Q. Please explain what “Saved by Grace” means?
First, a passage of Scripture:
4* But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5* even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6* and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7* so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8* For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9* not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
This has become a difficult concept to grasp only because of the many theories men have come up with to explain what they find difficult to understand.
Grace, in the Original language means, “unmerrited favor.” We are saved by the favor of God because God wants us to be saved. He wants us to be saved because of the “great love with which He loved us.”
Paul wrote to Timothy
1 Tim 2:3-4
3* This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4* who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Throughout Human history every move that God has made in the direction of our salvation was because of his favor. We do not earn, nor do we deserve God’s favor, therefore “grace” is unmerited favor.
God desires all men to be saved, but we cannot save ourselves. It is impossible to accumulate merit before God. Regardless of what we may do that is approved of God, we are still saved by grace. This does not mean, however, that we have no part in accepting the grace of God. Accepting the grace of God requires obedience to His will. This will be true throughout our lives, but when we have do all, we are still unprofitable servants. We must be saved by God’s favor. Therefore, doing what is demanded of us in no way makes us earn the salvation God has provided for us.
In Ephesians two Paul says that we “by grace you have been saved through faith.” “FAITH” is something that works.
14* What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
The faith that pleases God does what God says.
17* Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
18* But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
19* You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
20* But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
21* Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
22* You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
23* and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.
24* You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
The faith that pleases God does what God says. Having done what God demands, we lean upon His grace. He accepts us because our obedience demonstrates our hearts desire to be in the right relationship to Him. He accepts us, based upon our obedience, and our “faith is perfected.” This means that our obedience brings our faith to maturity. What it really does is demonstrate that our faith is mature. When we believe Him and obey His will, we are saved by grace. We do not merit salvation, but we have met the requirements of our faith.