I came across this article about "What the Bible says about "being good" (does God view it as a necessary step to get to heaven?)" and it is very true...It is important that we know that it is not by the works that we do but by grace that will save us....
As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one."
"Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. "
"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;"
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."
And if (we are saved) by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain!"
I grew up with the notion that you had to be "good" to get to heaven. The bible teaches us that no matter how "bad" you have been, you are still able to get to heaven simply by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Some denominations would have you believe that you also have to do good works (go to church every Sunday, give money, etc.) to be saved. The scriptures quoted above clearly show these "works" doctrines to be false.
You may ask, "Where do these other ideas come from then?" The primary root of this misconception comes from the book of James, where it is written "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."(James 2:15-17).
When trying to discern what is meant in a particular passage, a time honored method employed is to "interpret scripture with scripture," meaning that you should take unclear passages and interpret them using clear passages. Because the bible tells us that "all scripture is God-breathed," we know that other bible passages are not going to be wrong, unlike what could happen if you introduce an outside source of information such as the proclamation of one man, a group of bishops, etc. Therefore, the passage in James, when viewed in light of the other passages shown, is really telling us that works are an outward evidence of your faith, not something required in addition to your complete faith in Christ. Remember, salvation (eternal life in heaven) is a free gift. The following illustration may help if you are still in doubt:
Suppose it was Christmas morning, and your spouse leads you out the door, and shows you a shiny new Mercedes Benz with a big bow on the hood. Then your spouse says, "Here's that Mercedes you have always dreamed of having. It's my gift to you, but only if you give me a dollar." What kind of gift is that? It is no longer a gift, you had to earn it by coughing up a dollar! Similarly, every clear passage in scripture tells us that eternal life is a free gift to those who believe in Jesus and Him alone for their salvation.
I know I've beaten this issue pretty hard, but if you've come so far as to believe that Jesus was born, died, and resurrected and sits at the right hand of the Father, it would be one of life's greatest tragedies for you to not go the extra mile and believe in him and him alone for your salvation.
this article is copied from Christian Corner
I hope that this will really help us to think back on what salvation really is... :)