Galatians 2:21 :
I don’t make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!
I really don’t need to say much today. Paul said it very clearly. When you mix the law in as a way to gain righteousness you become an anti-missionary. You preach, through your life, that Christ’s death was without reason.
It is clear in the gospels that Jesus willingly went to His death. John the Baptist said that Jesus was the lamb of God. He was a sacrifice for the sins of man. If man was able to be righteous without Jesus sacrifice, then Jesus didn’t do anything by dying for the sins of mankind that couldn’t have been done by mankind without Him.
The true way to salvation is very narrow and has a very small door. You must believe in Jesus death for your righteousness, or try to do it on your own. You can’t have it both ways. This is how legalism voids God’s grace. Any work on your part for your own righteousness, keeps you from coming to God on the right terms. Grace is always undeserved. If you think that your righteous acts help you get righteousness, even a little, then it ruins grace.
Jesus said that no man comes to the Father but by Him. The law obviously doesn’t do the job because you have broken it by lying, cheating, or desiring something that wasn’t yours. It doesn’t make you good, it shows how bad you really are.
Is Paul saying that we shouldn’t do what the law says? No. We should be doing what God would do as Christians, but our goal is not to follow laws, but to follow Jesus and His commands. We can’t actually become a good person by trying. Becoming a good person is a gift. We should live a life that is consistent with that gift. Since the goodness or righteousness is already ours, we should live it out. We don’t need to follow laws to to be righteousness because God is alive in us right now. We should submit to Him and live.