God told the prophet Samuel, when he was sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1), that man’s tendency is to look on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
The nation of Israel was, and still is, God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6). However, as the years went by, the nation began to fall into a trap of meaningless ritual. The people believed that as long as they went to the temple and paid their tithes that God was not the least bit interested in their personal lifestyles and behavior. But nothing could be further from the truth, for “to whom much is given, …much will be required” (Luke 12:48).
Both the witness of creation (Romans 1:20), and now the inner witness of conscience, have left all mankind under the penalty of sin (Romans 3:23) and in need of the Savior. Thus, we find that it isn’t religion, race, or ritual that saves us, but faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24), with the result being good fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Thus it is the faith which is in the heart (Romans 10:9,10) that will bring glory to God (Psalm 115:1).