I hear a lot of pastors and Christian writers say that our works are rags to God. That He does not recognize them and cannot please Him because man is such a wretch and God is perfect so man’s works don’t mean anything.
I can tell you without question this is just not true. The Christian needs to go out of their way and perform good works, sometimes for different reasons.
Proverbs 21:14 “A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.”
If you are struggling with a sin go out of your way and do something for somebody strictly as a gift for God when you fall. Don’t tell anyone about your deed as God sees it and the gift is for Him.
Then James 2:17-20 states “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou has faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, o vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
Matthew 16:17 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works”
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven”
So the above type of works are to prove your faith. Both to yourself and to others. Works cannot save you, only faith in Jesus Christ can. But man has a conscience and needs to prove to himself through works his Christianity and also to glorify God.