Salvation by grace alone is an essential doctrine. Sola gratia (by grace alone) was a great watchword of the Reformation. God’s people rediscovered the wonderful truth that God saves us not by our works, but by his redeeming grace alone. Perhaps no passages captures this truth like, Ephesians 2:8–9. “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.”
In recent history the truth has been celebrated by songs like: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” “Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.” “Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin; how shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?”
The other day I heard someone explain salvation using the acronym for grace as “God’s gift at Christ’s expense.” This captures much of the truth.
Here is another definition: “Grace is the effective presence of the triune God to save and empower.” Grace involves the powerful, personal, relational presence of God. Grace enables us to call God “our Father,” to have union with the resurrected Christ, and to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. At the end of 2 Corinthians Paul declares, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.”
This amazing grace freely given to us in the gospel saves us from sin, Satan, and death, and it also empowers us to live for Christ. Rejoice in God’s saving grace today.