Galatians 3:10-12

10For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Faith produces good works. This is the consistent testimony of the whole Bible. But it is equally clear that in terms of how to be saved from our sins faith and works could not be further apart.

There is only one way works can save anyone: a sinless (meaning, someone without a sinful nature) person must remain sinless all his life, doing all that the Law of God requires and abstaining from all that the Law of God forbids.

This is impossible for two reasons: 1) There are no people without a sinful nature and 2) our sinful nature demands that it is impossible to keep all the Law of God flawlessly.

For a person to rely on his obedience to the law is to condemn himself. God requires sinless perfection in all who will live with Him for eternity. There is a curse upon all who transgress the Law in the least bit. The wages that sins earn is eternal separation from God. God would not be just if He did not punish sin.

This is why Jesus had to come. We did not force Jesus to come. He was not obligated to save anyone at all. But once God, because of His love, chose to save people, then there was no other way for Him to save them than through the death of Christ. He is able to keep the Law because He does not have a sinful nature like everyone else. And He lives for the sake of others to have counted as theirs, the righteousness that He has. His death is acceptable to God as a sacrifice because He is sinless and an acceptable offering. The resurrection is testimony that God has accepted the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of His people.

The benefits of Jesus’ life and death are counted as ours when we trust Christ to save us. When we put our faith in Him He counts us as if we had lived the sinless life that Jesus did and He counted Christ, on the cross as if He had committed our sins. It is by grace alone in Christ alone through faith alone that we are saved. Rely on the works of the Law, or any works for that matter and you are doomed for eternity. You simply cannot do it. You must trust the One who did it for you.

He turns none away who come to Him in faith, turning away from their sin and looking to Him as their only hope and life.