Basis of Salvation
Acts 16:31 indicates a person is saved at the point of faith. Romans 3:28 and 5:1 declare at that precise moment he is justified by faith and given eternal life, as assured in John 3:16. It is a point of formal adoption into the spiritual kingdom whereupon he is made a child of God according to Galatians 3:26 and John 1:12. He is literally transferred from death to life as stated in John 5:24.
He is totally forgiven according to Acts 10:31, Luke 7:48-50, and other verses. And he is accorded the righteousness of Christ as indicated in Romans 4:35 and Philippians 3:9. Consider the thief on the cross.
Those who believe a form of ritual baptism is necessary for salvation agree a person must have faith, but they want to add that after faith it is necessary to do something more to be saved. There has always been disagreement over whether salvation is a reflection of what a person is or what he does. The Scripture states in Ephesians 2:8-9 we are saved by faith and not by works.
If a kind person does something unkind is he therefore a cruel person, or rather a kind person who did something cruel? And likewise, if a cruel person does something kind, is he now to be considered a kind person? The Holy Scriptures clearly state that we find merit on the basis of what we are, not what we do.
1st Samuel 16:7 tells us men look on outward appearances, but God sees straight to the heart. Straighten out your heart, and your aspirations and activities will come into line. An evil person can never do enough good things to make him good. And a truly good person avoids bad behavior, senses guilt, shame and disappointment when he falters, and stays attentive to make sure he doesn't suffer the same setback again. Christians call it Growth!