Many times in my life I have heard folks talk about doing the best they can and being accepted by God on that basis. You hear folks talk about how the saints in the Old Testament where save by keeping the Law. You hear of folks who believe in a "second work of grace" wherein they may live a sinless life. All of this is simply hogwash. All men and women without exception are practicing sinners. We all sin more often than not. Sad to say this means it is their "tenor of life". Everything we do is stained with sin. To say otherwise is to be self righteous.
How may we test this statement? An honest reading of Romans 7 would prove it easily. Some have gone as far as saying that chapter speaks of Paul BEFORE his conversion. Another test: Do you think you keep the Law? Do you think you have EVER kept the Law? If so, let me ask you a another question. On your very best day when you where at your spiritual peak could you keep just one Law? If you say yes then let me ask you if you can keep that one Law at your spiritual peak like Christ kept it. NOT POSSIBLE!! God's standard is to continue always to keep the Law like Christ did. That is God's absolute standard: The perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anything short of that is a curse (Gal 3:10).
The Scripture is clear in Psalm 39:5 that man at his very best state is altogether vanity. That is at his best! Isaiah, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. That is our best deeds! The only remedy is for a Representative and Substitute to be responsible for my sin, all of it. He must purge it, remit it, put it away as far as the East is from the West. This takes the blood of the God-Man Mediator. He then puts me in a perfect state of justification and will not ever impute sin to me because He has imputed righteousness to my account. He gives me a new heart to want to serve Him and do good works by faith. Should we sin that grace abound? God forbid! Repent! Repent for thinking you could ever keep the Law and repent for breaking that same Law. Think on it. By Scott Price (exert from the Gospel of Grace Newsletter)