Grace and Works, Faith and Obedience

The heresy Paul addresses in Romans 6 is also prevalent today. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Paul addresses a heresy in Romans 6 that is growing in popularity today. 

This heresy claims that since we're saved by grace and forgiven:
1. Our behavior doesn't matter.
2. God is always pleased with us.
3. Those who emphasize obedience are legalists.

In truth, emphasizing obedience is not legalism unless it focuses on human effort, stresses external actions, and brings bondage.(1)

Faith stresses yielding to God so He can change us from the inside out (Philippians 2:12-13). It brings freedom because it's motivated by our love for Christ and our desire to please Him (Ephesians 5:8-13).

As A.W. Tozer explains: “Faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin and are always found together in the Scriptures.” 

Ephesians 2:8-9 which says we're saved by grace, not works is in the same Bible as James 2:17 which says faith without works is dead.

The best way to rid our churches of this dangerous heresy is to encourage personal Bible study. Scripture clearly links grace and works, faith and obedience (see below). So should we!
Matthew 7:21Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

John 14:21: Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. 

1 John 2:4: Whoever says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 3:24: The one who keeps God's commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

1 John 5:2: This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 

1 Peter 1:2: God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.

Romans 1:5: Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake. 

Acts 5:32: We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
(1) Legalism focuses on the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law (See Calvin & Hobbes).

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The heresy Paul addresses in Romans 6 is also prevalent today. This 1-minute devotion explains.


  1. I have found that the basic problem is the fact that most don't seem to understand the meaning of grace! God's grace is His divine influence on our hearts drawing us to Himself in love to love and obey Him through His Living Word, lead by the conviction of The Holy Spirit. Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line. As we obey the Word by the promptings of the Spirit, we grow in understanding and grace. We learn the faithfulness of our Father, and are drawn closer to Him in Holiness, as He said, ' Be Holy, for I am Holy.

  2. I completely agree. Many christians seem to walk on the broad path or let others walk on that path, blinded with the non-biblical idea that God’s love is unconditional. Afraid of judging others. And missing the true meaning of grace. Thanks for warning us.