“The works we do, to try to earn right standing with God is what the Bible calls ‘dead works’.”
The striving is not the working, it’s trying not to work your way to God.
It’s interesting what the author of Hebrews tells us in chapter 6 verse 1. The foundation of the doctrine of salvation is the repentance from dead works, faith towards God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgement, (Verse 2) and moving on to perfection. Dead works refers to anything that tries to gain Gods favor and blessing. This is the very first thing that has to be taught, why? It has to do with grace. This right here literally says, that every church that is doing things to cause revival is contrary to this and are doing dead works. (“Lets sing until the power falls, or miracles happen”) They have religion, because of the wrong motivation of their works.
So if you feel that you’ve sinned, or if you have a revelation on how bad you actually are, you cannot gain Gods favor then by doing works. You get right in the eyes of God by trusting that He forgave you in Christ Jesus. That position of faith is a position of rest and is simply acquired by believing. We are therefore victorious in Christ and can do good deeds out of thankfulness to God and we may claim every blessing through the fact that we believe in the sacrifice of Jesus.