All humans engaged in the major and minor denominationally-diverse religions of the world, especially the ones that presently exist, have some things in common.
First, they all came from the same ancestry. All those having practiced and yet practicing those global religions originally had the same parents: Adam and Eve, and after the Worldwide Flood: Noah and his family of seven persons.
Second, all of every religion were at-least-initially communicated to by their Creator, but then responded to and against that Creator to different extents and in different ways.
Third, all those of major and minor denominational religions are held together (to various extends and in various forms) by various expressions and applications of the same respected and common moral Law, but are rather-lamentably embedded with or at least contain references to debatable and alterable ceremonial or ritualistic laws and a plethoria of theoretical and active applications thereof.
Fourth, part of that moral Law in all major and minor denominational religions involves revering and worshipping a religious leader regarded as divine by adherents of and to those religions.
The major religions I am referring to from the most prominent on down are: Judeo-Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and so on.
Ultimate enlightenment this webpage author is utilizing in his overall perspective and analysis of what has been stated above is the 66-books Judeo-Christian Holy Bible in the best presently-available Hebrew and Greek Texts as conveyed by the best of the best currently-available English translations of those Texts.
It is clear that those adhering to major and minor world religions other than the Judeo-Christian one have....to various extents and degrees....deviated from that contained and described within The-Sacred-66 Holy Writ.
For example, it should be obvious to the reader than the main founder (Mohammed) and subsequent founders of Islam, who came to exist 500 Anno Domini (A.D.) and thereafter, already had substantial knowledge both of the writings of the Judaic God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, of the writings of Moses and David and the major prophets of the Old Testament, and especially of the disciples of Jesus Christ (that is, His chief New-Testament book authors and apostles: Peter, John, Paul, etc.).
Even Buddha and Confucius had knowledge of many of those referred to above in formulating and practicing their brands of eastern-asian religions.
Religions of the Mesopotamians and Sumerians, the Aztecs and Incas, and the religions of Egyptians similarly came out of the Judeo-Christian religion (particularly the Judaic one relating to both Noah and Adam but particularly related to the Messianic Christ to come, back then).
Ones who had and have gotten furthest away from what they once knew from the same Divinely-inspired sources were and/or are not only Eskimos and American Indians, but particularly Australian Aborigine and South-American tribal nomads, wherever they were or are geographically located.
Doctrinal and behavioral heresy resulted in degradation and deterioration by adherents of both major and especially minor religions has been and is evidenced globally:
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of humans who by their wickedness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20 Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;
21 for although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural,
27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.
29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God's decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.
The quote above was taken from one English translation of The Judeo-Christian (Old-and-New-Testament) Holy Bible, and do you notice that the moral Law is vitally engrained within the text above, indicating what should and should not be thought and done, what is and is not "sin," and what is required for acceptance by and obedience to both followers and claimed deity of that particular religion and religious expression?
Within the religion of Judeo-Christianity itself, major denominational expressions of both Catholic and Protestant religions contain imperative references to and of the moral Law, but are also rife and reeking with copious quantities of all sorts of temporary ceremonial and ritual laws of clearly lesser importance.
To elaborate, both Protestant and especially Catholic ritualism is based upon already-fulfilled-by-Christ-Jesus ceremonial rules and regulations recorded in the Torah (contained within the first five books of Moses in the Old Testament), relating to, for instance, the temple of the Lord's body replacing the necessity of building tabernacles and synagogues and churches to exact specifications and materials described in the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Animal sacrifices have been replaced by Christ, having become our Sacrificed Paschal Lamb. The food-type selection is now defined by what Christ through Luke (in the New-Testament book of Acts) as to what is recorded pertaining to Peter's Great-Sheet-Lowered-From-Heaven vision. With Christ, clergy apparel styles and types were and are revised, along with the replacement of incense and various washings by the aroma of the cleansing Spirit of Jesus Christ and His Word, etc.
Even physical circumcision (a health practice) is no longer a for-men-only/for-anyone duty to be performed on the eighth day after male birth for sin-related purposes, having been replaced with necessary spiritual circumcision. In fact, even the ingesting of euphemistically-symbolic representations of both Christ's body bread and blood wine (whatever forms of "fruit of the vine" are involved) annually or monthly or weekly or every hour on the hour are ceremonially ritualistic laws of lesser importance....compared to mandatory moral Law and profession of allegiance to Christ as Redeemer and Savior (keeping in mind that The Dying Thief on a Cross was neither baptized nor received eucharist nor engaged in any sacrament of marriage while hanging thereon).
When I say "mandatory" moral Law, I mean mandatory!
The must-yet-be-done moral Law, with specifics plainly stated through the New Testament, are comprised of many carry-overs from the must-be-done plainly-stated moral Law in the Old Testament.
Indeed, the very conception, definitions, and abstraction of "sin" and what that is relating to proper and corrective behavior, absolution, and both temporal and eternal salvation, is crucially dependent on specifying particulars of the moral Law.
Though it is clear that atonement against past and ongoing sins for the penitent is only acquired by belief not merely that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God incarnate, that He is Lord and Creator, and that His death on a cross was the one and only adequate perfect sacrifice which cancels the penalty of all sins for the penitent believer in that, it is also clear the absolute necessity for retention, knowledge, plus obedience (even attempt at perfect 24/7 obedience) to moral Law is obvious.
And here is where those of some denominational sects, categorized as either Middle-Age-to-present-time Catholicism or incepted-after-the-Renaissance-Reformation Protestantism, have gross misunderstanding.
