When Paul wrote this, the problem was that Jewish Christians believed that some of the Old Testament ceremonies were still to be practiced by the followers of Jesus. They believed this despite the fact that Paul had preached that man is justified by faith in Jesus and through Jesus, faith in God.
Today, people are still trying to pervert the gospel of Christ and change the meaning of what is written in the Bible.
I don't want to debate what the Bible says. I've read commentaries for the bible and I believe that the majority of Jesus' followers believe the bible as written. I am grateful for my salvation and I KNOW I didn't get saved by any works that I did.
Jesus saved my life and my life changed.
I like how GotQuestions.org sums up salvation is by grace and through faith in their Statement of Faith:
I especially love the use of the word inevitable in the last sentence!We believe salvation is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Good works and obedience are results of salvation, not requirements for salvation. Due to the greatness, sufficiency, and perfection of Christ's sacrifice, all those who have truly received Christ as Savior are eternally secure in salvation, kept by God's power, secured and sealed in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24). Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained or sustained. Good works and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation (James 2).
Faith in Jesus causes a changed life. At least, it truly changed mine and turned me into a joyful follower of Jesus. My heart's desire is to be a servant for the Lord and to accomplish the good works that HE sets before me. Do I hear an amen?