Here’s a simple fact that can’t be said enough: “Salvation by Grace” does not negate the need to obey commands, and “salvation by obedience” does not negate the reality that we need Grace.
Obeying a command, despite the common criticism, does not mean you “earn” your salvation. It doesn’t matter how good a person you are, how much you have followed Jesus, how closely to God you may have walked. At the end of the day, you’ve sinned against God and you (and I) deserve to go to Hell. The fact that God grants us salvation is not about how much good we have done; it’s about how good HE is in spite of the bad we have done.
That’s why it annoys me so much when people say “if you have to obey a command to be saved then you’re earning salvation!”
If I obey a command how am I earning anything? It wasn’t my command! I’m being a servant. I’m being submissive. How does it, in any way, take away from Jesus, when I obey…JESUS!
It’s not like I came up with the command for how to be saved. I’m just doing what I’m told. At the end of the day, I still deserve to go to Hell and I thank God that He has given me salvation in spite of my unworthiness.
That’s why Grace is AMAZING. It’s not because of me…it’s because of Him.