To wit, most Lutherans and Baptists (as did Luther and other reformers like Calvin and Wesley) have had and yet have a serious problem trying to integrate required moral Law with optional or now-obsolete ceremonial and ritualistic law in relation to "the gospel," or mere "faith" in whatever and whatever else.
The apostolic authors of the New Testament constantly reiterated detailed aspects of the moral Law, how it is vital to retain for at least defining what "sin" is, how it is crucial as a goal for defining and behaviorally practicing holy speech and living, and even how ultimate judgment as to eternal destinations will be determined on performance (or lack of it) regarding moral Law:
Matthew 11:2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples
3 and said to him, "Are You He who is to come, or shall we look for another?"
4 And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them (all considered works and not simply professing "faith"!).
6 And blessed is he who takes no offense at Me."
Luke 6:46 "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?
Luke 7:19 And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are You He who is to come, or shall we look for another?"
20 And when the men had come to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, 'Are You He who is to come, or shall we look for another?'"
21 In that hour He cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits (all considered works and not simply professing "faith"!), and on many that were blind He bestowed sight (considered works and not simply professing "faith"!).
22 And He answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them (all considered works and not simply professing "faith"!).
23 And blessed is he who takes no offense at Me."
John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father."
John 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold The Law.
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and NOT by faith alone.
James 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
It's kind of weird that prostitution was associated with justification by author James. But all sorts of people come with all sorts of burdensome baggage into God's kingdom:
Matthew 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
"...by what they had done? And what had some "done," which involved not a rejection of Christ as "personal Savior" or proclaiming that they had "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," but instead:
Revelation 22:15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.
But what about the following statement by Saint Paul:
Galatians 2:16 ....[we] yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.
Here is where a lot of pseudo-"christians" go off the track and misunderstand what is required for salvation in terms of the mandatory necessity for keeping and obeying the moral Law, and they instead try to self-justify themselves by an apart-from-and-even-against-holy-behavior devilish "faith in Christ" substitution.
They one-sidedly and close-mindedly presume (NOT assume) that the only "work" required is to believe in Jesus....
John 6:29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
....and to claim "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," to declare that one "accepts Jesus as their personal Savior," or to mouth the proclamation that one "believes that Jesus cancelled all the penalty of all their sins by His death on a cross" -- but then go ahead and live like the Devil, yet repeatedly and incessantly trying to compensate for that by relentlessly re-uttering the same liturgical "faith"-profession mantra over and over and over again in never-improving futility.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder.
What God through Paul is intending to convey in that passage is that non-reliably obeying (then disobeying) the moral Law now and then (in his words: doing "works of the law") NEVER "makes up for" or atones for or against one's deficient track record of having committed sins.
There is NO human sacrifice ever acceptable of trying to replace or substitute grace-of-God-given atonement of Christ's one-time-and-perfect sacrifice of Himself on a cross....with fallible human attempts at doing all and whatever the moral Law states.....nor obviously also doing whatever ceremonial or ritualistic humanly-concocted-and-alterable rules and regulations in some attempt at self-atonement and self-justification.
If taken in the right sense, Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit as to what he wrote in the New Testament) is correct in stating his peculiar but acceptable phrase that we believers are "justified by faith" -- with the understanding of proper interpretation and application that we are actually justified neither by [our non-reliable-and-faltering human] faith by itself nor by [our non-reliable-and-faltering human good or even evil] works by themselves...but instead by the Atoner and Redeemer (Christ Jesus).
So, neither faith nor works save us (even though both are means-to-an-end mechanisms and integral parts of the salvation process)..but instead: Jesus only saves us who accept that historically-veritable abstraction and conceptualization.
Added to that, even "grace" itself does not save us, but instead: Christ and Christ alone saves us (i.e. atones for our sins). Neither "faith" nor "works" nor "grace" is synonymous with: Jesus Christ the Atoner and Redeemer....but instead are mere mechanistic descriptions of abtractions involved in the salvation process. Only when the faith and works and grace words are related to the Atoner, Jesus Christ, are they an optional semantical-inclusion choice of legitimate addition for discussion and explanation of what's involved in justification, sanctification, and salvation.
Even "living" and "walking" "in" "the Spirit," in contrast to "living" and "walking" "according to" "the" "flesh," necessitates knowing what the moral Law is, manifestations of both "Spirit" and "flesh" as defined by the moral Law, complying with the moral Law, and accomodatingly obeying the moral Law....or else there is disqualification and condamnation. And the Lord, through Saint Paul, gives us a short list of part of what that moral Law is:
Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Galatians 526 Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.
If there is deliberate and non-confessed disobedience to that moral Law - even against the slightest aspect of it's total contents - there is certain damnation as the inevitable consequence...first for willfully sinning by consciously and voluntarily disregarding, ignoring, and/or disobeying that solitary or group aspect of the moral Law, and second for not accepting nor acknowledging the atonement Christ provided and provides against such anti-moral-Law infractions:
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Hebrews 10:29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?
When it comes right down to it, both our positive and acceptable human faith (whenever we exercise such instead of falteringly-faithless faith) and our positive and acceptable human works (whenever we do such instead of falteringly-wicked works) are gifts of God:
James1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.
In that sense, if we choose to wilfully comply with receiving not only that which initially comes from the Creator, but more - thereafter without hardening our hearts, then:
Philippians 2:13 .....for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
There it is, again: "WORK," which is how and on what grounds we all will be judged by The LORD.