God’s grace is made known to us through the person of Jesus. Romans 3:21-28 tells us that we obtained grace for redemption of sins through Jesus and it is because of Him that we are now justified. Although everything in the Old Testament leads up to Jesus and even the Law of Moses was a shadow of what was to come, we need not have been living under that law, or even have had any knowledge of such law in order to obtain the grace now available through Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, we can-and do-obtain full and complete redemption through Jesus alone, independent of anything else.
Before we go on, let us see what grace really means. According to the Newman’s Bible Dictionary, we can understand that grace is -“the favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it, in spite of what that person deserves.”
This is HUGE!! It is ONLY God’s grace that has given us Jesus. When we meet Jesus and believe in Him, we obtain everlasting salvation and it is then that we come face to face with God’s grace-His favor and kindness shown to us without regard of our worth.
You see, all of us carried sin inherited because of Adam’s treason in the Garden of Eden. It is because he passed it down to us that we have sin upon us (Romans 3:23) and because of that sin we deserved nothing. No redemption. No forgiveness. No restoration. Nothing. Ahh, but remember the definition of grace? It’s HIS favor shown to me without taking into consideration MY worth. God’s gift of salvation came to us as the embodiment of Jesus and He was given to us even when we didn’t deserve it! (John 1:14). That is why we can only be saved through Jesus. We CANNOT be saved by behaving good or doing good deeds. We CANNOT be saved by keeping the ten commandments even! But because salvation is only obtained by grace, it can ONLY be accessed through faith! Ephesians 2:8 & 9 NLT tell us: “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.”
If we could get saved by doing good deeds, then our salvation would be dependent on something we do. And in that case, it would be our wage or pay for doing something. (Romans 4:4; 6:23). And this is exactly why we read in Romans 3:27 & 28 that our pride in doing good deeds in order to get into heaven is excluded, annulled, and forgotten. In other words, absolutely no amount of good works will get us into heaven.
This is good because that means that I need not stress about doing good enough in order to ensure my pathway to heaven. I need not worry about being well qualified in order to be saved. All I have to do is believe in the GRACE of GOD shown to me through JESUS, and it is ONLY by this belief (faith) that I will access all of God’s grace, beginning with my eternal salvation.
Therefore, let us keep in mind the following: I have not done anything, nor could I ever do enough in order to deserve God’s unmerited favor over me without consideration of my worthiness (aka grace). But because of His grace, I can now have salvation through Jesus-the very personification of grace because of all He did-and can have and maintain right standing with God (Romans 5:1 &2).
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV)