In the letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul discusses the
revelation of relationship with God, by faith, through grace. He had
lived the majority of his life zealously pursuing the traditions of his
forefathers, and the attempted fulfillment of the Law of Moses. What God
showed him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9)
& beyond was that the only way for a person to be justified (made
right) in their relationship with God was by faith, through grace. No
matter how hard a person tried to be made right by their own works and
strict adherence to the Law, they would always fall short (Romans 6:23). Paul even discovered that this had been God's plan all along, as shown in God's covenant agreement with Abraham in Genesis 15, where it says, "Abraham believed (had faith) in the LORD, & He (the LORD God) counted it as righteousness (right relationship with God.) Further, in the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 10)God
challenged His people not merely to attempt the outward keeping of the
Law, (which meant going to church, praying, maintaining ritual purity,
being circumcised, etc...) but to live lives of faith & devotion to
Him, loving Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, & strength. God wanted ALL of them, not merely sacrifices & rituals. This has huge ramifications for us, as Paul points out in Galatians 2:20-21:
I have been crucified
with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.I do not nullify the grace of God...
This means when we exercise faith in Christ, we receive God's grace to
live each moment of our life being lead by the in-dwelling Holy Spirit,
by the power of Christ. Which means I'm not following God by rote, but
rather walking with Him, doing what He would be doing if He were in our
shoes! That is a beautiful thing.