4:1 What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified accepted by mitzvoth-works, he has something to boast about, but not before hwhy. 3For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed hwhy, and it was reckoned (credited) to him as righteousness." (Gen15:6) 4Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned (considered to be) as a gift but as his due. 5And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies (accepts) the ungodly, his a’men is reckoned (considered to be) as righteousness.
You work hard for what you have. There is never enough to assure the life you desire. You wonder sometimes if your boss even knows you exist. Someone gives you a gift and you experience joy. The gift is acknowledgement that you not only exist, but your life has value.
So it is with mitzvoth (works). You can go down your personal check-list of do's, you can be a pillar in your community and kid yourself into believing that your work is valuable to the community so surly you are valuable to YHVH (the LORD). Yet you feel fear when you read Matthew 7:21-23.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
Then there are the ungodly, those we like to look down our nose at, as we assure ourselves that we are not like them. Those the church hides their daughters from. Those who are helpless to earn their way to heaven and must trust the gift given, Y'shua ha Machiach (Jesus who is the Christ). Those who say "amen" to the Word instead of "doing", those who celebrate life instead of chasing it. Those who love the giver of the gift are those who are known by YHVH and welcomed into the arms of Heaven.
Personal study of ROMANS chapter 4: 1-5