Merit. Scripture is clear:
Catholics do this all the time so it's no wonder that they have Paul doing it. Which, of course, he really does not do. Catholics also confuse salvation with rewards so they come up with the idea that we have to earn our salvation by what we do.
King James Version (KJV)
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
We merit salvation by what we do.
If we do the works of the flesh, we do not merit salvation.
If we do the works of the spirit, we merit salvation.
Simple as that.