1. Good Works- "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
Paul says that through faith a man is justified before God. James said ("You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." James 2:24 NIV) that through works a man is justified before man. Paul says faith is the root of justificaion. James says works is the proof of justification.
2. Baptism- "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." (1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV) I did not say this is not important, I am merely stating that this does not bring salvation to our souls. This is some kind of a sealing our souls, marked as "SAVED".
3. Keeping The Laws- "Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16 NIV) The Old Testament laws were given to the Jews and that means that we are under the New Testament laws. I did not say the latter is not important anymore, both are important and for edification for our souls.
This series is from my hand-out notes during our six months Church Membership Class in LWCM , Banilad, Cebu, Philippines. The class was conducted by our Senior Pastor Mel Caparros.