Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
I was driving one night when I saw a car on the side of the road. I was in high school, and some friends joined me for a road trip to watch a movie. We saw the emergency flashers and two women sitting behind the car. These ladies had been stranded with a flat tire for hours, and we were the first to stop and render assistance. They insisted on paying us something, but we refused their offer.
These ladies were the recipients of grace. Grace is defined as unmerited favor. The women had done nothing to earn or deserve our favor that night. They were broken and stranded, and we simply chose to help them.
Likewise, each of us was born into a broken and stranded situation. We were born sinners. Sin entered into the world through Adam, and it was passed down to every one of us (Romans 5:12). All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Our hearts are wicked so that even we cannot understand our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9), and the intent of our hearts is evil from our youth (Genesis 8:21). But God is gracious.
Romans 5:6-8 – “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Our sinful condition renders us helpless. There is nothing we can do to remedy the problem of our sin. Truly, there is nothing within man to even bring himself to seek God. Jesus said no one would come to Him unless the Father draws us first (John 6:44).
Sin is the responsibility of man, and salvation is the responsibility of God. God calls to us in our sinful condition and offers new life to all who will believe in the name of Jesus Christ (John 1:12). That is grace. We are saved by the generosity and provision of Jesus Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less.
We are saved by grace alone, and for that I give thanks.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
(Amazing Grace by John Newton)