Made Alive in Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1-10 New International Version (NIV) Bible Gateway
Salvation refers to the freedom gained when God rescues someone from bondage to sin and makes that person part of His family. This deliverance is accomplished only through His Son Jesus, who died in our place so we might be reconciled to the Father (Colossians 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—). This statement often evokes auestions:
What if I try to live morally right, working and at my job and being good to my family-won't God accept me? Such questions assume that the Lord saves us on the basis of the way we live. But Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, not even one." In God's sight, even our virtuous acts are like dirty rags (Isiah 64:6). Holy God will not have dealings with unrighteous people except through the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Won't the Lord accept us because of His goodness? God is loving and good, but He is also just. He won't overlook sin, no matter how small we think it is. Pride makes us reject the idea that we need forgiveness or cleansing from sin.
If we serve in our church or help the poor in God's name, aren't we part of His family? God works do not solve our sin problem or reconcile us to God. Only Jesus does ( Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,). Good works are an important result of salvation, as opposed to a basis for it.
Salvation is a work of God's grace, not the product of man's effort. When we respond to the Spirit's prompting, believe in Jesus, and are born again as God's children (John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”), we can be assured of our place in heaven. How sure are you?
Stanley, Charles F. "Salvation: The Work of Our Sovereign God." In Touch: Daily Readings for Devoted Living. Atlanta: In Touch Ministries. September 2015. page 14.