Works ARE required, not as a means to anything, but they will be the result. If there are no works, then one isn't "saved" because that's the proof and the result. I don't yet know if these are things we can do ourselves out of love for the one who saved us by sending his Son, or if these are things that come about through us because we are being transformed.
I try to do what I know is right, what I think is right, and what I hope is right. There are also things I do that didn't even come from me! I've replied with love to someone that on my own I would have either scathingly insulted or hit. And any rising anger just goes away, it just doesn't matter. Or I look at this person and pray, "Lord, this one doesn't know you or understand you at all. Please show him (or her) what he needs to at least consider you."
THIS BEHAVIOR DID NOT START WITH ME.
I choose it more often now, but at the beginning, I was totally caught by surprise. But it made sense. When 'he came to me', everything changed. I understood like I could never understand before. I realized there is no reason to try to work up enough belief to be acceptable. Scripture even says the belief itself comes from HIM; it isn't something we have to try to have. How can we? Pretend to ourselves often enough that we believe something unbelievable, try to convince ourselves things aren't coincidence even when we think it may be?
I was never sure if that's what I was doing or not; afterward I realized I could have NEVER dreamed up the reality on my own, it had to come from him. So how can I ever blame anyone else for not knowing, not believing, not acting from a righteous and holy spirit? If they've never been shown, there's nothing else they can do. Scripture says that too in Romans 8:7.