"One drop of Christ's blood is worth more than all the good works done in the history of man" - Larry Voas.
Any attempt to add works to the redeeming efficacy of the Lord Jesus Christ reveals an inadequate understanding of how much He suffered in order to save us. It also implies a failure to grasp how deeply sin is woven into the heart of humanity until Christ saves and changes us.
The depths of our Lord's sufferings are dark and unfathomable. The very fact of becoming human was a sacrifice, as the Infinite became forever housed within the finite confines of a human soul and body. A lifetime lived amid sin, sorrow, and imperfection furthermore constituted the Lord Jesus as "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." The cross brought shame, agony, and the seemingly unthinkable perversion of death to the Prince of life. Most of all, our Lord was forsaken by the Father who had eternally loved Him. leaving the Son of God to die in the most forlorn loneliness any conscious being will ever know. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" No answer was forthcoming to the Lord Jesus in that dark hour, and no answer is forthcoming to our understanding of "how deep were the waters crossed 'ere He found His sheep that was lost" (Isaiah 53:3; II Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 27:46). Any attempt, therefore, to add works to the saving grace of Christ is a tacit denial of the Blood shed, the Heart broken, and the Spirit torn asunder on the cross of Calvary.
Supplementing the redemption of Divinity with any trace of our own effort also belies failure to grasp the severity of the spiritual and moral disaster of sin in the human race. The problem is not primarily behavioral. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Adam's race is possessed of a corrupted core that cannot be repaired by discipline, determination, or dedication to truth, beauty, wisdom, or even God. We must be born again with a new heart. Only God can accomplish such a miracle of mercy, and wonderfully, the new heart He provides comes with a gift more sublime than seems possible (Proverbs 4:23; John 3:6)
It comes with Himself. "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts." We were made for this, that is, to be the very home of the Lord Jesus. This is the true heart of salvation, and that which only God could accomplish for us and within us. Our own works are silly intruders in any real consideration of this grace that began when our blessed Lord shed His blood for us, and proceeds forevermore because "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." First, "created," then "unto good works" - the good works wrought within us by God Himself. The order and the dynamic never changes in our Father's working within us, and it must never change in our thinking and understanding (Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 2:10).
Thanks again to our brother and friend Larry, and to the hymnwriter Annie Flint, who closes our consideration of the freest gift ever given...
"His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men;
for out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again."
"Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."