For a helpful review of the New Testament references to "good works" see this post by John Davies. The first paragraph of Davies' post states,
In the circles in which I move, it seems to be almost impossible to utter the phrase “good works” without putting a “not” in the sentence. Good works have a bad press. The strange thing is that these are circles that seek to uphold the Bible’s teaching, yet when I read the Bible, I never find “good works” used in a negative way. I count 17 instances of ergon agathon(and 2 Thess 1:11 is very close, “good resolve and work of faith”), and 16 of ergon kalon in the NT, mostly in the plural. Being a mere OT scholar, I can’t detect any real difference between these two Greek expressions generally rendered “good work(s).”Make sure to read the entire post.
Thanks to Michael Bird here for pointing this post out.