“Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:24, NLT).
Ever since Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai, people have been trying to out-obey one another. It seems part of our psyche to believe the better we obey and the more we do for God, the more righteous we’ll become and the happier he’ll be with us. God does value obedience but not for the reasons many think. And no amount of law keeping will get anyone to heaven.
God is pretty smart and he knows us. He knew we would worship obedience more than him, and he knew it would be impossible for us obey all the laws. Being saved by faith in Jesus alone was not something he cooked up in response to humans messing up. The law was never meant to save us, rather the undeserved kindness of God, through the grace of Jesus, has freed us from trying to be obedient, from competing and comparing, from worrying about measuring up, and wonderfully, from the penalties and consequences of our sins. How can we help but love him more in response?