Saxon, that is a great question - 'how can ones works be the cause of forgiveness of ones sins? " so I'd like to use a bit of scripture - there are many examples but pulling a quote dump of the many sources can take away from the point being made - if more are needed then I can add them one at a time. So one example is in Luke 7:38 where an un-named female who is a sinner of many sins. She wept and washed our Savior's feet and anointed Him with oil - and Christ said: "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." (see Luke 7:47)If you are saved by grace and not of works, how can ones works be the cause of forgiveness of ones sins?
The question to ponder- was it her actions that Jesus forgave all her sins? Or just her love. She clearly recognized our Savior and she acted according to that recognition. I ask myself...had Jesus not said a word...would her sins still have been forgiven at that moment? It was certainly some act of faith that stirred her works... she clearly had heard of Jesus and I feel faith had stirred in her..possibly for some time...yet her sins were not forgiven until that moment of what she did and Jesus proclaimed her forgiveness. This it appears to me anyway, that Faith was present...and she acted on that which in this case Jesus gave forgiveness.