As Paul says salvation is all of Grace. We are not saved because of our good works. Yet works is faith expressed. Genuine faith is expressed in Good works otherwise it is counterfeit.
To get the whole context let us look at it with othe scriptures:
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?
the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the
that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else
believe me for the very works' sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you,
He that believeth on me, the works
that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father.
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
The works are a token of the work of Grace of God in the believer. The are a token of God's power to transform. The works are a manifestation of the inner change and inner hidden life in Christ after encountering with the saviour. The works are evidence that inner circumcision of the heart by Christ. It's an evidence that you are raised from death in sin and trespasses.
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without
hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the
circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him
through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,
which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to
The works are an evidence of the victory of Christ, who has set you free from the chain's and bondage to sin.
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit
that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the
lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the
mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with
Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly
places in Christ Jesus:
The living works of Christ are an evidence that you have translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear sign. It is the evidence that Christ lives in you through merits of His grace.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by
the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
The works are evidence of a life in union with Christ. They are an evidence that you are now a servant of righteousness.
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have
obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your
flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and
to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to
righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?
for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye
have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.