Matt. 15:10-11 Then Jesus called to the crowds and said, “Listen to what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat, you are defiled by what you say and do.”
Practice trumps procedure. It is not the rules and regulations that we try to keep that make us right with God; it’s what comes out of our hearts. The heart determines what we say and do. If the heart is not right with God, it doesn’t matter how strict a person may be in his behavior. We are not holy because we act or talk a certain way.
This can be a very difficult thing to balance out in our lives because we know that our works are essential to our faith. We tend to do the right things because we know that is what pleases God. The danger comes in when we get the idea that we are saved because we do those things. Rather, we are to do what we do because we are saved. We are made righteous in Christ alone. Our relationship with Christ is what motivates us to do what pleases God.
If you are relying on how you are living for your salvation, you need to humble yourself before Christ and let Him be your salvation. You cannot make it to heaven based on how “good” of a person you are. Jesus alone can make us righteous before God. If it were any other way, Jesus died in vain. There would have been no reason at all for Jesus to come to earth. Everything we know and understand about God, life, and salvation would be a lie. If works could save us then there would be no such thing as forgiveness or true peace with God.
Jesus is THE way, truth, and life and no one will ever be made righteous and holy before God except by Him.