There is a clear difference between genuine Christianity and every other faith: the relationship between works and salvation. Simply stated, all other faiths, including many denominations of so called Christianity, require man to do works in order to warrant spending eternity with God. Even the Jewish faith requires obedience to the Law, with the "escape clause" of sacrifice (works) when, not if, they fail. Becoming a Christian, a born-again believer in Christ, requires only faith in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf. In John 6:28-29, the Jews asked Jesus, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered, and said unto them, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.'"
Some might say that believing is a kind of works, but that is because they mistake intellectual determination to commit to a philosophy or creed as the definition of faith. Webster defines "faith" as an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence, with a complete trust, confidence, and reliance upon God. One either believes the teachings of the Bible concerning Christ, or they don't. Where there is a question or a doubt, a saving-faith does not exist, for faith and doubt cannot co-exist.
Ironically, that kind of faith is impossible apart from the miraculous work of God in our hearts (Rom. 10:8-9). Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). What is heard is believed because the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to believe what the Word says (Eph. 2:8). Faith is not works (Eph. 2:9). To all those who believe in other faiths, belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is foolishness, or in the case of the Jews, a stumbling block (1 Cor. 1:22-23).
Where then do works fit into Christianity? They are the natural result of gratitude for what God has done. We do the works because we want to honor Him and be pleasing to Him. It is His will that we work His works, and He gives us the desire to do them (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:13). The writer of Hebrews, in his benediction found in Hebrews 13:20-21, said it best:
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
True Christians are not saved by works, but they certainly will do them.