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What do you mean when you say a person is saved by grace alone?

The concept of grace comes from the Greek word charis, which means God's divine influence upon our hearts and its reflection in the life. It is God's grace that causes us to recognize we are sinners, to realize that we are dependent on Him for any hope of salvation, that causes us to believe and repent (Romans 2:4). Grace is God moving in the life of the believer to bring us to Him (John 6:44).

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

Every gift that we receive comes from Him (Ephesians 1:3). Every skill or ability is from Him. Everything that we possess comes from a loving and all-powerful God who showers His blessings on rebellious and repentant sinners according to His will and design (Matthew 5:45).

You may not believe it, but God has been with you throughout your life, every step of the way. He has mercifully granted you many blessings that you are not even aware of (I Corinthians 1:3-4). This is God's grace. By His grace, you are given a conscience to know right from wrong (Romans 2:15). By His grace, He plants a remorse for sin in your heart. By His grace, He causes you to repent and surrender to Him (Romans 2:4).

Think back on your life. Did you ever do something that you thought was good? You couldn't have done that good thing if it weren't for God's grace motivating you and calling you. It was His grace that worked in your life at that time. It is His grace that constantly impacts our lives in ways that we are often not aware of. Grace is the desire and power to do God's will.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
I Corinthians 15:10

It is also God's grace that causes us to obey. For example, water baptism is a work of God that He performs in the life of the believer. He is the One who plants the desire for baptism in our hearts, and He is the One who gives us the power to be baptized. Such a deed is an act of God, not man. That is why God receives 100% of the credit whenever He does something good in your life. It is His grace working in you (II Corinthians 6:1).

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