The Gospel Saves Us From Morality and the Outward Conformity to Religion
Romans 4:15 (AV) "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression."
Luke 11:39 (AV) "And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness."
2 Corinthians 3:6b (NKJV) "for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."
Romans 10:4 (AV) "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Romans 1:17 (AV) "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Proverbs 26:8b (NKJV) "The desire of our soul is for Your name And for the remembrance of You."
1 Samuel 16:7b (NKJV) "the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Psalm 147:6 (AV) "The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground."
Matthew 5:2-10 (AV) "And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
These verses are a taste of what the Bible says about the heart and good deeds. I think that it is difficult to get a handle on the issue because I am so performance minded. Though, I do not think that I am alone. Most people are performance minded who work in a market economy. Much of my life I have been told to "suck it up and do the job anyway!" Sometimes that is what is needed for practical purposes. I say that it is better to "suck it up" and do a good deed than to do nothing. However, without the right heart and attitude, the good deed has no value in the sight of God. Anything that does not come from faith is sin. Therefore, good deeds are only the product of righteousness if they are the product of faith. Faith is a product of grace, which is a product of Love, and God is Love. Check out the video below. I think Piper says it way better than I ever could.