For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.
No one in the world past, present or future was ever saved because of religious acts or service. God wants our hearts, not our deeds. God wants a relationship with us through Christ Jesus, by faith in Him. Jesus removes the barrier of sin that separates us from God. And with the barrier of sin removed, we can have a relationship directly with God the Father through Christ. And when we have a true relationship with God through Jesus, we develop a heart toward God and a heart for the things of God as the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out. And as that happens, and we grow in grace, then godly actions or good deeds toward others become the natural byproduct of a heart right with the Lord.
Therefore, we should understand that no amount of prayers, religious customs, knee bending, fasting or anything else will make us right before a Holy God. We should never forget our fallen nature loves religious acts because they give us something to hang our pride on, something where we can strive to be better than others. This means anything else, any type of religious or humanitarian works meant to earn our way to Heaven, without Jesus, is because of pride in our hearts. It’s pride because we are trying to come to God under our own terms, using our own form of righteousness and not His. It’s pride because we’re more concerned with showing the world how righteous we are, then displaying the righteousness of Jesus for all to see. And that is why God examines the hearts of men and not just their deeds.