Can we be saved by faith without obeying God's commandments?

Relevant quotes:

Matthew 5:20: For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 7:21: Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 19:17: "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

Mark 10:17-19: As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

Luke 10:25-28: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

John 12:50: I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."


CJ, interesting that you cite Paul (misinterpreting him) and disregard the teachings of Jesus, who taught that we risk hell by neglecting good works (see Matthew 25 on the sheep and goats).

Update 2:

Those who say we cannot keep God's moral law should reread Jesus' teachings above. When we sin, we have a way of forgiveness, but God's commandments stand. We have to change our behavior rather than reinventing a gospel that no longer demands a righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees.

30 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Over the past few centuries a doctrine has gained much popularity which says a person can be saved by faith alone. It has been said that we do not have to do anything; we to do not have to obey any commandments; all we have to do is acknowledge in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Many Christian pastors (see CJ) preach grace. They preach very subtly giving hints not to obey God’s commandments. They say the commandments are works and we are not saved by works. They say that if we try to obey God’s commandments, we are against God’s grace and it will make God angry. Will God be angry at us if we strive to obey God’s commandments? Will God be pleased with those Christians who do not regard God's commandments at all? Is this not ridicules? Yet, preachers defy God’s commandments in the name of grace. It does not make sense. But, they are very popular among Christians.

    A person must believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved. But belief by itself is not enough. "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!" (James 2:19). The demons [evil spirits] believe but are not saved. What then is needed in order for faith to save? The answer is trust and obedience. The demons believe in Christ but they do not trust and obey Him. If we only believe Christ, but do not trust and obey him, we will not be saved. When Jesus gives a command we will obey it if we have the faith that saves. For example, Christ says: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Christ gave two commands here. First, a person must believe. Second, he must be baptized in order to be saved. If a person believes in Christ, but is not willing to be baptized, then he is not saved. He does not have an obedient faith. His faith is dead. Faith alone cannot save a person. "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). A man is saved when he obeys the commands of Christ. Believing in the commands of Christ without obeying them will not save a person.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Absolutely not Bruce. Jesus requires Obedience to his Commandments. The Commandments are a transcript of God's character. God is the Author of his Holy Law(Exodus 31:18). His Law is a Revelation of God's will to mankind. To alter the Law would be akin to Changing God. The Bible says "I am the Lord thy God, I change not." God Holy Law is immutable. Man does not have the power to alter God's words in any way. We are obligated by God to keep his Commandments. The Law of God is Holy, Just and Good(Romans 7:12). The Law of God is both Eternal and Universal and it has been established forever(Romans 3:31). Jesus said that he did not come to destroy the Law(Matthew 5:17-18). Jesus magnified the Law. He raised the High Moral Standard of the Law when he lived among men. Those who receive Christ into their Heart and keep his Commandments will live forever when Christ returns the Second time.

    Special Note:

    1 John 2:4

    1 John 5:3

    Revelation 12:17

    Revelation 14:12

    Revelation 22:14

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anita
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    James wrote "Faith without works is dead" - no point having faith if you don't live by it. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 shows that all we do is useless if we don't have love, it mentions that you can have faith to move a mountain but without love it means nothing. God commands us to love one another. To be truly saved means to be humble and accept that God has the right to decide what is good and bad and which commands we have to keep - at the end of the day if you don't keep God's commands this means that you doubt his guidance, which means you essentially doubt your faith.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Matthew 5:20: For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.>>>

    That means unless you know the law and can follow it beyond those who teach it...Hence the need of a savior...

    Matthew 7:21:>>

    John 3:16 lays out what the Father's will is.

    Matthew 19:17 is out of context, read further, the young man claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth..Christ asked the man to put God before his money and he couldn't do it..Again, illustrating how we break the law and need a savior..

    Mark 10 (see above)

    Luke 10, if you love God, you love His son. His son was His plan of salvation..

    John 12 (see above)...

