The entire purpose of the Law is to show us how utterly devoid of good we are. It is a mirror we look in and see our real selves. If we look into the mirror and try to mask our bad with some good of our own, we will still see who is underneath. Just like an aging woman might be able to cover up some blemishes, she still sees the older woman in that morning mirror. When we look to God's Law to measure our behavior, we should see that we cannot live up to His ideal. So often, people try and follow the letter of the law but only end up frustrated. We have to understand that God intends His Law to be a crushing blow to our self-righteousness. He wants us to throw in our towels and proclaim that His right and holy Law is perfect and we are not. If we can get to this place we will realize our need for perfection. We will smell our depravity in being perfect. We will look to another to be perfection for us. You see, what God demands He also freely gives. That is a beautiful truth. He demands perfection yet knows we aren't. So He lovingly provides us a way, the Way. If we are caught up in our good works and self-righteousness we will never see His intent. We are bad - He makes us good. We are imperfect - He makes us perfect. We are self-righteous - He makes us righteous.
How does He do that? Not through any effort of our own. He does it through His Son Jesus. He sent Him to be that perfection for us. Jesus followed the Law perfectly. Therefore, if our trust, our faithing - or act of faith, is in Jesus then He gives us His robe of righteousness and covers us in perfection so that when God looks at us He sees His Son, not you and me. This gift is free. It is given by Him and sustained by Him. We receive it. We trust it. We faithe in it. We don't work for it, try harder or pray to get better at it. We rest in this gift. If someone pays your fine to get out of jail and you are set free, do you continue to try and get out of jail? Do you keep asking for more money to get out? No! You are FREE! Go! Live freely in the gift of God - being forgiven for every short coming and being raised from death, just as He was raised. This is His promise to us who trust Him. His Life is now in us and it motivates us and animates us and moves us to His will and away from our own. He truly has provided us a way out of our depravity. He demands and He fulfills. No other can do this. I am thankful that He doesn't leave it up to me to decide to do His will. He does it for me. He has always done it for us! He has done it. It is finished.