Romans 2:6-11 ESV
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
How do we participate in the salvation of God? Is anything required of us? Paul tells here that patience, endurance, and perseverance in faith, will lead to eternal life. The idea of the need for our work is confirmed throughput Scripture. We are called to run a race and persevere to the end.
The difference is between seeking God, or self seeking. Everyone will be judged based on the truth and that truth is that same for everyone. It is important that we all seek the truth of God and walk in the light of that truth. We all will stand or fall according to the standard of God's truth.
Our fruit is not a "nice to have" option, but a requirement. The fruit of the Spirit will manifest in the life of the believer in increasing amounts. We are not perfect, but in a state of transformation. That transformation is our journey, our race to the Father.