I realize that this should have been February’s post, since it’s a 12 part look at grace, designed to be shared on once a month! But February got away from me (it is the shortest month of the year, after all), so here we are look at part two of this series on the 3rd of March :)

Last month, I shared 12 Bible verses for when you need grace {you can download printable note cards of these verses for free} as a further explanation of my “one word” for 2014, which is, obviously, grace!

I mentioned in that post that here at the blog we will be looking at the meaning of God’s grace throughout this year: what it IS, what it is NOT and what it means for us as Christians.

In part one, I talked about the actual definition of grace and what John 1:16 means when it talks about the fullness of grace.

This time, let’s look at what God’s grace has done for us. We’re going to talk about salvation. Something very simple and yet profound that I need to be reminded of quite often, actually.

As a lifelong Christian, I have always known that God has brought me to Himself and not the other way around. We cannot “find” God in the sense of bringing ourselves to salvation. Salvation is completely a work of God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, there is nothing good in me that can accomplish eternal life.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. Isaiah 53:6, NASB

However, even as a lifelong Christian, I still struggled to understand that I couldn’t add to my salvation. I think that my assurance of salvation was very weak for a time, mostly because I was a questioning teenager and growing up in a churched family, I needed to grasp these truths for myself.

You may hear various theological views on being saved, some of which are works based. So I wanted to pose the question and try my best to answer it in a way that brings assurance if you are struggling with this truth, as I once did.


Are we really saved by grace?

The answer is a resounding YES! I could go into numerous verses on how this is true, but I wanted to focus on just one today, part of the 12 Bible Verses on Grace I shared last month:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” Ephesians 2:4-5

“Dead man walking” is a phrase used in prisons to refer to those going to the execution chamber. But truly, dead men can’t walk. They can’t raise themselves. They’re not alive.

In the same way, that’s what we are in the sin we were born under.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12

But for God’s rich mercy, we would have no hope. But even though we were lifeless in our transgressions, God gave us that “free, unmerited gift” of grace. No worthiness on my part, separated from God, and yet He bridged the gap through His perfect Son.

This is something I honestly have to grasp on to every day. There is no “working together” with God for my salvation. There is no “hoping against hope” that I can earn my way to heaven. It is simply by receiving the gift of grace that we are given the eternal inheritance won for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Sometimes it sounds unbelievable. Sometimes it sounds too good to be true. My human nature is convinced that there’s something I must do. But that’s all a lie.

The truth is very basic and yet incomprehensible at the same time.

“But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” Romans 5:15

I am very thankful that we have a God who desires all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

We can rest in this gospel promise in Ephesians 2, that by grace we have been saved. He has “made us alive” and we are risen from the dead when by faith we receive the gift of grace in the risen Christ.

Do you struggle with assurance of salvation? It’s not found in your works or right behavior, it is only found in what Christ has done for us! Praise the Lord!

If this is something you are wrestling with, if you would like any more verses on this matter, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at thepurposefulmom at live dot com.

In a couple of weeks, I will be sharing on another “grace” verse. If you’d like to download the 12 verses we will be studying as a free printable so you can be reminded of them often, just click here!

photo credit/text added

photo credit flickr/smkybear, text and design added


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9 Comments on Are we Really Saved by Grace? – Grace Upon Grace: A Look at the Lovingkindness of God

  1. I think we WANT to believe in a salvation that’s at least partially works-based. It sounds counter-intuitive, but we want to believe that we have something to offer, that we’re “mostly good,” when the truth is that God calls even our “righteousness” filthy rags.

    I love, love, love a quote from Jerry Bridges that goes like this: “Our best days are never so good that we are beyond the need of God’s grace. And our worst days are never so bad that we are beyond the reach of God’s grace.” (I might have the sentences reversed, but the message is the same. :) ) I feel like that almost sums up everything I need to know to live my life.

    • This is so true, Rachel. We desperately desire to think that we can cooperate with God and do something to effect our salvation. We are works-driven people, both in the spiritual realm and in the realm of everyday life! That’s a great quote, too.

  2. I can appreciate what you wrote about struggling with the idea of grace even as an adult. I grew up in a bible-believing, Jesus-following home and always thought I had a good grip on grace. But the last few years, the Father has really been stretching the limits I had unintentionally placed on His grace. :) I think for those of us who’ve been raised in believing homes, it’s easy to accept grace for salvation, but often difficult to accept it for everyday life. He’s teaching me to stop striving so much and simply abide. :)

    • Thank you, Jen! I’m so glad God has done that work in your life. It’s a beautiful truth that we are not only saved by grace but we live by grace too! It’s a topic I’ll be exploring more later on in the series :)

  3. I think the concept of salvation through grace is so difficult for us to grasp because it goes against the very foundations of our society. Our capitalist culture says that when you work hard, you are then able to “get ahead” and are rewarded for your efforts. It’s what you DO that defines your success in the worldly sense. Jesus turns that philosophy upside down, and it can be hard for us to comprehend because it’s so unlike what we see all around us.

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