Why So Many Arguments About Law and Grace?

Dennis Davis • March 27, 2019

This is the first article in a 3-part series on Law and Grace:

The conversation about the God’s law and God’s grace has been raging since the 1st century. It almost feels as if there’s a battlefield with two armies: the Law army and the Grace army and both are constantly fighting. But when I read my Bible, I’m led to understand that there is no controversy in God but only bad understanding. Let’s try to get a better understanding of this controversial topic so it can help many of us who may not have had good teaching on the subject.

OK, so let’s look at the argument: On the Grace side, you’ll hear people say that “Salvation is by grace and grace alone.” The Law side people will say, “Oh here we go. That idea leads to lawlessness and people doing whatever they want. God’s righteous standard in the law has to be upheld.” And, every now and then, someone else will come sneaking into the conversation and say, “Sure Salvation is by Grace, but Grace is only for those who obey God’s Law.” So why are there all of these different opinions? It all comes down to how we view Salvation versus how God outlines Salvation in the Bible. 

Although we will save a detailed explanation of salvation for a later article, it makes sense to give a definition and talk a little bit about it.


The transformation of a person’s individual nature and relationship with God as a result of repentance and faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. All humanity stands in need of salvation, which is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ.


Salvation is all God’s doing

Romans 5:6–8 AV

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 1:7 AV

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Titus 1:15–16 AV

15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.


Ro 5:6–8; Eph 1:7; 1 Ti 1:15–16

See also Ex 33:19; Ac 4:12; Ac 20:24; Ro 5:15–17; 2 Co 6:2; Col 1:13–14; 2 Th 2:16; Tt 2:11; Heb 7:23–25; Re 7:10

There is nothing human beings can do to save themselves

Titus 3:4–7 AV

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

See also Lk 18:9–14; Ro 11:5–6

Salvation is not by keeping God’s law

Galatians 5:4 AV

4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

See also Ro 5:20–21; Ro 6:14; Ro 8:1–4; Ga 2:21; Ga 3:17–18; 1 Ti 1:9

Salvation must be accepted as a free gift by faith

Ephesians 2:4–9 AV

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

See also Ac 15:7–11; Ac 16:30–31; Ro 3:21–24; Ro 4:14–16; Ro 5:1–2; Heb 4:16

Keep coming back to read part 2 of this excellent discussion on Law and Grace

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Dennis Davis • November 13, 2018

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