In Christian doctrine, accountability for thoughts, words, and actions is emphasized throughout the Bible. For example, in Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus says, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” This indicates a strong belief in the importance of how we live our lives and the choices we make.
On the other hand, the concept of Salvation in Christianity, particularly in Protestant theology, emphasizes that Faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice is the basis for Salvation. This is encapsulated in verses like Ephesians 2:8-9, which states, "For by Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Balancing these two aspects involves understanding the relationship between faith and works. In many Christian teachings, good works (including our thoughts, words, and actions) are seen as a natural outflow of genuine Faith and Salvation, not a means to earn it. James 2:17 sums this up by saying, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." This suggests that while our works do not earn our Salvation, a saved life is expected to produce good works as a reflection of that Salvation.
In essence, while Christians believe that Grace saves them through Faith, this Salvation is expected to manifest in a transformed life that seeks to honor God in thought, word, and deed. However, it's also understood that humans are fallible and will inevitably make mistakes, which is where the Grace of God and the concept of continual repentance and forgiveness come into play.
It's a dynamic balance, where one's Faith in Christ leads to a life of striving for righteousness while also humbly acknowledging our need for God's Grace due to our imperfections. This balance is central to many Christian Spiritual growth and moral living approaches.