Romans 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
There was, even in the time of the first century church, controversy surrounding the subject of whether one is justified through faith alone or whether that is not sufficient on its own. Many Christians of Jewish heritage believed that one must first become a Jew (come under the Jewish laws) before becoming a legitimate Christian. Today we have similar sects within the church that believe justification comes though a combination of faith and works.
There is no biblical support for this view. To the contrary, the Bible tells us that Jesus died once and for all (Romans 6:10). To add requirements for salvation is to cheapen the cross. James’ argument in the New Testament (James 2:14-26) is not that works are a requirement for salvation but rather that salvation through faith in Christ results in good works.
The bad news is that there is nothing you or I can do to get into a right relationship with God. The good news is that because of Christ Jesus we don’t have to earn our way into God’s favor. Justification is found through faith in Christ alone. This is a wondrous, glorious truth. God loves us so much that He sent His Son because He knew that otherwise we could never be good enough (Romans 5:8). We just need to put our faith in Him. What an awesome God we serve!