A while back a former Adventist friend was telling me that the Adventist church deceived her. She said when she first came into the church the evangelist was preaching about grace. But once she joined they started preaching about Sabbath keeping and obedience. She found works and obedience to be contradictory to the gospel of grace. I shared with my friend that faith and works were preached long before Adventism. James preached faith and works.
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:24 NKJV
Fact is that it is only by grace and faith that we can be obedient and have good works.
Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. Romans 3:31 NKJV
Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith… Romans 1:5 NKJV
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, Titus 2:11-12 NKJV
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. Galatians 5:6 NKJV
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26 NKJV
There are some important things to keep in mind. While Lucifer was placed in heaven by grace alone and no works of his own, he still lost his heavenly home by rebellion and disobedience.
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:7-9 NKJV
While Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden by grace alone and no works of their own, they still lost their paradise home due to disobedience.
therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:23-24 NKJV
While Israel was given its own land and nation by grace alone and no works of their own, they still lost it by disobedience.
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” Nehemiah 13:17-18 NKJV
Likewise, spiritual Israel has been promised a land – the New Jerusalem. While that land is given to us by grace alone and no works of our own, we can still lose it by disobedience.
“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. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
After all, when we talk about Biblical salvation by grace, the salvation we receive by grace saves us from a life of sin.
…and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 NKJV
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:18 NKJV
The grace that my former Adventist friend found being preached in the Adventist church came straight from the Bible. The importance of works of love and loving obedience that she heard preached in the Adventist church is also straight from the Bible.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14;15 NKJV
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14 NKJV
I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4 NLT
though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Hebrews 5:8-9 NKJV
My former Adventist friend was not deceived by the Adventist church regarding grace and faith and loving obedience. The idea of salvation without loving obedience is a deception.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 NKJV
Let’s pray that we along with all of our friends will understand and appreciate the Biblical teachings of grace, faith, and loving obedience.
You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.