There are some truths in our Christian faith that we need to hear repeated, over and over again. Like the old times tables in grade school, we hear these truths and repeat them enough times, and they become a part of us, an instinctive foundation in our lives on which we can build.
Such a foundation is the truth that we are saved by grace, through faith.
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8,9 NLT
Thank God for Paul, who put these Gospel truths into writing so clearly! Salvation is a gift from God. Men can either receive the gift, by faith; or they can refuse the gift, trying in their futility to earn their own way, or else ignore God completely.
One of the hallmarks of the truly saved is immense gratitude to God, colored all through with humility and wonder that God should give such a gift to such an unworthy recipient. This gratitude and awe is the exact opposite of the judgmental self-righteousness that is so often associated with religion.
True righteousness, the righteousness of God, is included with the gift of salvation, and, as we shall discover, finds its expression in the lives of the believers as good works. But the salvation is a gift from God, an expression of His Grace and Mercy and Love and Kindness to those who deserve none of it; to those who will, by faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, receive the glorious gift of God. We can not take credit nor boast about this gift; we can only thank Him eternally for it.