For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:8-10)
The relationship between grace, faith, and our works, is given in this passage. In short, we are saved BY grace, THROUGH faith, UNTO good works. If we alter this relationship we are in danger of creating a false gospel; a false Christianity.
It is a fact that faith would be in vain unless all that God has given is by His grace in Christ. For if everything is not given freely by grace, then what good would faith be? What would there be for us to rely upon and rest upon? For if not freely given, we would have to bypass faith and earn everything by works. The fact that God has given us all things freely in His Son is exactly why faith is necessary and of the Truth.
Unless our relationship with God is based on, “by grace through faith,” our works will not be good works. Works that are performed in order to keep right with God are not good works because they are out from unbelief. They are, in fact, works that deny Christ. “For if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Gal. 2:21)