Can I work for my salvation?
Here's the answer:
The Bible says that we can’t work for our salvation, because it is a free gift from God.
Every person on earth has sinned (done wrong things), starting with the first people, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3). Sin caused our relationship with God to be broken, and so we need someone who is perfect to pay the price for our sins so we can have a good relationship with God. None of us is perfect, and so we can’t save ourselves from our sins. Only God is perfect. So God the Son—Jesus—had to be the one to die on the cross and suffer the punishment we deserve.
Since we’re not perfect, we wouldn’t ever be able to enough good things to earn salvation. But because Jesus died for us, receiving salvation is as simple as admitting we have sinned and need a Savior, and then believing in Jesus as the one who died in our place and accepting His gift of forgiveness. That’s it!
After receiving salvation, the Holy Spirit will come into our lives and work on our character. Soon, we will begin to produce good works (or "fruit" in Galatians 5:22–23) that show others our hearts have been changed. These works do not save us—they prove that we are saved.
"Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory. The free gift of God’s grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free. God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood...We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith" (Romans 3:23–25a; 28a).
"God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it" (Ephesians 2:8–9).