Protestants say, "Before Abraham did anything, he was made righteous by faith."
Protestants frequently say that we need no longer do anything to be saved. They claim, for example, that Abraham was saved before he did anything. Then, the question is, what happened between Gen 12 and Gen 15 or 22, whichever you prefer as the point of Abraham's justification? Was that just filler in the Old Testament? By no means!
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Protestant logic is based upon that false premise, called faith alone, therefore they arrive at false conclusions. But Abraham did a great deal before he was justified. He just wasn't justified by what he did. Let me repeat, he wasn't justified by what he did. No one is.
God justifies those who, because of their faith in Him, do works which He considers good.
Abraham, like everyone else, was justified because he was faithful, not by his professed faith. In fact, I don't think there is one instance in Scripture where Abraham calls himself faithful. Abraham, like everyone else, was justified because of his obedience not by his obedience. Abraham was justified because of his good works, not by his good works. Abraham was justified by God because he did good in the eyes of God.
Because they don't believe in works, Protestants will frequently say that the Law of Moses is no longer in force. But, if the Law is no longer in force, why does St. Paul say:
1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Don't they recognize these Commandments enumerated there? Thou shalt not - commit idolatry, lie, commit adultery, steal, covet.
It's not the law which is the difference. It's the advent of Jesus Christ.
Before Jesus, no saving grace.
After Jesus, saving grace provided in the Sacraments.
Before Jesus, faith filled Jews did all their good works and as it says in Heb 11, they did not receive the promise:
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
BY FAITH they did all that good. But they didn't receive the promise. So, salvation is not BY FAITH.
Nor is it by works. Look at all the good that they did. But they were not saved.
Why is it then? By what were they saved? By the mercy of God which was poured out to them from the Cross.
So, how do Christians receive that mercy? In the Sacraments. When we approach the Sacraments, we approach the Cross of our Lord, we remember His Sacrifice and He pours out upon us His mercy. His Divine Mercy. His grace.
Does He pour it out upon all Christians just because they claim to have faith or works? No! Only those who, in obedience to His word, have kept the Commandments. Its in Scripture:
Exodus 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.