Our good works add nothing to the perfect life, death on the cross for all of the sins of all people, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Internal Spiritual Faith in Jesus is what saves us.
Once we believe in Christ, we are ~saved~ (past tense), we are forgiven of all sins, (past, present and future), we are “declared not guilty” forever by God (justification), we are crucified with Christ and we are risen from the dead with Christ–“in Christ,” we are given a new self, we are indwelled and sealed by the Holy Spirit, we are seated in the heavenly realms, God is our Father, and we are ~irrevocably guaranteed~ and destined for Heaven. There are Bible verses proving every part of this statement.
These truths, received by faith, by God’s grace, in addition to the working of the indwelling Holy Spirit, are the strong and energetic impetus for leading a holy life. Every person who once has believed in Christ as divine Savior, even for a moment, is indwelled immediately by the Holy Spirit of God, and is irrevocably saved forever–guaranteed.
Practical sanctification ~is~ also a work of God, but it is an entirely separate and secondary matter from salvation, and our good works are no absolute guarantee of saving faith. Faith in Christ Alone for salvation is ~alone~.
Luther said it was “faith alone,” and then he created a False Gospel by adding Water Baptism, Lord’s Supper, no big sins, repentance, and regular church attendance, perseverance in faith, and the evaluation of mere men as conditions of salvation.
Making these things conditions for salvation means that Luther explicitly taught salvation by human good works. According to his writing and teaching, he really did not believe in Faith Alone in Christ Alone, even though he said he did (as many other Lordship False Gospel Teachers do, including Billy Graham, Alistair Begg, Ray Comfort, John MacArthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Francis Chan, and many, many others).
I believe Martin Luther may have been unsaved–he certainly was a False Gospel Teacher. John Calvin taught “Perseverance”(works!) as a condition for salvation, so I would guess he might be in Hell also.
It is the same old lie of Satan over and over. God cursed (“anathema”) adding anything to ~faith in Jesus~ in Galatians 1:6-10.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches Lordship Salvation–that it is your good works that merit salvation–(along with this little thing of believing in Christ).
The reason this little thing, “believing,” is so important, is that its object is the crucified and risen Son of God Himself.