With respect, you may not believe you are doing what the Jews did, but I'm not convinced by what you write and share here on the forum.
Then you are truly mixed up about this for I have consistently said what the bible says that being the Jews were lost for not having submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God, that is, they had not obeyed the gospel by believing and confessing with the mouth, Rom 10:9,10. The Jews submitting unto the righteousness of God is not
the same as Jews doing thier own righteousness, doing their own works of merit.
You apparently do not see the difference between doing GOD'S
righteousness and doing YOUR OWN
righteousness. You must think they are both the same when they are not and therein is where your confusion lies.
If you make works (prior to being a Christian) works for the purpose of salvation, then - whether you know it or not - those works go against what Paul is writing about in Ephesians 2:8-9. You might believe Paul is only referring to the Law, but again you have already stated that there is a NT Law of Christ that wasn't fulfilled by Him and must be fulfilled by us. I believe that is works unto salvation and not what the Bible teaches. Those things you say are necessary for a non-Christian to do in order to be saved (again, how does someone who does not love the Lord obey Him when the Bible says that one who loves Jesus obeys Him?) become the kind of works that are actually preached against in Scripture.
Paul said for by grace are ye saved through faith. Here it takes a combination of God's grace and man's faith to be saved and NT faith is a work, therefore "not of works" does not include the NT work of faith but refers to works of merit as the Jews were doing in Rom 10:3.
Since there is but only one way to be saved then the Ephesians' faith must have included obedience in being baptized.
As for Abraham, he didn't obey God in order to be righteous, he obeyed because he trusted God. Just as those who are in Christ obey. But you have unbelievers working their way into the Kingdom by what THEY do instead of trusting in all of what Christ has done. Gomer, you are bringing up another type of righteousness for salvation, a righteousness found in what a non-believer - one who is not in Christ - does.
One is not reckoned righteous till they do righteousness. Yes, Abraham trusted God but trust without obedience is distrust. Could it be said Abraham trusted God if he had not taken Isaac out to offer him to God but instead did nothing? No, for not obeying would have shown distrust in God.
Gomer, you keep bringing up what followers and truster in the living Creator do. Their works are works as a result of whom they trust. They were not done in order not to be lost but done because they knew and trusted in Almighty God. There is a huge difference. In fact, some didn't even really want to obey. Noah, Abraham, Moses - they all questioned God's judgment, did they not? They had dialog with Him. But, because they trusted God, they humbly submitted to His commands - just as we do to the leading and teaching of Christ by the ministry of His Spirit. Why? To keep saved or because we are saved and love and trust Him? Which is it for you?
You continue to say one is first saved then he obeys, which means one must be saved in his disobedience. There is not a single example in the bible of anyone being saved while in disobedience to God, they all first had to obey.
You already brought up Abraham. It was AFTER Abraham obeyed that the angel of the Lord said "...Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know
that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.", Gen 22:12.
Notice that God did not say "now I know" BEFORE Abraham offered Isaac but AFTER.
Do the sermons you hear on Sunday teach a "woe unto you if you don't obey" view of Christianity or does it preach the complete sufficiency of Jesus Christ and out of His sufficiency and righteousness, mercy and grace we follow and desire to obey?
2 Thess 1:8 "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
There is a "woe" to them that "obey not", and eternal life unto them that do obey, Heb 5:9. And God, who cannot lie, will for certain keep these two promises. Is this ever taught where you attend?
If the minister where I am at ever taught that one is reckoned righteous by God BEFORE he obeys, that is, somehow reckoned righteous while still in unrighteousness, he would be taught the truth on the issue or fired or something else.....