What does it mean that we are saved by grace? What is grace? Ephesians 2:4-8.
These are big questions, but we can understand them better by simply reading the scripture that talks about them. In verse 8 of this passage is says “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”. In its simplest terms grace is a gift from God, He gives it to us because He is merciful. Grace is what God does, it is His acting in us.
Yes, we must respond to God in faith, and live by that faith (Romans 1:17, Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:11). But there is nothing we can do to save ourselves; we must rely on God. Jesus is our Savior, and Jesus alone.
This is outrageous. It means the vilest of sinners can be saved and end up in heaven, and someone who does good but does not follow Jesus will not. Think of the evilest person you have ever heard of; Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, the serial killer Jeffery Dahmer, all can be saved if they turn to God.
In fact, Jeffery Dahmer did claim to have been saved before he died. Was he? I don’t know! But I do know that the man who wrote the book of the bible quoted here was a terrorist (in modern terms), killing Christians and thinking he was good for it. God’s grace was enough for Paul, and it is enough for you and me, no matter what we have done. And that means no matter what.
Sounds like good news to me!