity of your faith as a “new creation” in Jesus (Galatians 5:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
You can work your fingers to the bone in good works of obedience as a “natural” man (1 Corinthians 2:14), but until such time you have FIRST established covenant relationship with the Father by faith in Jesus, you’re kicking against the goads and your service is of no account because you’re NOT God’s child…you are a foreigner and alienated to the promises of God that are ONLY realized by faith in Jesus as your Lord believing that Jesus died for you as this is the Father’s will for your life (John 6:29).
Jesus said that those who love HIM will keep HIS Commandments (John 14:15) – note that it is the one who “loves” Jesus having placed their faith in Him as Lord that possesses the anointing, the power and will to seek obedience to those commands as they’re in covenant relationship with the Father by faith and they are indeed a “new creation” through the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17; John 14:16; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 1:13-14).
A warning to the self-righteous,
If you seek relationship with God the Father through your own efforts void faith in the One, Jesus Christ, who did the work for you at Golgotha, you will die in your sin and perish in the “second death” in Perdition (John 8:24; John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:20).