If you were to boil down Paul’s theology of the gospel message into a sentence, these two verses do it. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Nothing we do earns our salvation, it is simply a gift given at the initiative and work of God. We struggle with accepting that God would love us simply because he created us and not because of things we have done to merit his acceptance. Our world hardwires into us the belief that what we do, our works, earns us our worth, value and place in society, and even the love and acceptance of people. Paul would have none of this way of thinking about our salvation. He was totally against any kind of gospel that suggested you needed Jesus plus something to receive the grace of God. Your worth is anchored in the affection of God, it is not anchored in your performance. Embracing the free grace of God helps us discover a healthy spirituality, and helps us move forward in becoming more and more like Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.