16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Here is the very heart of the gospel – justification by faith. Paul makes it clear that there is nothing we can to earn our salvation. No matter how much good we think we have done it ads nothing to our salvation. What this means is that there is nothing we can do to appease the wrath of God, there is nothing we can do to please him, there is nothing we can do that would make us savable. Think about it for a moment, if God did 99.9999% and we did 0.0001% for our salvation that would mean that we have been justified by our works even if it were such a miniscule amount. The reality is that our salvation is all of God’s work and none of ours. We can do nothing, nor can we add anything to our salvation – it is all God and only God by which we are saved. So do good, love your neighbor and be kind to others, but know that none of these good acts will improve your chances to receive the free gift of God’s grace through the work of Jesus Christ.