Q34: Since We Are Redeemed by Grace Through Christ, Must We Still Obey God's Word?

New City Catechism: Question 34


Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary, answers the question, "Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God’s Word?”


1 Peter 2:9-12 (ESV)

9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



We can respond to question thirty-four with the following answer: yes, because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Spirit; so that our lives may show love and gratitude to God; so that we may be assured of our faith by the fruits; and so that by our godly behavior others may be won to Christ.


Ligon said we should still obey God’s Word. He saves us through grace by faith alone and our good works serve as a response to His love. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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Ligon listed there roles of obedience in the Christian life:

  1. Gratitude
  2. Assurance
  3. Witness

Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through 1 Peter 2:9–12. Take a moment to reflect on what it means to obey God. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of obedience, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize 1 Peter 2:9–12. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you obey God.



 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here