Salvation By Faith alone:
John 3:16, Rom. 3:22, Rom. 3:24, Rom. 3:26, Rom. 3:28-30, Rom. 4:3, Rom. 4:5, Rom. 4:11, Rom. 4:16, Rom. 5:1, Rom. 5:9, Rom. 9:30, Rom. 9:33, Rom. 10:4, Rom. 10:9-10, Rom. 11:6, Gal. 2:16, Gal. 2:21, Gal.3:5-6, Gal. 3:8, Gal. 3:14, Gal. 3:22, " Gal. 3:24, Eph. 1:13, Eph. 2:8, Phil. 3:9, 1 Tim. 1:16,
Jas:2:21: Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Jas:2:22: Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Jas:2:23: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Jas:2:24: Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Salvation By Faith alone is summed up in
Eph:2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph:2:9: Not of works, lest any man should boast
Eph:2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The result of this is that you have freewill to believe or not, those that do, go to heaven, those that do not, go to hell. However, a test of whether you believed or not is when it comes to ‘works’
these have been ordained
within us and (once we are ‘saved’) a conscious effort is required to rebel against them. In true ‘No True Scotsman’ style, if you do an evil deed whilst claiming to have faith in Jesus, you never had faith in Jesus and were thus never 'saved'.
You will note that all but one of the above quotes are from Paul – a man who never met Jesus and who, without shame, regularly contradicts Jesus, whilst claiming to preach His Word. Paul is the one who brought the Bible to Gentiles saying that Jesus's teaching was applicable to them as well, whereas Jesus only wanted to convert Jews.
More than that John’s claim, “Joh:3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Is written in the subjunctive and comes out as, “IF you believe in him…then…” But even here, “to believe” is a bit more than “accept that he is real.” – it demands faith, and obedience.
The OP’s question
I ask you two questions.
1) Who is "more moral" or "more good:" he who does good to avoid punishment and gain reward, or he who does so fully expecting neither?
is answered several times in the Bible: it is neither. It is someone who follows Jesus, praises God and, without thought and as purely natural behaviour
, does good works.
It must be said that “doing good works” is simply being a reasonable person – that is not a bad message and philosophy. Unfortunately, Christianity and, by definition, all religions, demand that you believe in an invisible friend as well as taking orders and subjecting yourself to a deluded priesthood.