By knowing that we are sinners, we can find salvation in Christ:
But if I am building up again those things that I tore down, then I show myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. -Galatians 2:18-19, NAB
First, St. Paul tells us that to begin seeking salvation through the Law would show that he is a sinner – not worthy of salvation. What could possibly be gained by that? Furthermore, it also means admitting that he should have never abandoned the Law in the first place – which only deepened his sins.
Along with the other Apostles, based on the teachings of Christ, St. Paul helped to lead and teach the early Christians that salvation came through faith, not the Law. He was not about to go in the completely opposite direction. Instead, he sees how the law points out his transgressions and his need for salvation through Christ.
“For through the law I died to the law…” What does that mean? Throught the Law, St. Paul recognized his sins. He died to the law because of those sins. The Law, then, showed its purpose: it revealed his need for a savior.
The Law should teach us all that we are not worthy of salvation through our works, actions, and deeds. It would do us little good to turn our back on our faith in Christ and try to earn our way to Heaven. Unfortunately, many have done just that.
When asked how we get to Heaven, have you ever heard someone say, “by being a good person”? It seems to be the answer most widely used in our culture today. But who decides if you are a good person? By what measure? Do the good things you’ve done outweigh the bad? The good person theory quickly falls apart.
We can only find salvation through Christ. We cannot depend on the Law to save us; it only serves to show us that we are unworthy of being saved. Luckily for us, we have a God who loves us. As unworthy as we may be, He offers us salvation anyway.
Continue to do good things. Follow the moral teachings of the law to the best of your ability. But realize that it is your faith in Christ that will save you. Jesus will make you want to be a good person, and you will be. However, you will fall short. You will not earn your way into Heaven. But have no fear, because of your faith in Christ, salvation is within reach.