There are only two ways humans are able to approach God. We call them Plan A and Plan B.
Plan A is the self-effort approach. If we have good intentions and just try hard enough, God will accept me. This is a popular approach and the way most people think God wants us to take. This is where religion comes from.
Plan B is the grace approach, the relational approach. This plan says we are unable, no matter how hard we try, to please God and have a relationship with Him. We must come to God through faith. Faith that He has already done the work for us through His Son.
Why does Plan A fail and Plan B work?
Galatians 4Â (New International Version)
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know Godâ€”or rather are known by Godâ€”how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!