The default position of all religious people is to do their best to get on the right side of God. God is seen as a judge. He sits on the throne of the universe and rules all things. He is the one who is the judge of all men and all the earth.
Not only is this the default position of religious people it is in fact the default position of all people. Whenever, any starts to think about God and have some concern about their position before God the natural response is to say that I will do my best to please God so that I will pass the test and he will say I am accepted into his heaven in the end. In order to bolster the possibilities of “getting off” in the end, people decide that they will seek to keep God’s law. It is as if they say: seeing that the judge has a law I will seek to keep it and surely He will let me off in the end.
In one sense this thinking has a sound foundation in that God is the judge of all. However, the thinking is fundamentally flawed because it does not understand the true position of mankind. Mankind is dead in trespasses and sins (see Ephesians 2:2). We are by nature lawless. There is no chance that we will ever get on the right side of God as the eternal judge. One of the critical things that happens when we are moving towards salvation is that we become aware that no effort of ours, no keeping of laws whether they be God’s or any other, will do us any good. We are hopeless.
In that state we are led to turn to Christ Jesus our Lord. We are sinners and it is a wonderful joy to know that He died for sinners. He in fact came to save sinners. All of us have failed. We have missed the mark, failed to keep the law and have the judgment of God upon us. Wonderfully though, Christ Jesus came to bear that wrath on the cross. He took all our judgement and now we can be set free. No longer fearing condemnation; praise the Lord.
So when we become Christians, we are saved from having to keep the law. This is all in the context of seeing God as judge.