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Can we still work hard to please God?

Refer this scripture. Romans 9:15-16 New International Version (NIV)

15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[a]

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Based on this scripture, an argument came among some young believers on working hard to please God. One said we must do work to please God and the other said it is solely on God's mercy. How do we reconcile this?

Answers 3

God has had us working from the very beginning...

Genesis 2:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

... and has been encouraging us to work ever since.

Everyone should work if they’re able to. — “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

When it comes to a decision on mercy, I would argue that the worker stands in good favour.


We compare scriptures inorder to get a balance.

I am yet to see in the scriptures where it written that we should work hard to please God but rather it the exercise of our Faith that pleases God:

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

I will rather say that God is pleased when we totally rely on his words. This is our Faith.

However, we work to prove our faith, hence it is said that Faith without work is dead.

I believe that pleasing God should not be taken as a job, but instead is about feeling and living demonstrating with actions what God asks us through his words, in his commandments, in prayer and in his writing. "God daily covers us with his mercy."

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