The concept of the ladder of deeds by which one climbs to heaven is interesting to say the least. It never seems to occur to those who feel that one must climb this ladder that it is not a matter of how much you do, but how you do it that matters to the One.
I rejected the “Grace only” doctrine of the Church not because I do not see it’s merit, but because I do not believe that the doctrinal stance actually explains the concept clearly enough for adaptation into one’s practice as a believer. However, to claim that a “deeds only” doctrine could get you home would be just as false. I personally believe that the door to heaven is through the Heart of the believer, and can only be opened from inside, i.e. attitudinally, not physically.
Yes, most certainly the deeds one does, even amounting to a smile when it is difficult to do so, are reflective of the heart that is right before G-d, deeds are still only a reflection. The reason for my attitude regarding the Grace stance of the church is that it most often leaves open this attitude that one can lead as selfish a life as one desires, and pray for forgiveness in the end and be allowed into the Gates no questions asked. Remember, it was Y’shua himself that said one must obey the commands for the Spirit of G-d to dwell with us and within us. But, then, I believe in reincarnation, and suspect that such a soul could be sincere, and will be sent back to test that sincerity the next time around, try two or three lifetimes doing that, and you get sent back to kindergarten.
One of my difficulties with the idea that it takes knowing Y’shua as the person Jesus of the Christian interpretation is that this perception takes on an “It’s not what you know or practice, it’s who ya know.” (attitude), sorry, that’s an earthly and unpleasant concept at best. Not my cuppa tea, and if that’s what the One wants, I think I’d rather be in Hell for eternity, for Heaven is not heavenly if it has adopted that particularly earthy pattern of thought.