“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
If you were to compare all the religions in this world, there are actually only 2 types:
1) Those that teach that Salvation comes by works, or
2) those that teach that Salvation is by grace.
Salvation by works means you get to heaven by your own merit. You discipline yourself by meditation, philosophy, yoga or other restrictions imposed by some human teaching. You do good works such as charity, financial contributions and other things that make you feel you can be accepted.
The reality is this…., if heaven can be attained by such means, I suggest to you that it is not worth going. Because you are going to find a lot of people there who are so proud of their achievements. Some of us may already feel embarrassed because we don’t even have the possessions that our neighbour has.
On the other hand, there is salvation by the free grace of God. Heaven is such a wonderful place because Jesus Christ – the God-Man who is without sin is there! And none of us sinful creatures deserve to be there! And if we ever get there, it is because God has graciously opened our eyes to see how unworthy we are. And in spite of our unworthiness, He paid the price required to bring us there. Jesus gave His life to pay for the sins that we have committed. (Check out this sermon to understand the required redemption for our sins). And He lived a sinless life – which is the requirement for anyone to get into heaven. And all these are accorded to us when we believe in Jesus Christ…..That’s grace – totally unmerited salvation! You can’t do anything to achieve it – it is totally a gift from God! This is the gospel of grace!
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 of works, lest anyone should boast.”