When a person comes to Jesus for salvation, we are saved by grace through faith, without works.
But after that, we start depending on our efforts.
For some people, it is after reading the Bible and trying to become righteous by obeying the commandments in the Bible.
For some others, it is by trying to self-sufficient in different areas of their life (job, finances, etc).
That does not mean that we are going under the law.It’s because the law does not exist today.
When Israel was under the law, when they broke one commandment, they were instantly judged with death.
They faced all the curse of the law.
A believer does not fall dead on the spot if they rely on their own efforts today.
The law began with Moses on Mt. Sinai.
The law was obsolete on the cross when Jesus died.
The law ended in the 1st Century (Hebrews 8:13) when Israel was judged in AD66-136.
We do not have two covenants co-existing today.
The world is under Grace.Nobody can go under the law today.
If a believer tries to rely on his efforts after salvation, then it is similar to the experience of Abraham.
Abraham was righteous by faith before the law came.
Romans 4:13 “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
But Abraham was not perfect in his faith.He made many mistakes.His life is like a believer today.We start off by grace believing in Jesus. But when Abraham doubted and started trusting in his own flesh, then did God punish him and destroy him? Did he fall dead on the spot? No…nothing happened. He was not fruitful when he trusted in his flesh and had Ishmael but he was not under the curse of the law. He did not experience the joy of having Isaac until he stopped trusting in his self-effort.
It is the same for believers today. If we trust in our own efforts after salvation, then we will not have the joy of salvation. But we will not be cursed because the law does not exist today.
I was saved in 2002 without knowing the Bible or the law.I believed in Jesus for salvation and had great joy.
But all that joy disappeared when I focused on my own self-efforts of trying to be righteous and holy by my obedience for the next 11 years.
But in 2013, Jesus showed me that I am righteous by faith in Christ without works just like Abraham was righteous before the law.
Romans 4 “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness”
Ever since then the joy came back.I stopped trusting in my performance most of the time.
At times I do make mistakes of trusting in my works. But HIS GRACE always brings me back to HIS finished work.Today, the law does not exist.
We are righteous by faith after the law ended.It is similar to Abraham’s experience before the law came.
There is no curse for anyone.If a person does not believe in Jesus, he remains dead outside the grace of God.If a person believes in Jesus, then he is made alive permanently in His grace.
Even if the believer stumbles, Jesus is faithful in keeping us saved in His grace.