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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

The False Gospel of Good Works and Salvation

Statue of Jesus riding a donkey

Some professing Christians think grace is a license to live as they want. A student in Texas said, “I believe in Jesus, He died for my sins, I am saved and so my sins no longer matter. I can live how I wish.”1 Good works and salvation are linked.

Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold said, "You can’t tell me you can trust Christ as Savior, and then go out here and live like the Devil, and still go to Heaven!’ Yes, I can tell you that! That’s what the Bible says. If you don’t come to the conclusion, that—Yes, you can trust Christ as your Savior and live like the Devil, and still go to Heaven when you die—you don’t get grace, because that is the exact truth!”2 For sure, someone doesn’t get grace!

In the New Testament, grace saves and transforms. Grace is like a stone hitting the water. It always leaves the ripples of a changed life. Grace is more than Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation from sin’s penalty. Its purpose is to glorify Jesus’ name and transform believers into His holy likeness (Romans 8:29).

Christians are not saved by good works, but they aren’t saved without them either. Good works are the ripples that evidence transforming grace within them. What kind of ripples show grace is at work?

Because of grace, believers testify to the resurrection (Acts 4:33). They give to meet each other’s needs (Acts 4:34, 2 Corinthians 8:7). Some perform miracles (Acts 14:3). They are built up in the faith (Acts 20:32). Sin no longer masters them (Romans 6:14).

They build up Christ’s body, the church, and use their spiritual gifts to serve others. (Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:10). They work hard in ministry (1 Corinthians 15:10). They live with integrity and godly sincerity (2 Corinthians 1:12). They overflow with thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 4:15).

They experience Christ’s power in their weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). They do the good works God prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:8–10). Their conversations are full of wisdom (Colossians 4:6). They glorify the name of the Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:12).

They receive faith, love, strength, and appointment to service (1 Timothy 1:12, 14). They live a holy life (2 Timothy 1:9). They are obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood (Romans 1:5, 1 Peter 1:2). They grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

That doesn’t sound at all like “I can live how I wish.” Ungodly people pervert the grace of God into a license for immorality (Jude 1:4). “Believers” can live however they want if and only if they want to live for an eternity separated from God. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

1. “Since I’m Saved, I Can Live How I Want?" - Catholic Stand

2. Can a True Believer Live Like the Devil? (

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