I have often heard Protestants say that because of who Christ is and what he did, his sacrafice was all that was needed for all believers to enter the Kingdom of heaven. And without a deep look at Scripture, the argument on the surface sounds convincing. Christ, being God incarnate, sacraficed himself for our sins, and no other act can equate that act therefore Christ act was the only sacrafice needed to overcome death. The problem for Protestants is Scripture and Tradition do not lead to this conclusion. Works of the Spirit do have value, or else why would there be a last judgement. If the protestant interpretation was correct, and the only thing neccessary is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then Christ’s words when he said that when he comes back he will say when I was naked, you clothed me, when I was hungry, you fed me, when I was sick, you cared for me, etc… These are all acts of mercy and require a submission of ones will with the Spirit and a mending of wills with Gods will for each person. Just believing is not sufficient. Christ’s sacraficial act gave our sacrafices value and gave our sufferings value. We must do, in order to be saved, or else why would Christ say these things. The Catholic Church teaches that when Christ and Paul condemn works they were condemning works of the law that the Jews had strapped to the law, washing your hands 300 times a day, these types of works, such as fasting and looking gaunt and sick so everyone can tell you are fasting. That is not what Christ meant by works of the Spirit. What he meant is what he said he would say on judgement day.
Also I can tell you that there have been times in my life when my faith in Christ was manifesting itself by works of the Spirit and I was really submitting my will to God. Then, my wife got addicted to drugs, and I got addicted to pain killers and started using street drugs and fell away from my faith. I assure that if I had died in that time of my life I would not have been saved, because through my works and acts I had rejecyed God and his laws. Yet I can also Assure you that If I die today I will be saved. This is the only way the verse “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” can be explained. If salvation is assured from the time I first procalimed my faith and really believed in Christ, then why would I need to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Why was Abraham Justified more than once. Why does James say that Faith without works is dead, and Paul never says by Faith Alone.