Ephesians 2: 8-10
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
If you were to die today and stand before God and He asked, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’ what would you say? The question gets to the heart of, What are you trusting in for eternal life? If you place your hope of eternal life in something, only to find when you stand before God that it will not get you into heaven, you’re doomed! There are no makeup exams at the judgment seat!
To be saved by grace means to be delivered from the righteous judgment of God through no act of your own, but by His unmerited favor. God gave us the law. The law is comprised of what we should and should not do regarding loving God and loving man. However, to break the law of God is to sin. Unfortunately, we have all sinned against God, so we all deserve to be judged by God according to the Law. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death and separation from Him. So, we are all under the righteous judgment of God. Because we are sinners, we are by nature children of wrath.
Grace, on the other hand, is unmerited favor. Let me show you with three situations:
First, let’s say that I go over to your house and I steal your bike. You catch me and I go to jail. That is justice. I got what I deserved.
Second, I go to your house and steal your bike. You catch me but set me free. That is mercy. I did not get what I deserved.
Third, I go to your house and steal your bike. You catch me, but you not only set me free, you give me the bike. I got what I did not deserve. So, in justice we get what we deserve. In mercy we don’t get what we deserve. In grace we get what we do not deserve.
Grace is getting what we do not deserve from God. We do not deserve forgiveness of our sins, but he gives it to us through Jesus. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but we are able to do that through our FAITH in the work Jesus has done for us.
Faith is defined as being a positive reaction to what God has already given us by grace. In other words, faith is your positive response to God’s grace. Faith is your part of the equation.
Grace and faith work together, and they must be in balance.
The only way to be saved by grace is by putting your trust in what Jesus did on the cross. He never sinned, and he bore our sin in his body. He paid the price. He satisfied the penalty of the law by dying on the cross. Because our righteous deeds are filthy rags before God, then we have nothing that is pure to offer God.
The only thing left for us to do is to trust what Christ has done on the cross, by faith. That is why the Bible tells us that we are made right before God by faith. Therefore, to be saved by grace means to be safe from the righteous judgment of God by the unmerited favor found only in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.