Throughout the New Testament there seems to be a distinction drawn between grace and works, it is almost as if one salvation question is “who you are” and the second salvation question is “what have you done”. On the one hand, we know we are saved by grace not by works, and yet we read that only the "doers" of the will of the Father will enter Heaven.
It seems as if there are two salvation questions: Have you received God’s grace by faith, are you born anew with the Holy Spirit and as such a child of God’s? The second seems to be as a child of God’s and with the availability of the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of God bearing out Jesus Christ through your life's work?
Examples from Scripture:
Beginning with Jesus chastising Nicodemus in John 3:5,6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Grace to the Gentiles: Acts 15:8-10 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)…2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began
In contrast Jesus says: Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
1Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Is there any historical references within Christianity where the salvation of the soul by grace and the salvation of ones life works are differentiated (realizing that they are related)? It certainly seems that 1 Corinthians 3:15 differentiates these perspectives: (If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved). It seems the "new birth" assures entrance into God's kingdom and the "works" born of faith in the will of God the Father determines how much of ones life will will enter into the Kingdom of God, is this correct?