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Faith is important. But faith without works is a dead faith we are told by James. Paul told us that of faith, hope and love; the greatest is love. So wouldn't love alone be sufficient? Christ told us if you love Me, do as I command you. If we don't do as He commanded, he will tell us to depart from Him, for all the cries of Lord, Lord, He never knew us. He will put us with the goats on the last day, spew us out of His mouth because we are neither hot nor cold and many other metaphors for what will occur if we don't follow His commandments. You also didn't take your verses out of context. They just don't conform to the false gospel that some of the posters support. Pax Christi

    • Login to reply the answers
  • With faith you try to live by the guidelines God has set up for us. so I don't see how you can have faith and not do this. It is a contradiction. However being human we all sin, and must ask for forgiveness. This is where Christians differ. Some think God automatically forgive any discretion's, when you have to ask His forgiveness in order to be saved. God bless you.

    Source(s): Roman catholic, Pray the Rosary daily.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago


    A person can't be saved by faith alone.

    Because theoretically a person can be the most rotten, selfish, terrible, etc. and still go to heaven just because they had faith.

    According to this idea even Hitler can go to heaven!

    If a person is going to believe in G-d then they need to not only talk the talk but walk the walk (do good works and follow G-d's commandments) as well as believing in Him.

    Otherwise you wind up looking a little hypocritical.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Hogie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Your citation of Mark 10 is taken out of context and ignores the context. The man asked what "he" could do to get eternal life, and the context establishes that he had not kept the commandments, ergo he did not earn for himself eternal life. As the disciples said, who therefore can be saved? Jesus answered, with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible, ie eternal life, but not through our own efforts.

    All you have to do is sin once, and you are cooked.

    Those who do love God with their whole being, and their neighbor will indeed be the ones who are saved, for those who can do this are those who have God's Holy Spirit. Without it, one cannot achieve this kind of love.

    One needs to be very careful in what they conclude from Scripture.


    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    The only way to the Father is through Christ. The only way we can be righteous is through the grace that comes by him. The only way that he could know us is if we know him. The laws of Christs power apply to all, just like the laws of sin and death, or the laws of moses applied to all (obey you rparents and live a long life etc.) invoking the power of Christ doesnt mean you Know him or he knows you. God is good. The only way for anyone to be good is to be renewed by God. You left out the rest of mark 10, love God. Love your neighbor. thats all he commands. You cannot love God without first Loving the Son and gaining access to his kingdom. The teacher of the law was blinded by the law. The law provides eternal life, but no man can follow it, thats why Christ came and died. You cannot love God without Loving Christ first.


    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    "Hereby KNOW WE that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." 1 John 4:13 (KJV)

    The verse above tells us that there is no guesswork involved, and that we KNOW we are born again because God hath given us His Spirit. The verse below tells us that those who are born again keep His Commandments which is evidence of being born again of the Spirit of God.

    "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:24 (KJV)

    "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

    The above verse tells about those of us who are born again delight in the laws of God and want to follow His ways because we love Him and desire to do what is righteous, pure and Holy just as He is.

    God Bless ~

    This can only happen through Jesus Christ! He is the ONLY way to the Father.

    "Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way and the truth, and the life; no man commeth to the Father but by me." John 14:6 (KJV)

    Edit: The law cannot save. The law of God serves as a mirror to reflect our true sinful nature. When we look into the mirror of the 10 Commandments which are God's Holy Law, we see that we are liars, thieves, adulterers, murderers, coveters, idol worshippers, and so on. We are all guilty of not only commiting these crimes once or twice in our life times but we are habitual transgressors of the law by which God will hold us accountable in the the day of judgment. A mirror cannot wash your face for you, it can only compel you to pick up a wash cloth and clean up! So is the same of God's Holy Law "The Holy Mirror" it cannot clean us up, it can only send us running to the Saviour Jesus Christ who alone has the power to forgive and to cleanse us from all sin!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.