(...) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us (...).
Titus 3 (v)
You must strictly separate Life and the Word and keep them far apart. If you wish to consider Life, then I will give Life to you - Peter, Paul and John - but it will lead to your ruin. The important things are Mercy and Grace rather than Life and Works. For those who sadly aspire to an ostensibly respectable way of life, it would have been better if they had chosen to be whores and tramps and had lived in filth. Yet, at the same time, God does not want us to lead a disreputable, evil life. This is something He cannot bear and such a life is to be condemned. If, however, you lead a good life, you will certainly want this to count. But He doesn't want that either. That is why you should take the middle path to heaven and not waver either to the right or to the left and lead a peaceful, clean life in the face of the World, but you should put no value on this kind of life whatsoever. Whether I sleep or whether I am awake, I do not deserve heaven in any way.
The complete Luther - "A Meditation for Each Day of the Year" is available as a biligual (English and German) BREVIARY published by Wartburg Verlag Weimar. It can be purchased in English, world-wide from most internet book shops.