Faith is more prominent within Christianity than good works, though it does not mean that being good and faith are different, rather they relate to each other.
Perhaps, we can start with good works
Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he
said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and
first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law
and the Prophets.”
Essentially, all good works are manifestation of love.
Now, how does love relate to faith?
Galatians 5:6 (ESV)
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts
for anything, but only faith working through love.
We see here that faith isn't something hidden, but it manifest through love.
It's a common misconception (1) in Book of James that faith and works are separate, actually James sees works as manifestation of faith, an active faith, the real thing.
James 2:14-26 (ESV, emphasis mine)
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does
not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is
poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to
them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the
things needed for the body, what good[b] is that? 17 So also faith by
itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me
your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my
works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons
believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person,
that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father
justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was
completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says,
“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and
he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified
by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also
Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the
messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart
from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Essentially, a professing Christian will manifest good works because of his faith.
Using analogy, how would you know that some one is a good programmer? you don't just accept what he says, you check the code he produces, the past projects he has created, etc. His output will prove what's inside.
1 Well, base on my personal experience and on reading other resource