You have arrived at the final destination of the Calvinist trap. Is obeying God's commands a system of works? Too many people are easily discarding the will of God and throwing out His commands, calling them instead works of man.
There are works that are works of God, and there are the works that are of men. Matt. 23:5,
" But all their works they do to be seen by men." (NKJV)
We are commanded to believe. John 6:29,
" Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (KJV)
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (KJV)
It is God's will and His command that we believe. Obedience to the command is not a work of man. It is obedience.
We are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30). Does that mean that we have done that which God commanded that we have performed a "work"?
Our good deeds are also commands of God. We were created for good works (Eph 2:10). Are we then being saved by works? No, we are obeying His commands to love one another.
" A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (KJV)
If we follow the line of thinking that responding to His command is a work, then we would all have to stop loving one another.
Thus, baptism (immersion) is the response to a command of God. Mark 16:16,
" He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (KJV).
Who is doing the saving when we believe and are immersed into Christ? Who is writing our name in the book of life when we obey the command? (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 21:27). It is God who is doing the work at baptism, not us.
1 John 5:3,
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (KJV)
Obeying his commands is not burdensome, or weighty, or oppressive. Obedience is not a work, but a command, and that is why Paul said in James 2:17-26,
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (KJV)
Abraham believed God and obeyed Him, and God counted it for righteousness. I can stand on the sidewalk and shout till my throat is raw that I believe God, but if I do not do His will and obey His command, all my noise is only a show for mankind and counts for nothing with God.
There are therefore works of righteous faith, and works of unrighteous unbelievers. Which is which?
"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;" (KJV)
Believing, having faith in God moves us to action. Those actions that are a response to God's command are accomplishing His directives, and accomplishing His will. Not our will, but His will.
"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." (KJV)
"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (KJV)
Those of us that are in Christ are His royal priests (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). Our good works are our sacrifices - the fruit of our lips (Heb 13:15); to do good continually (Heb. 13:16, 2 Tim. 3:17; Tit. 2:7; 3:8, Heb. 10:24). That is the will of God, and those are the works that God commands we do, because of our faith and belief in Him