How Grace Works AKA Grace vs. Works

What is grace?

Grace is God’s free gift to us—He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place so that the barrier in our relationship with God (sin) could be forgiven and we could be made right with God again. We can have a relationship with the Father (God) when we claim what Jesus did for us on the cross.

Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 2:9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (NLT)

It seems simple, doesn’t it? God offers us a free gift, and all we have to do is accept it. Easy peasy. So why is it so hard for some people?

I think it’s because people don’t understand what the word free means anymore.

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photo credit: Bahi P via photopin cc

photo credit: Bahi P via photopin cc


photo credit: juliejordanscott via photopin cc

photo credit: juliejordanscott via photopin cc

Today, we live in a world where free always comes with a catch. How many times have heard the phrase, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”? That’s because anytime we are offered something for free, we wonder what we have to do or buy to get the free gift.

Doing or buying is works. Let’s take another look at Ephesians 2:8-9, this time from a different version (NIV):

2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—2:9 not by works, so that no-one can boast.

In other words, GOD is the one who made a way for us to have a relationship with Him. There is nothing that we can do to make ourselves right in God’s eyes.

I used to think that if I wanted to get to heaven, I had to follow God’s rules. I worried that if I broke one of God’s rules, he would punish me. Maybe you think that too. Well, it’s not true.

The thing I wish someone had told me, and it took a long time for me to find out, is that there is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less. If you “work” harder, He won’t love you more. If you mess up, He won’t love you less. The thing that God wants from you is for you to recognize what Jesus did on the cross for you. We need to appreciate God’s gift to us. When we understand what God has done for us and what that means—that He loves us—then we’re at the first step of a real relationship with God.

Focus on enjoying time with God—reading the Bible, listening to Christian rock, taking a nature walk—more than trying to win His favor by acting right. He wants you to love Him in your heart and do the right thing because you love Him. He doesn’t just want you to love rules more than Him.

Looking for more? Spend time reading and meditating on Romans 5:12-21 in an easy-to-understand Bible translation such as the New Living Translation (NLT), the Message (TM) or the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV). If you don’t own one of these versions, you can find them for free online at


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