When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, the very first one should set us straight as to what our outlook towards Him must be. It is true that the Old Testament Law, as a document, is no longer in effect, and many things taught in that law are not for Christians to observe, however, these things that are so basic, and are given us through Jesus Christ, are everlasting. We are not required to observe the engraving in stone "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3 KJV). But we are to observe it because Jesus, with different wording, instructed us to: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment". (Mark 12:30 KJV)
God went on to explain that first commandment, so there would be no misunderstanding about it.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6 KJV)
Again, even though that law was given to the Israelites alone, Jesus law incorporates much of it and we must "Hear Him" (Matthew 17:5). However, people have developed their own views of God.
Many of those today who profess Christianity, view God as one who will assuredly save them because of their own righteousness. But is that true? Paul puts it another way.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10 KJV)
Jesus spent much of his ministry in chastising the Pharisees for their arrogance and self-righteousness. He made it plain that no one can be saved by their efforts for righteousness, but only by faith in Jesus Christ. Faith that works repentance and obedience.
We have a biblical example of what is error and what is not in the incident of the praying Pharisee and the publican. Publicans were Jews who had taken a job with the Roman government to collect taxes. A position was looked upon with disdain by their fellow Jews, since they viewed it as helping their captors, plus many who held the job were crooked and over assessed the people
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:10-14 KJV)
A number of people accuse others for putting other things in their lives over their devotion to God. And, for a certainty there are many who do. If we do indeed put God first in our heart, soul, mind and strength as Jesus assures us is necessary in the quote from Mark above, we will do just that. Not allowing treasures, money, real estate holdings, personal appearances or anything on the earth, to be more meaningful to us than our serving God, we have our heart in the wrong place.
Having faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ to the extent it will cause us to keep His word in our hearts day and night, meditate upon them, and react upon them, will not within itself, earn salvation for our souls. But when we do these things from the heart and strive to live as nearly as possible in the steps of Jesus, His grace will meet our efforts where we fail. Jesus blood cleanseth us from our sins (Cleanseth means an on-going operation). His blood continues to cleanse us day by day, if we walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7 KJV)